27th January 2020 - Patchway bosses to do "Everything it takes"
PATCHWAY Town assistant manager Tim Minihane insists he and boss Phil Vice will do "everything it takes" to retain their Marcliff Gloucestershire County League status.
The Scott Park outfit remain precariously placed bottom of the pile and in urgent need of more uplifting afternoons like the one they enjoyed last weekend, when new signing Jamie Packer’s goal on the stroke of half-time proved sufficient to see off hosts Hanham Athletic 1-0 for only a third victory of a tough programme so far.
Former Tytherington Rocks supremo Minihane enthused: "It was our second win since I’ve been involved with Patchway and we were delighted, not least with the clean sheet.
"We played brilliantly in the first half when the Hanham keeper made some great saves and had to, while the second half was more of a battle.
"We’re trying to improve competition for places: a lot of players were getting picked as they had no one else available.
"We do have a good bunch of lads here; no one purposely plays badly. And we haven’t always had the rub of the green."
Minihane reflected: "Against Gala Wilton recently it was nil-nil and we looked good for a point until injuries and a red card for Matty Webb, who has missed our last two games through suspension as a consequence, cost us dear and we ended up losing 3-0.
"We played very well too against Thornbury in the GFA Trophy before losing 4-2 there although we did go on and perform poorly against Boco in the League Cup to lose 3-0 at home when it seemed as though we’d slipped into a few previous bad habits.
"On Saturday we viewed the Hanham game as a must-win one as a victory for them would have taken them 11 points clear of us.
"Instead we reduced the gap to five points and we still have to play them at home. It also kept us within touching distance of Ruardean Hill and Broadwell immediately above us."
Minihane and Co now gear up for another important test tomorrow at home against a tenth-placed Henbury team (2pm) they trail by only seven points.
"We should have five players back for that one and hopefully some new faces in the squad too," the Patchway No.2 revealed.
"It’s important we get squad numbers up as our reserves have been struggling too in the District Senior Division. Fresh faces keep people on their toes and commitment levels up. Passengers are no longer welcome.
"Things have been looking up: we’ve won two, drawn one and lost one of our last four league games. I’m working well with the manager Phil as we have similar ideas when it comes to formations and personnel.
"It bodes well for the rest of the season but we can’t rest on our laurels. We’re confident we can pull away from danger but alert too as there’s much work still to be done."
Minihane acknowledges Patchway as a club have been hit hard by tragedy this season, with the death last summer of ex player and dedicated clubman Jason Franklin followed more recently by the passing of another of the club’s long-serving former players and manager Darren Butt in an M32 car collision on his 40th birthday.
Minihane explained: "Memorial matches were held in honour of Darren at Bradley Stoke Community Centre last Sunday involving friends and former team-mates, including those from Stokeside, Little Stoke and Hallen.
"Hundreds turned up to support it and attend a fund-raising event at Patchway Sports & Social Club afterwards where there was a live band and raffle draws.
"Of course the club continues to extend heartfelt condolences to Darren’s family."