View From The Dugout

View from the Dugout: Finish a good week in style and keep our play-off push on track

By Neil Sorvel at

This week’s column is from assistant manager Neil Sorvel…

Two victories by a 2-0 scoreline have made it a good week so far and we followed up Saturday’s win over Bradford (Park Avenue) with a very pleasing three points at Kettering on Tuesday night.

When we arrived at Latimer Park, it was touch and go if the game was going to be played and their players were laughing and joking saying “Let’s see what you can do on this”, so it was particularly pleasing to win the game, despite the conditions not being suitable for our preferred style of football.

We said to the lads beforehand that we needed to find a different way of winning the game by playing more progressively with more forward passes and less sideways and backward passes and they carried out the brief perfectly.

Watch highlights from our win at Kettering in midweek:

It was great to have two-goal advantage at half-time and I thought that we saw the game out fairly comfortably in the second half.

Paul Cox, the Kettering manager, was very critical of his side after the game saying that it was men against boys and that we outplayed them in every area of the pitch, which indicates what a good performance it was.

We travel to Telford today and then play them again at home on Tuesday and we are expecting two very similar and competitive games to last season when we deservedly won 3-1 at the J Davidson Stadium, with Telford getting a very late equaliser through a penalty at the new Bucks Head in a game that both sides deserved something from.

Telford have also had some problems with parts of their pitch, with some wide areas being heavily sanded, but it will be much better than what we experienced at Kettering on Tuesday, when playing our normal game from the back would have been suicidal.

Relive the Robins’ win over Bradford Park Avenue last weekend:

Gavin Cowan’s team probably would have reached the play-offs last season, if it hadn’t been for their run to the FA Trophy semi-final and whilst they are eight points off a play-off place this time round, they are capable of pushing for a place in the top seven if they can put a similar run together to the one that we have done.

Matt Stenson, the former Barwell, Leamington and Solihull striker poses a threat up front and Ryan Barnett, on-loan from Shrewsbury, had a very good game in last season’s encounter, whilst Brendon Daniels, who had a loan spell at Alty at the beginning of last season, seems to be coming into a bit of form of late.

Josh Hancock turns away after scoring against Bradford Park Avenue

Andy White will be out for a couple of weeks with a hamstring injury that forced him off in the first half of the Bradford (Park Avenue) game last Saturday and Sean Williams needs a scan on his foot, as he has struggled to shake off an injury that he originally sustained against Southport in our final game of 2019.

Simon Richman trained on Thursday night and is close to be available again.

We’re on a very good run with seven wins, a draw and just one defeat in the last nine games, so we travel to Shropshire full of confidence and ready for the challenge that we know Telford will give us.