In-form Daventry Town still have high hopes for 2014

KEY PLAYER - Daventry Town skipper Liam Dolman
KEY PLAYER - Daventry Town skipper Liam Dolman

Christmas is usually the time of the year in which clubs reflect on their progress, looking back over the first five months of the season and looking ahead to what the New Year may have in store for them!

Daventry Town started the season at 25/1 to win the Calor League Division One Central, those odds were slashed quickly as they stormed to the top, winning their first seven matches.

Daventry did not taste defeat until their 20th match including cups and friendlies.

That first defeat came at Dunstable, which Town lost by 3-1, and Dunstable have won all 10 games since beating Town.

Dunstable are a very difficult team to beat, their game at Communications Park on February 1 could prove to be a turning point for both clubs.

Town have only suffered one more league defeat since then, an injury ravaged team losing at promotion favourites Slough Town.

Dunstable and Slough will be contenders for the title next April, alongside Daventry and Rugby.

Daventry have an enviable home record in the league, having won all eight matches.

But it is the cup competitions that have excited the supporters during the first half of the season, in the FA Cup reaching the first round proper for the first time in their history, going out of the competition to Chesterfield by 2-0. It was an excellent run including memorable victories at Belper Town, Hartley Wintney and Grays Athletic. It also raised almost £30,000 in prize money!

The FA Trophy provided almost £13,000 in prize money too, but that run was ended by Maidenhead United of the Conference South.

And let’s not forget the Hillier Cup final next April.

It will be a return visit to Sixfields and the chance to return to Daventry with the county’s major senior football trophy.

The cup runs have enabled Daventry to build and retain a large squad; Luke Keen joins Ashley Robinson, Tom Lorraine and Scott Cross up front.

Town also have a very strong back line, we have four centre backs to choose from in Liam Dolman, Guy Sanders, Marcel Simpson and Joe Henderson.

They are ably supported by Ollie Wilkinson, Ashley Deeney, Josh Blake and Tom James as wing-backs and with two keepers to call upon, Richard Morris and Iurga Iustin.

The midfield is also very strong, Ryan Howell, Ross Oulton, Adam Confue, Neil King and Mykel Beckley.

It has been a fantastic start to what we hope will be a successful season for Daventry.

The coming months will determine whether we can push on and win promotion.

Here’s to a happy and successful New Year 2014.