Confidence all-round ahead of a testing week of fixtures

A weekend of potentially challenging fixtures are ahead for Chatteris Town. The 1st Team, Reserve Team and the ‘A’ Team are all in action tomorrow, but each are not guaranteed an easy ride for what could be a testing time for Ashley Taylor’s, Benji Brittin’s and Roger Manchett’s sides.

Speaking on the Lilies’ visit to eighth-placed Hardwick, Taylor, however, feels there is not much to be nervous about for his squad.

“We are looking forward to the game. We want to be challenged and this is definitely a tough challenge as Hardwick have been blowing away teams so far this season. The game plan will be slightly different as I know Hardwick play a different system, but I don’t think about the opposition too much. The main thing for us is to concentrate on what we are best at and we go into the game full of confidence.”

Consistency has also worked in the Lilies’ favour, having extended their unbeaten start to the campaign with a 3-1 victory away to fellow Kershaw Premier League side Brampton in the League Cup a fortnight ago, followed by a 5-0 demolition of Sawston United. Due to this, there is a growing sense of belief that a run of solid performances can be put together, not just on home turf.

“We proved we can go to tough away grounds and get results”, Taylor added. “No disrespect to Brampton as they are a good team, but this is a tougher test against a team that finished second last season, so let’s be challenged and see what we’ve got.”

The second string face one of their pre-season opponents in AFC Barley Mow in the Creake Charity Shield. Also on an unbeaten run after two straight draws, although not at their strongest, manager Benji Brittin is still optimistic for his players against the Mead Plant & Grab 2B outfit.

“We have, again, a weak squad with a lot of players carrying injuries and who are away”, Brittin said. “New players will be used so I can look at them for later selection, but I have faith in the lads. The mood is strong and positive. We have a quality squad, and once we settle into our campaign, we’ll be okay.”

But even without a fully-fit side, Brittin remains upbeat in terms of squad selection, which could prove to be the catalyst for an upturn in form in both league and cup competitions.

“The balance for my starting eleven is proving difficult, but it’s a nice headache to have. Rotating players will also improve our chances. I’ll pick a starting eleven I think that have worked and proved to me they can do the job I ask. As things stand, I’m happy.

“Cups and trophies are always good for the club and the players. It’s down to the lads if they want it bad enough, and if they do, their football will shine through and win them.”

Two consecutive wins have seen Roger Manchett’s ‘A’ Team climb to second in the Mead Plant & Grab 4B table, but face stiff opponents in Hemingfords United ‘A’ in their third successive league match at West Street.

“The ‘A’ Team have been in good form as the results show”, Manchett said. “We’ve got a good bunch of lads who listen and always try to play football, so the signs are very encouraging.

“Hemingfords won 7-2 last week, so they will be no pushovers, but we will carry on playing the same as the last two weeks as we are creating a lot of chances.”

Things up-front may be running smoothly, but according to Manchett, things may also need to be worked on defensively.

“We will need to be tighter at the back as we are without Matthijs, who has been our captain, and a couple of our key defenders, but hopefully we will get another three points.”

All games kick-off tomorrow afternoon at 3pm.



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