Basement boys looking for first winBy Adam Lee
November 07, 2008
An early relegation encounter is in store for two teams in the Bracknell Sunday League this weekend when Finchampstead Athletic A play host to The Prince.
Prince, sitting bottom of Division 2, have the opportunity to leapfrog Finch, who lie just one place above them with one extra point.
Both managers are a little disillusioned by the poor starts their teams have endured, but are confident they can turn turn the corner this weekend.
Prince boss Eddie Parkes believes it is a simple lack of goals that has hindered his team, and hopes that star striker Bernie McDonagh’s brace against Ashridge Park last weekend will see him return to goalscoriong form.
“We’ve been playing really well, but we just can’t score,” said Parkes.
“When we played The Old Manor, they beat us 1-0 with a penalty, and Clive [Presta, their manager] came up to me afterwards and apologised, saying we should have stuffed them.
“Against Ashridge last week we were winning 2-1 and they went down to 10 men and scored an equaliser near the end.
“Bernie scored a couple, though, and his second was sweet – a great goal.
“Hopefully that would have given him some confidence because he has been a big player for us in the last couple of seasons.
“He hadn’t scored since the middle of last season, but it’s a confidence thing with strikers.”
Finch player/manager Dan McCarthy, feels his side’s form has been affected by a more typical Sunday League problem – lack of available players.
“We feel we’ve been very unlucky in some of our games so far,” said the Finch boss.
“We have played some of the top teams and had a bit of bad luck – but we have been pretty abysmal in some other games, though.
“I was feeling pretty confident at the start of the season.
“We had a couple of new signings and a few players came down from the higher Finch teams, but our biggest problem is fielding inconsistent teams.
“Some of our results against the higher teams have been okay.
“Fernhill are very good, but we haven’t been dominated by anyone else – on our day we can give anyone a run for their money.”
Prince boss Barkes has also had his problems with trying to get players to turn up.
“We thought we had a good chance of going up with the new players we had, but we’re bottom,” he said.
“I had 20 players turn up for pre-season friendlies, but I’m just scraping 11 each week – we’ve got a squad of 18.
“But that’s Sunday football I suppose.
“Hopefully we can string a team together on Sunday and fingers crossed we’ll get our first win.
“If we play like we did last week I think we will.”
McCarthy is expecting a tough game and is looking to some of his stronger players to lead by example at the weekend.
“When you’re at the bottom and things aren’t going your way, you can’t take anything for granted,” said McCarthy.
“Prince got a point last week so that might have given them some confidence as well.
“Our keeper’s been playing particularly well in recent weeks so we’re looking for him to have a good game, and I need good performances from Dave Matthews up front and Michael Hughes at centre back.”
Elsewhere in Division 2, there are some big games at the top of the table, with second playing fourth as BMW face Woodley Hammers Res, while third play fifth when 3M travel to Duke’s Head.
In the Premier Division, Winkfield could potentially move up to second with a big win against Bracknell Royals, but will have to hope that Green Man beat Finchampstead.
In Division 1, FC Wokingham are in with a shout of taking top spot, but Woodley Hammers will not relinquish it without a fight as they face FC Priestwood.
Division 3 promotion candidates The Royal Oak and The Bridge will be looking to gain the advantage when they square up, while two other potential promotion chasers, Loddon Valley Rangers and Red Star go head to head in Division 4.
- Want to nominate a player for next week's team of the week, or just want to let off some Sunday League related steam?
- Check the scores and updated tables on Monday morning.