Stowmarket Town boss Paul Musgrove now focusing on confirming play-off place after conceding late on at Felixstowe & Walton United
Stowmarket Town manager Paul Musgrove accepts a crushing late goal at Felixstowe & Walton United on Tuesday has left his players to focus on the play-offs rather than a title chase.
Leaders Aveley’s loss to Hashtag United last Friday gave them renewed hope ahead of recording a 2-1 victory at relegation-threatened Witham Town on Saturday to close the gap to four points with a game in hand.
But despite Luke Brown giving them an 11th-minute lead in their re-arranged Suffolk derby at Felixstowe on Tuesday, they failed to cash that game in with three points with goals at either end of the second half seeing them end pointless.
Andre Hasanally had drawn the Seasiders level just before the hour mark with former AFC Sudbury player Billy Holland scoring what proved the winner for the play-off chasing side in the 83rd minute.
“We played well the first half and probably should have gone in more than 1-0 up,” said Musgrove.
“And when you only go in one up they can always get their noses back in the game and they did that very well really.
“I was disappointed with our second half performance and our intensity and willingness to win first and second balls.
“I hasten to add there was some very poor refereeing decisions which didn’t help us. It was the same referee we had at Aveley and he didn’t seem to have the courage to give the braver decisions.”
But with four points instead of one the gap going into tomorrow’s home game with against eighth-placed Dereham Town before they travel to lower-half side Coggeshall Town on Monday (both 3pm) he is now focusing on confirming their play-off place.
“You can always say it could have been this,” he said.
“I think everyone has got to look at themselves and we probably have fallen short of the title so it is a case of what can we do better? And we need to be striving to do that in every game and that is not just the players but the management as well.
“But we have got three games where the play-offs is still not 100 per cent guaranteed so we need to just move on to the next game which is Dereham.
“We need a 90-minute performance and then we very quickly move on to Coggeshall in the bank holiday Monday fixture.
“In a short space of time there is a lot of minutes for the boys to be had and if we secure that play-off place, if we are lucky enough to do that, the players need to be bang in form playing for that shirt making sure they don’t lose it going into that final bit.”
Willie Clemons is back from suspension tomorrow while Tevan Allen is almost ready to return to the squad following his knee injury.