Not pretty, but a victory all the same

ROYALS REVIEWAT the end of the day, Saturday saw us pick another three points.I think we said earlier in the season that you sometimes have to win ugly, and we certainly did that in the second half.


AT the end of the day, Saturday saw us pick another three points.

I think we said earlier in the season that you sometimes have to win ugly, and we certainly did that in the second half. The first half performance was fine and we played well.

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But we had other chances to increase the lead and make it 2-0, which we did not take. We then had a great opportunity as Nathan Stone had a one on one, which was missed.

At 1-0 it can be a precarious position and they changed from 3-5-2 and playing wing backs to 4-4-2 as they upped their game in the second half. They equalised from a corner, which we did not deal with in either the first or second ball, which was disappointing.

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But we hit back and went up the other end to make it 2-1 with Stone scoring. We then looked as though we would see the game out, and moved to five in midfield as Russell Stock came off and we looked to shut the game out.

They then scored at another corner, as we left the defender with a free header for another disappointing goal from a set piece. But to be fair to the lads they showed good resolve to bounce back and score a well worked goal through Chris Henderson to win the game late on.

Yes, it wasn't our best performance, but it was another three points and there needs to be a bit of reality about it all.

With the midweek game called off, it gave us a chance to hold a good training session as it gave us a chance to have a chat about set pieces and defending them better - but saying that, the defence have been outstanding this season and they've won us a lot of points as well as the attackers who often get all the plaudits.

We know that we will have a lot of games to be played between now and the end of the season as we will more-or-less be playing every Saturday and then again in midweek.

James Cole is not available tomorrow, but apart from him we have a full squad to pick from with Lewis Blois having got 90 minutes under his belt with the reserves in their fine league win, while Bodie Carter also got some playing time in.

There is one or two niggles in the squad, but everyone should be fine and Cole will be back in midweek as we have a full squad of 16 to choose from.

When we played Histon Reserves at home we played particularly well and we will have to do that again tomorrow as they are a side mixed with youth and experience.

You never know what you'll be up against when playing reserve sides, but we know that if we prepare ourselves properly and mentally focus ourselves on the game as we do our jobs then we can affect the result.

Next Wednesday we entertain Haverhill at Walmer Road having drawn 1-1 against them away a few weeks ago. That was a tough game then, and we'll have to be somewhere at our best.

We said before the Needham Market game that this is the business end of the season and while you can't win things earlier in the campaign, we are in a good position going into the final few weeks.

Things can happen and change fairly quickly in the league, but we can only concentrate on what we do and that is to keep picking up points. There will be points dropped by teams at the top as sides have lots of games to be played at this stage of the season.

It will be a very exciting run-in whatever happens, and we are happy with the squad of players we've got.

Stewart Larter was speaking to Mark Boggis

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