Saturday 31 August home to Tamworth League kick-off 3.00pm.
There is no midweek fixture.
THE EMIRATES FA CUP
We will travel to Ely City or Wisbech on Saturday 7 September kick- off 3.00pm. Their replay is on Tuesday 3 September.
We have only played Ely once before when we beat them 6-1 in the East Anglian Cup on 30 November 1971. We have played Wisbech three times and all were in the FA Cup. We won 3-2 on 16 September 1989, 4-2 on 12 September 1992 and lost 2-1 on 26 October 1996.
FA YOUTH CUP
Our under 18 team travel to Netherton United in the FA Youth Cup Preliminary Round on Tuesday 3 September kick off 7.45pm. If they are successful they will have a walkover in the First Qualifying Round as opponents Eynesbury Rovers have withdrawn from the competition.
HERTS CHARITY CUP
The Herts Charity Cup game at Berkhamsted has been arranged for Tuesday 29 October kick-off 7:45pm.
- Jay Dowie has completed his suspension and is available for selection for Tamworth.
- Charlie Horlock is available for selection for Tamworth.
- Jack Green is still injured.
- Jay Bird had his operation this week which went well but he is expected to be out for three months.
We received the sad news this week that Hitchin legend Bernie Gogan had passed away. Please see the main website to read the full tribute to one of our greatest ever strikers.
COACH’S VIEW WITH BRETT DONNELLY
To give Mark Burke a break this week I asked our newly appointed first team coach Brett Donnelly to take over the Manager’s View column. This is what he had to say—
After the horror show at Alvechurch the previous Saturday we had to do better. We decided to change our shape and went for a 5-3-2 formation with three centre backs and two wing backs. I have to say I thought it worked really well . On his return Lewis Ferrell played well with Joe Gauge continuing to impress alongside Dan Webb. The system is not as defensive as it sounds as both Alex Anderson and Jordan Norville-Williams were constantly pushing forward.
After an even first fifteen minutes I thought we began to play some good football against a very strong team. We then started the second half on the front foot and deserved our lead. However we then showed our inexperience by conceding two quick goals and our game management has to improve.
I was pleased our heads did not drop and in the last fifteen minutes we played as well as we have all season. As was apparently the case last season it is very fine margins that decide games and our inexperience has not helped. We are missing experienced players such as Charlie Horlock, Jack Green and Jay Dowie and having also lost Jay Bird to a serious injury we have had a difficult start. We are playing more young players than is ideal but they will improve over time. They are good technical players but need experience. We are trying to get more talking in the team as we are too quiet.
I urge the supporters to stick with the team. There has been a really good and positive attitude at training and the players remain upbeat. The players who have not started regularly have not sulked and worked hard in training. I think the drubbing at Alvechurch hit the players very hard and they now know the absolute minimum is to work their socks off and never give less than 100%.
The fixture list has not been kind to us having played the top two, last year’s play off finalists and a really tough trip to Needham Market. We are not a million miles away though and there is great determination to turn things round.
Tamworth will be another tough game. They made some excellent signings in the summer and will present another difficult challenge. We have to make it hard for them with commitment and work rate. When we reached the play-off final a few seasons ago many clubs commented that we were the hardest working team they had faced and we must return to that level.
BY ROY IZZARD