‘Things are re­ally click­ing this year’

Mid­fielder be­lieves squad has where­withal to be in play-offs

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT - By Tim Street tim.street@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

ALEX Paine reck­ons Chal­font St Peter have got what it takes to still be in the South­ern One Cen­tral play­off places at the end of the sea­son.

A run of seven wins in eight games cat­a­pulted the Saints from float­ing just above the rel­e­ga­tion scrap­pers into the top five.

And although last week’s de­feat at lead­ers Ket­ter­ing brought an end to their run of six wins on the spin, Chal­font bounced back with a 1-0 win over Bed­ford on Satur­day.

And mid­fielder Paine, who is now in his third sea­son at Mill Meadow fol­low­ing his switch from North Green­ford United, be­lieves a play-off push is within their grasp.

“I def­i­nitely think we can do it,” he said. “The gaffer has brought in three or four good play­ers who have added to the qual­ity of the squad and have re­ally helped us click.

“The run has stuck us in the play-off po­si­tions, and that’s what we want to aim for. The next few games lead­ing up to Christ­mas will be im­por­tant to see if we can sus­tain it.

“We had a strong squad last year but it didn’t work out. Things are re­ally click­ing this year though, and the team has more con­fi­dence and self-belief now.

“We’ve got a re­ally good team spirit, and the run gave us even more of a boost. Even be­fore that we felt we were hard to beat though.

“We also strug­gled with goals in pre­vi­ous sea­sons but are scor­ing more this year, which is im­por­tant if we’re go­ing to stay up there.”

One of those three new play­ers, Adam Louth, net­ted the only goal of the game against Bed­ford with a free kick, quickly ban­ish­ing mem­o­ries of the Ket­ter­ing de­feat and set­ting up the Saints nicely for Satur­day’s trip to Ayles­bury United, who they beat 3-0 only six weeks ago.

Paine added: “It was im­por­tant to bounce back and get the three points to prove it wasn’t all just a flash in the pan. The run had to come to an end at some point, and now we have to start another one.

“We lost to a good team, and there’s no shame in los­ing to a team like Ket­ter­ing. It looks like they will win the league, and we could have got more from the game than we did.

“We got back on track by beat­ing Bed­ford in tough con­di­tions, and we will be look­ing for three points again at Ayles­bury to keep the mo­men­tum go­ing.”

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