Hadleigh United’s Stuart Alston has admitted he is prepared to be ‘Mr Unpopular’ at The Millfield this season in a bid to keep the Brettsiders in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, writes Russell Claydon.
With the prospect of up to seven teams, instead of three, being relegated at the end of the season under the FA’s restructuring of the National League System, the Hadleigh boss has admitted he is considering fielding reserve players in games against the top sides, where he feels they will have little chance of gaining points.
After Saturday’s pleasing 3-0 win at home to Fakenham, with Aaron Bull (2) and Michael Barwick on target, the Hadleigh boss described his players as looking ‘leggy’ in an ‘horrendous’ display in Monday’s 2-1 defeat (Gilvray) at FC Clacton.
But he has revealed he is likely to make wholesale changes for the visit of unbeaten title-challengers Felixstowe & Walton United on Tuesday (7.45pm), following Saturday’s trip to Walsham-le-Willows (3pm).
“I am probably going to play a second string team on Tuesday to keep the boys fresh to go for a win in the FA Vase on the Saturday,” he said. “We went there and lost 1-0 last season and they beat us 4-0 here. It is no good putting in a fantastic performance and losing 1-0 and picking injuries.
“I will probably not be popular with the fans, but we are not fighting Felixstowe in the league and we know the games we need to win.”
n Long Melford ended a run of five straight defeats in all competitions to earn their first league win on Tuesday, with Josh Hodgson’s strike recording a 1-0 victory at Stanway Rovers, following a 1-0 home loss to Wroxham on Saturday. The Villagers travel to Godmanchester this weekend (3pm).