Dom Di Paola hailed the ‘amazing effort’ put in by the players over the first half of the season and insists we must ‘kick on’ if we are to continue hunting for an unprecedented play-off place.
After an exhilarating New Year’s Day derby win over Lewes, and Rob O’Toole’s breathtaking bicycle kick still being replayed over and over, we face another tricky encounter as we travel to Hornchurch this weekend.
The fixture will be our third top-of-the-table clash in four weeks, having also played the leading pair, Folkestone Invicta and Worthing, either side of Christmas Day.
The fourth-place Urchins are one place below us in the table but crucially have three games in hand, meaning a win for the Hornets would ramp up the pressure for the Essex side as they try to maintain the pace set by the top three.
Charlie Harris’ strike settled our previous encounter earlier in the season, a result which sent us top of the Isthmian Premier for the first time in 13 years.
Our current third place standing in a step three league is the highest we’ve ever been as we pass halfway through the season and Dom hailed his side for what they’ve achieved so far.
He said: “We’ve had what we asked for ,which is a nice, steady, enjoyable season with some really good moments.
“We’ve beaten Enfield, East Thurrock and Haringey. We’ve gone toe-to-toe with Folkestone both times and probably, on another day, could have got something out of both of them games.
“We played Worthing with ten men for 50 minutes and they didn’t outclass is and neither did Bognor when we played them. Then we’ve played teams like Merstham and Bowers and Pitsea and we’ve beaten them by big margins so it’s been an amazing effort by the boys.
“We’ve overachieved by miles, it’s incredible what we’ve done. Now we must kick on for the second half of the season and go from there and see whether we can create some more good moments.”
Asked about Saturday’s opponents, he added: “I’m never really worried who we’re up against, top or bottom because every team can cause another team problems.
“In the previous two years before the play-off win we were quite often the underdog and still beat some big teams at the top of the table so it doesn’t really matter. We’ve beaten Hornchurch already.
“You play the game that comes up and see how it goes and then you move on to the next one. Hopefully we’ll win more games than we lose in the second half of the season.”
Coach spaces are still available for this fixture. The return fare costs just £13, with the coach departing Hop Oast Park & Ride at 11.30am.
Call 01403 458854 or email email@example.com to confirm your seat. Payment is made during the journey.
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