Burnett delight as Blackfield match Sholing run

Daily Echo: KEV GIBBENS (right) KEV GIBBENS (right)

HAVING been assistant manager when Blackfield & Langley won the Sydenhams Premier Division last season, Glenn Burnett knows title-winning form when he sees it.

With the mighty Sholing in the mix this term, even last season’s admirable record of nearly two-and-a-half points a game may not be enough to secure the crown this time round.

But, after losing some early ground on the Boatmen due to injury troubles at the start of the season, Blackfield have been matching Sholing point for point over the last nine games – a source of huge pride for Burnett in the wake of Saturday’s 3-1 home win over Bournemouth Poppies.

“That’s eight wins and a draw for us from the last nine games – the same record as Sholing,” he said. “They’ve scored four more and conceded one less than us during that time, but to match their record over the last nine is really pleasing.

“We’ve got all our players back now and it’s made a difference. Early on we were still getting results, but the side we’re putting out now is even stronger.”

New addition Wayne Crutcher, an experienced centre-back signed from Poppies, has fitted in seamlessly over the past two games and Burnett has strengthened central midfield by winning the race to sign Micky Hubbard from Wimborne Town.

Both featured on Saturday as two goals in quick succession by Kev Gibbens and Craig Feeney eventually broke Poppies’ resistance before Manny Soetan hit back after Martin Warren’s reply.

Gibbens pounced on the hour after Bournemouth ’keeper Jamie Bray had spilled a shot and then Feeney raced through to double Blackfield’s tally.

The Watersiders’ third was typical Soetan, ignoring the option to smash the ball into one corner and opting instead to delicately lift it over Bray into the other.

“For 65 minutes we were outstanding, but then I made three subs inside three or four minutes and it broke the game up a bit and they scored,” said Burnett. “But then we got hold of it again and Manny got his third goal in three games.

“Playing Poppies is always tough because (assistant boss) Chris Farrell left there and brought players here with him, so they’re always up for playing us. Their ’keeper had a good first half and brought off some big saves but we’re playing with a lot of confidence now.”

That confidence could come in handy on Saturday when Blackfield travel to Western One outfit Shepton Mallett looking to reach the FA Vase last 32 for the first time in their history.

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