Lakenheath manager Ben Cowling challenges players to build on their impressive win over Newmarket Town
Manager Ben Cowling took Lakenheath to Newmarket Town on Tuesday night believing that it was the start of a ‘defining period’ for his side.
Having not won in any competition since the second game of the season, Heath made the trip down the A11 sitting 17th in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division table.
Yet, there was no sign of any lack of confidence or self pity as they ran riot at the Tristel Stadium, scoring three times in either half to wrap up a memorable 6-0 win against a Newmarket team that had only lost for the first time in the league this season at the weekend.
Cowling hopes that it has given his team the necessary confidence to ‘kick on’ ahead of Saturday’s trip to Fakenham Town (3pm), followed by the visit of Swaffham Town on Tuesday (7.45pm) and then a match-up at home in the Buildbase FA Vase against Downham Town.
“I don’t think we’ve got the number of points our performances have deserved, but we’ve been naive at times and I told the players before this one to own where we were in the league – to own what was a bad run,” said Cowling, who saw his men lose 2-1 at home to Gorleston on Saturday.
“The players are better than where we are situated, so hopefully now this is a base. It has got to give them a lot of belief and confidence.
“We can’t now go and lose on Saturday. We’ve played Fakenham a lot in recent years and had some great battles. It will be a tough game, but we need to put in a similar performance to this one.
“Then we need to get off the mark at home against Swaffham, we really need to do that.
“I said to the players that this is a season defining nine or 10 days – this one, Fakenham, Swaffham and then Downham in the Vase.
“We’ve made a really good start with this, now we need to kick on.”
Cowling believes that one of the key contributing factors to the comprehensive win at Newmarket was the fact he had options – both on the pitch and off the bench.
Tom Debenham and Craig Nurse are both long-term absentees and Finley Logan was also absent, but decent availability meant Cowling had the rare luxury of being able to shuffle his pack.
“This is the first time this season – and pre-season – that we’ve had anything near a full squad,” he added.
“We just haven’t had that – on Saturday we had only 12 players.
“It’s been like that all the time. We’ve been getting people back from injury and because we’re short we’ve had to throw them straight in and they get another injury because of that.
“It makes such a difference and the changes we’ve made tonight have worked.
“Nick Castellan came in and played very well, Tom Walters gave us some control in midfield and the two willing runners up front have really stretched the game.
“Then, the players that have come off the bench, like Shaun (Avis) and Teddy (Webber), have made big contributions as well.”