Update from Tony Hancock, First Team Manager:
2020 didn't quite end up as planned, with a loss in both of the last 2 games of the year played. COVID restriction unfortunately continue to take their toll on preparations for games in particular, such as not knowing what prep time, or dressing room availability there is until a few days prior to games, but it's no excuse for the 2 games, where we couldn't seem to perform for a whole 90 minutes in both!
Much depleted squads were not a help either, but it is what it is sometimes and we have to be able to deal with all the situations presented to us! We pretty much beat ourselves away to a much changed Rottingdean, in horrible conditions on a freezing cold and windy day, we were by far the better side for 70 minutes, going in 2-2 at half time with 2 great goals from Josh Mines and Conor Crabb, but in the latter stages, we then saw 20 minutes of madness, with 2 silly, self inflicted red cards in the space of 5 minutes, and on top of that, some players loosing the concentration and ability to work hard off the ball in the last 20, along with wasted chances - if we had stayed switched on and took our chances, including a couple of wasted set pieces in the last minutes of the game, we would have come away with at least a point, if not all 3. It was a long journey home that's for sure!
On to the next game we said, a tough one at home to St Francis Rangers, who had beaten us home and away last season. I had an even more depleted squad at my disposal for this one, with suspensions, injuries, work and family commitments all not helping - again, not an excuse though! I adapted the available players on the day and we played well, matching the opposition across the park and going in at the break at 0-0. St Francis came out of the blocks better than us to go 1-0 up on 55 mins, but then we drew level on 65 with a great team goal, well finished on the volley by Kai Williams, our youngest player! St Francis then went 2-1 up a minute later and some heads went down, concentration levels and focus again went awol and we suffered for the last 25 minute, getting beaten 5-1, by a well drilled and high tempo playing side for the full 90 minutes.
I'm not gonna lie, I was very disappointed with the performance of some team in these 2 games, but we have to look back and learn, to move on, improve and work hard to get some positive results during the remainder of the season, which of course is on hold at the moment due to the dreaded COVID-19 Virus.
The suspended period of training and matches until further notice will hopefully give each and every one of us time to reflect somewhat and think positively about how we apply ourselves to the remainder of this season when it hopefully gets going again and make positive plans for the future. ZERO NEGATIVITY. All the best and a very Happy New Year to all.
Up the Robins. Big Tone.