We take a look back at DB’s programme notes from Saturday afternoon before our win against Melksham took place…
From The Dug Out:
Good afternoon everyone and welcome back to Winchester!
Since the last time we spoke we’ve picked up back-to-back wins against two good sides in Highworth Town and Cirencester. We’ve shown different qualities in each game which will be good a learning experience for the boys – knowing what they have in the locker. The Highworth Town game will, of course, live long in the memory for the style in which we won it.
We were disappointed with our first half performance in particular – however whilst you always want to command leading positions in games; it’s a huge positive knowing that we can find a way to win and equally have the mentality to apply it. The moment our first goal went in (albeit largely fortuitous, but you still need to create the chances for luck to fall your way) I always felt we would get a result, although they left it just a little later than anticipated! That comes from belief and a spirited determination; which only gets stronger in those moments.
During the Cirencester game we demonstrated our ability to tackle the game head on. We had a change of system, personnel and a few tweaks in how we wanted to open the game – whilst still retaining that work ethic and togetherness. The phycological side of that game was important, having taken a lead into half-time (the first time this season) the message was to continue doing what we were doing – the alternative is to fool yourself into thinking you need to ‘hang on’ to the lead. The latter option usually leads you to camping just outside of your own penalty box and inviting unwanted and unnecessary pressure – especially in cup football. The boys managed the game really well; the nature of this league and the overarching style of it will mean that most if not all teams will have spells of pressure. You just need to be prepared and composed in dealing with them.
Having faced Melksham a number of times in previous years, I know only too well their qualities. Whilst I appreciate this league is new to most Basingstoke supporters – you’ll have learned since the start of the season that every game is incredibly competitive and usually sealed by fine margins. Melksham travel to us in a buoyant mood following their own FA Trophy win; combined with a recent score-draw with Thatcham – who are much fancied for the title this year. So, as always, we are going to need your unwavering support today which needless to say has been fantastic, particularly in recent weeks.
We’re pleased to have been able to offer you some moments to savour and celebrate; we will of course be giving our all to do that more often than not. One things for sure, these boys care about your club and they will be doing everything they can across the season to ensure your faith, support and encouragement is repaid.