Shone vows to strive towards ‘criminal’ title for Heathens
FLACKWELL Heath boss Paul Shone has pledged to keep fighting for the Hellenic Premier title – although he admits it would be ‘criminal’ if they won it.
Although the Heathens bounced back from last week’s 5-0 drubbing at title-rivals Thame United by thrashing Oxford City Nomads 6-1 on Saturday, they are still the worst-placed of the three contenders.
Although Flackwell are just one point off second-placed Thame – and two off leaders Bracknell Town – both their rivals have three games in hand, meaning Flackwell have to keep winning and hope other teams do them a favour.
Shone said: “We let ourselves down at Thame. We were carrying too many passengers. They were ruthless in the final third and deserved to win, which has left us with an uphill task.
“We have to keep winning and keep putting the pressure on while hoping they drop points. We can go on a run, but so can Bracknell and Thame, so it’s a big ask. In fact it would be crimi- nal if one of them didn’t win it from here. But I said to the boys, with all the reshuffles the FA have every summer, you never know what might happen. Second or third may still get you promoted, so we need as many points as we can get.
“We’re still in two cups, besides which I’m a born winner who wants to win games, so there’s plenty still to play for, and there will be no let-up.”
Skipper Ben Sturgess bagged a brace against Nomads while Matt Stockhill, Liam Tack, Tom Willment and Dan Bayliss also netted.
But the Heathens will be without Bayliss when they visit Royal Wootton Bassett on Saturday as he will represent England schoolboys against their Scotland counterparts the night before.
Shone added: “It’s a massive weekend for Dan, and I’m not surprised to hear there are Football League clubs watching him – he has been superb for us this season.”
Meanwhile, Sturgess and Stockhill were on target again on Tuesday night – along with Dan Rapley – as the Heathens booked a place in the semi-finals of the Floodlit Cup with a 3-1 win at Fairford Town.
Flackwell’s Dan Molloy in action against Oxford City Nomads on Saturday