Momentum with us!

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Friday 23rd October 2020 7:16 am
Petersfield Town manager Mark Summerhill

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ONE result can transform a season – and Petersfield Town are proving that saying.

From the ashes of a dismal 2-1 home defeat by struggling Downton, the Rams earned a fine 0-0 draw at high-flying Farnham Town before knocking them out of the FA Vase on penalties.

The momentum continued through last week as Petersfield became late goal specialists, drawing 1-1 at Alton last Tuesday with an equaliser in the 87th minute and beating Newport (IoW) 2-1 at home last Saturday with a winner three minutes into stoppage time.

Petersfield manager Mark Summerhill said: “It’s funny how a week changes things in football. You think back to being beaten at home by the team at the bottom of the league, then suddenly we get a top result at Farnham and put in a really good performance at Alton.

“We were happy with a point after leaving it so late to score, then we won at home against a team who were unbeaten in six matches. There is an air of positivity around the squad after those three results.”

Summerhill praised his side’s never-say-die attitude but said this was coupled with an improvement in their form.

He said: “It’s a sign of real character to keep going and keep going, but also of how well we have been playing.

“Against Alton we rattled the crossbar in the first half and it’s probably still rattling now. We were attacking at will in both games against them and Newport, making good chances, and you always think you’re going to get one.”

Newport had a man sent off shortly before half-time following a bout of handbags after a late tackle, but the Rams boss felt his side were in control of the game before that.

He said: “Even against 11 men we were playing really well but missed some really good chances. But the good thing is we’re creating them, whereas in the past it was a case of defend really well and try to create a chance. Winning 3-1 or 4-1 would not have flattered us.”

Petersfield face a different test this Saturday when they travel to Totton & Eling, who lie third from bottom of the Wessex Division One with one win and seven defeats from their first eight matches.

Summerhill said: “Against Totton & Eling we mustn’t be complacent. Sometimes when it’s not a top side we don’t apply ourselves properly.

“It’s very easy to play our normal system when we’re under the cosh, but they might not come at us so we may have to play differently and set the tempo.”

Fortunately the need to open up a team has coincided with Petersfield having more attacking weapons at their disposal.

The departure of Will Webb to Wessex Premier high-fliers Horndean has seen Harry Nightingale step in as the perfect replacement with his strength and direct running down the right, while the return from injury of Bailey Newbury and Matt Low has given the Rams firepower up front.

Summerhill said: “Harry Nightingale has really got a spring in his step now and is looking a real threat.

“On Saturday Bailey Newbury took a really good chance and squandered two easy ones, but he’s getting in those positions and what he’s given us is a real goal threat.

“All of a sudden we’ve got Nightingale creating, Newbury in form and Low back, and we have an attacking threat, which really helps. I think the first half on Saturday contained the most really good efforts on goal by us in any game since I’ve been here. We’re playing really well – we’ve just got to do it at Totton & Eling and at Romsey next Tuesday as well.”