Romeo hoping to add more firepower after toothless Thatcham suffer back-to-back defeats with loss at home to Leatherhead
Thatcham Town boss Yashwa Romeo is hoping to bring in two more new signings this week following Saturday’s disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to high-flying Leatherhead.
The Kingfishers endured a similar period of stagnation around the same time last season and, following a spate of injuries, absences and suspensions, Romeo admits he’s seeking to avoid “deja vu” this campaign.
Thatcham, who were without suspended midfielder Callum Willmoth and free-scoring forwards Harry Hoath and David Nyarko, suffered a second defeat in a row at the hands of third-placed Leatherhead and the Kingfishers boss confirmed he’s hoping to add players to his squad in a bid to avoid a repeat of last year’s disappointing run that saw his side slide out of the play-off picture.
Romeo managed to welcome one new face for Saturday’s game with the addition of tough-tackling midfielder Jay Welch, who went straight into the XI after signing from Ascot United, but was forced to field an inexperienced bench after missing out on two more targets, with youth team players Edward Campbell-Smith and Pharrel Agobotey promoted to the senior side for the first time.
The hosts remained competitive for most of the first half but were undone a minute before the break when highly-rated attacker Tyler Cox beat two Thatcham defenders before firing beyond Callum Smart to make it 1-0.
The visitors, who hammered Thatcham 5-0 in the reverse, wrapped up the three points with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining when Trevan Robinson raced through and rolled a cool finish into the corner to inflict more January blues on the Kingfishers.
And Romeo stressed the importance of strengthening his embattled squad if his side are to maintain their slim hopes of challenging for promotion.
“I think Leatherhead caught us at a good time,” he said.
“We had a lack of firepower with Harry and David still out, and we missed Callum in midfield.
“We added Jay Welch. He’s one I’ve been chasing ever since I came to Thatcham and we finally made it happen; he came in and had a good, solid debut. He’ll add aggression, he’s hard-hitting and he’s good in possession.
“It feels a bit like deja vu with where we were last year. We’ve been on a good run and then had some bad luck with injuries and suspensions.
“The reality is we can’t sit around and wait for them to come back. I’m looking to bring in another two faces this week. We had a couple lined up last week but it didn’t quite materialise.
“We had four youth team players in the squad and Owen (Clark), who is 17, starting. We’re delighted to have so many promising young players and I thought Ted (Campbell-Smith) and Pharrel (Agobotey) did really well when they came on but we’d like to have a bit more experience to complement that.”
Thatcham will be targeting a trip to second-bottom Corinthian Casuals, who have picked up just 13 points from 24 Isthmian League South Central matches this season, as the perfect place to bounce back from a below-par fortnight.
However, Romeo won’t be taking the opposition lightly, with one of Corinthian’s three wins this term coming at the Mettal Stadium in October and Casuals showing signs of improvement under new boss Paul Barnes.
He said: “It won’t be an easy game and they’re fighting for survival; this probably isn’t the best time to play them.
“We don’t want to take our eye off the ball and get stuck in no man’s land. We want to prove we can challenge for the play-offs.”