Timely boost for Chelmsford test

Tommy Widdrington
Tommy Widdrington
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Tommy Widdrington is delighted with how his players have reacted to last week’s disappointing defeat to Havant & Waterlooville (writes Adam Skinner).

They won 2-1 at Basingstoke on Tuesday night and he thinks his side are in good shape ahead of the visit of Chelmsford City in the Skrill South on Saturday.

“It was a great response from the lads,” the Borough boss said.

“We were disappointed with the (Havant & Waterlooville) result and they responded really well.” And his players might well be in responsive mood again on Saturday as they seek revenge for the 3-0 drubbing from Chelmsford in the reverse fixture in Essex.

The links between the club run far deeper than that, however, as Widdrington was approached about the managerial post at Chelmsford earlier in the season. After former manager Dean Holdsworth was dismissed, Widdrington emerged as their number one target, and despite holding talks with the club, he opted to stay at Priory Lane. Widdrington was keen to play down any significance and believes he made the correct decision by staying at Borough

“I’ve got nothing but admiration for both clubs,” he added.

“But I’ve spent 18 months building this side and I don’t want someone coming into the club and taking credit for what I’ve built here.”

Borough are currently eighth in the Skrill South and still very much on the coat tails of the play-off spots, just two points behind fifth placed Weston-Super-Mare.

They have games in hand on them and Bath City, both of whom stand in their way of that coveted position,

Saturday’s opponents have endured something of a dip in form since dismissing their manager with the win at home to Bromley last Saturday, their only victory since January.

But beating the league leaders along with a respectable 1-0 loss at Eastleigh in mid-week means they’ll be no pushovers on Saturday.

“They’ve definitely turned their season round, they’ve rallied the troops and their last two results show how much they’ve improved.”

He should have the luxury of picking from a fully fit squad and he was delighted to report that both Sam Cole and Simon Johnson are nearing 100 per cent fitness.

Elvis Hammond, who was impressive in grabbing another goal on Tuesday night looks set to continue in attack, while Widdrington revealed he was yet to decide on a system.

He counteracted Basingtoke’s direct style by converting to a back five in the week and is toying with the idea again for Saturday’s clash.

See Tuesday’s Gazette for match report