Players have to sharpen up if Daventry are to clinch promotion

QUIET NIGHT - Mykel Beckley struggled to impose himself in the 3-0 defeat to Dunstable
QUIET NIGHT - Mykel Beckley struggled to impose himself in the 3-0 defeat to Dunstable

Never mind the Division One Central title race, Daventry Town are now in grave danger of missing out on the play-off places after Dunstable Town became the first team to do the double over them so far this season.

On Tuesday night the Bedfordshire club matched Kettering Town’s recent 3-0 winning scoreline at Communications Park to leave Darran Foster’s weary team with only four points from their last five matches.

Dunstable are now within a point of league leaders Rugby Town who were held to a goalless draw at Aylesbury on a night when the Poppies 
lost 3-1 to in-form Barton Rovers.

Slough Town’s seven-goal haul at struggling North Greenford was always on the cards, but few can have predicted Daventry’s tame response having been unbeaten at home during the first six months of the campaign.

Long ball tactics reminiscent of the old days in the UCL will bring the Town little joy against the better teams in the Southern League, with both the defence and midfield players needing to get their acts together quickly.

Frankly, manager Foster can perm any two up front from Scott Cross, Will Green, Ashley Robinson, Tommy Berwick and Luke Keen without it making the slightest difference unless the rest of the team rediscovers its passing skills.

Wide runners James Husband and Mykel Beckley also looked totally ineffective against Dunstable, and the skilful if over-elaborate Josh O’Grady should be recalled to the midfield at Marlow on Saturday.

Meanwhile leading scorer Robinson faces up to three weeks on the sidelines with a knee injury whilst Ross Oulton’s 10th yellow card of the season will earn him a further two-match ban.

With the transfer deadline now passed, Foster will have to make do with the players he has already got after failing to sign a defender from cash-strapped Corby Town.

The early return of Cross from a loan spell at Wellingborough has added to the number of players available, but the team is currently a shadow of the side which did so well before Christmas.

That early-season winning streak in the league and heroic exploits in both the FA Cup and Trophy have become distant memories as the current side slips further and further into mediocrity!

A trio of up coming away games against competent mid-table teams in Marlow, Uxbridge and Egham will see the Town lose further ground on the other promotion hopefuls unless the players buck their ideas up.

Even the NFA Hillier Senior Cup final against UCL minnows Cogenhoe United at Sixfields a week on Tuesday is no longer a foregone conclusion for a Daventry team which has lost its way at a vital stage of the season

Manager Foster and his assistant Neil Champelovier will need all their powers of persuasion if a season that promised so much is not to end in bitter disappointment in a month’s time!