HELLENIC LEAGUE: Malmesbury boss tells players to 'enjoy' Carterton trip
MALMESBURY Victoria manager Gareth Davies will try and divert the pressure away from his young side when they make the trip to fellow strugglers Carterton Town tonight.
The Flying Monk Ground side currently sit fourth-from-bottom, one place and four points above their Oxfordshire hosts in Hellenic League Division One West.
And Davies knows that a much-needed three points after Saturday’s 1-1 draw with local rivals New College will give them that bit of extra breathing space.
“It is a big match for us,” the Vics boss said. “But we have to try and keep the pressure of the players.
“They are a young side and sometimes when you heap too much pressure on them it can have an adverse effect.
“What I want is for them to go out and enjoy the game and hopefully that will help them perform.”
Davies is keen for his players to show more than they did against New College and is only likely to bring back Charlie Basilone after he was rested at the weekend.
“I think that they owe us a performance,” he added. “I don’t know why we weren’t at our best on Saturday.
“We just seemed to cancel each other out so we know that we need to improve and if we can get the win then that will give us that bit of a buffer.”
After tonight’s trip to Carterton, who come into the match on the back of a 4-1 defeat at Tuffley Rovers, Malmesbury have five games remaining.
And Davies is hoping that his young side can close the nine-point gap on New College, the side directly above them in the table.
“I’ve looked at the fixtures and we have some winnable games - we have to play Carterton again,” Davies said.
“Hopefully we can climb a couple of places, but that is the future, we need to focus on tonight first.”
Cirencester Town can close the gap on Southern League Division One South and West leaders Merthyr Town to two points if they return from Gloucestershire rivals Shortwood United victorious.
Bryan Hughes’ men secured a 2-0 win over Bishops Cleeve on Saturday, while FA Cup giant-killers Shortwood hit county rivals Cinderford Town for six.
Wootton Bassett Town went down 2-1 at Cheltenham Saracens last night.
Lee Stevens missed a first-half penalty before Kyle Rigley made no mistake from the spot soon after. A third penalty of the night saw Saracens level before they hit a late winner.