‘We can get to next level’

Saints keeper says they can go up in 2015/16 Meakin looks for a good sign

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

THEY might have blown it for this sea­son, but Mike McEn­te­gart reck­ons Chal­font St Peter have all the right cre­den­tials for a pro­mo­tion-chas­ing side.

A su­perb run of form be­fore Christ­mas cat­a­pulted the Saints into the South­ern One Cen­tral play-off places, but a run of six games with­out a win since New Year’s Day has seen them slip back to 11th and 12 points off the top five.

But keeper McEn­te­gart, a sum­mer sign­ing from Big­gleswade Town, has seen enough to con­vince him­self that the Saints can re­group and make an­other push for the play-offs next year.

The Chal­font cus­to­dian should know a thing or two about what it takes, hav­ing played in the Big­gleswade side which won pro­mo­tion to the South­ern Pre­mier through the end of sea­son lot­tery two years ago.

He said: “Big­gleswade were a bit like Chal­font – a small vil­lage club which has been built up by good peo­ple and es­tab­lished them­selves at a de­cent level.

“They got a squad to­gether which was ca­pa­ble of push­ing on to the next level and through a lot of hard work and to­geth­er­ness we man­aged to do it.

“That’s not to take away from the fact that we had some good play­ers at Big­gleswade, as well as a fan­tas­tic team spirit, which helps you through some of the more testing times when you’re go­ing for that top five place.

“I have seen a lot of similarities here too. [Manager] Danny Ed­wards has put squad of tal­ented play­ers to­gether, and we showed when we went on that run what we are ca­pa­ble of.

“There’s no rea­son why we can’t do it again.

“It’s been a wide open league all sea­son, and I gen­uinely be­lieve we are good enough to be a top five side with the play­ers we have, but this ex­pe­ri­ence will stand us in good stead.”

Chal­font looked set to pull off an up­set at ti­tle-chas­ing Bedworth last Satur­day when Aaron Lan­siquot

THE RIGHT STUFF: (Left) Keeper Mike McEn­te­gart; (above) John Car­roll got a con­so­la­tion goal against Bedworth gave them an early lead, but the hosts equalised be­fore the break, while two goals in as many min­utes af­ter it wrapped up the win.

John Car­roll pulled one back in in­jury time, but it was too lit­tle too late and Chal­font lost 3-2. They will be look­ing to bounce back at home to North­wood on Satur­day. GARY Meakin hopes to have two new sign­ings in place by the time his Bea­cons­field SYCOB side visit North Green­ford United on Satur­day, Street.

The SYCOB boss has added a few ex­pe­ri­enced heads to com­ple­ment their tal­ented young­sters since re­turn­ing to the club last month. But he feels a cou­ple more are needed to com­plete a squad he feels will pull Bea­cons­field away from the South­ern One Cen­tral drop zone.

He said: “I’m hop­ing to get a cou­ple more in at­tack­ing-wise and then we should be done. They’re in the pipe­line and hope­fully we’ll have them in place by the week­end.”

Meakin wants to give his for­ward line a boost af­ter they squan­dered a num­ber of chances to beat rel­e­ga­tion ri­vals Leighton Town in Satur­day’s 1-1 draw, with Vic­tor Osubu the worst cul­prit, de­spite open­ing the scor­ing with his sec­ond goal since re­turn­ing to the club.

Meakin said: “It was a frus­trat­ing draw con­sid­er­ing the amount of chances we cre­ated – if we had won 8-1, Leighton would have had few com­plaints.

“Vic­tor missed his fair share, but at least he got his goal and if he keeps knock­ing them in we’ll both be happy. I only had him for one game last sea­son. His pace scares de­fend­ers and gives us a dif­fer­ent op­tion.”

The point nev­er­the­less kept SYCOB level on points with Leighton and six above the dan­ger zone, as well as 10 clear of their hosts on Satur­day, who have games in hand but look doomed.

Meakin added: “There’s no place for any kind of sen­ti­ment in foot­ball – we’ll be look­ing to put an­ther nail in North Green­ford’s cof­fin on Satur­day.

“We may have only won once since I came back, but we have only lost twice, and they were to pro­mo­tion-chas­ing sides Ket­ter­ing and Rugby – one to an in­jury time win­ner. As long as we fin­ish out­side the bot­tom two, that’s all that mat­ters.”

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