‘No time for the beau­ti­ful game’

Vet­eran de­fender says United need to be bat­tle ready

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT - By Jon Batham tms-sport@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

In­juries and sus­pen­sions saw the for­mer Birm­ing­ham and Sh­effield Wed­nes­day de­fender sur­rounded by three debu­tants and oth­ers young enough to be his chil­dren as they crashed 3-0 away at fel­low Con­fer­ence South strug­glers Weald­stone on Mon­day night.

All three goals came in a hor­ren­dous first 21 min­utes for United and the de­feat fol­lowed a sim­i­larly dam­ag­ing loss at home to rel­e­ga­tion-haunted St Al­bans on Satur­day.

Vet­eran Purse’s fa­therly ad­vice to new re­cruits Luke Ifil, Kyle Clin­ton, Aaron Tumwa and oth­ers is they had bet­ter get some warpaint on their fresh faces – and quickly.

“Foot­ball is not game,” he said.

“Ev­ery time you walk out on that pitch I wouldn’t say you are go­ing to war, but you are go­ing into bat­tle against some­body who is play­ing against you.

“You look at U21 matches and de­vel­op­ment matches and they are very pretty.

“It is about get­ting the ball down and play­ing, but it doesn’t pre­pare you for Cham­pi­onship, League One or League Two foot­ball, never mind Con­fer­ence

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pretty South foot­ball. You need to roll your sleeves up some­times and in­vari­ably the team that works hard­est in a foot­ball match will win a foot­ball match.

“That’s what we haven’t done the last cou­ple of games, where we have been bul­lied by more ex­pe­ri­enced sides.

“When you are a young lad com­ing in, if some­one is wor work­ing harder than you you need to look in the mir­ror and thin think ‘is foot­ball the right ca­reer for m me?’

““I think a lot of play­ers have got to do that.”

W With that warn­ing voiced, the 39-year-old, whose league car ca­reer of nearly 600 games als also in­cluded stints at Ley­ton Or Ori­ent, Cardiff and Ox­ford, str struck a more pos­i­tive note.

P Prior to this week’s events, Un United had lost just one game in seven, a run in­clud­ing vic vic­to­ries over Ox­ford City, We­ston-Su­per-Mare and White­hawk, plus draws at lead­ers Ebb­s­fleet and pr pro­mo­tion-chas­ing Dart­ford.

Purse says the key to that ru run was a set­tled side and with reg­u­lars like Jor­dan Brown and Manny Wil­liams ex­pected to re­turn over the next cou­ple of games, he re­mains con­fi­dent United will avoid the drop.

“We are in a mas­sive rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle,” he said.

“But I know when we have got our best eleven out with ev­ery­one fit we are a match for any­body in this league, be­cause the nu­cleus of the team is de­cent and with it we will pick up points and stay up.

“Hope­fully we can get back to that team sooner rather than later, be­cause if we lose one or two from that side and have to carry peo­ple then it makes it dif­fi­cult.”

Mean­while, it was a bad week­end for the South­ern League sides as Uxbridge were beaten by St Ives Town, while North­wood lost at home to Egham. AFC Hayes lost 4-3 in a Com­bined Coun­ties Premier thriller with Raynes Park Vale. RUIS­LIP boxer Luke Robin­son made his first steps into the pro­fes­sional sport by pro­duc­ing a knock­out per­for­mance in his maiden bout.

With a suc­cess­ful am­a­teur ca­reer be­hind him, there have been high hopes for the 24-year-old – and he did not strug­gle to live up to them at York Hall.

“I feel like I’ve landed on my feet,” said Robin­son af­ter the fight. “It was great that my friends and fam­ily made the ef­fort to come o overer and cheer me on and meant the world to me.

“I’ve been re­ally lucky to have some lo­cal busi­nesses of­fer to spon­sor me and help sup­port my ca­reer and with such a good team around me I am hop­ing it’s only a mat­ter of time be­fore I start to bring ti­tles back to Ruis­lip.”

Backed by a loud set of sup­port­ers who had made the trip over to Beth­nal Green, the light heavy­weight took only one round to de­feat ex­pe­ri­enced Hun­gar­ian op­po­nent Ta­mas Dank.

A solid de­but saw Robin­son utilise the skills that had served him so well in am­a­teur box­ing and he looked just as com­fort­able un­der the bright lights along with the pres­sures that it brings.

He has signed pro­fes­sional terms with Good­win Pro­mo­tions and plans a ca­reer that he hopes will see him bring ti­tles back to the area.

Robin­son looks to con­tinue his im­pres­sive form back at York Hall on July 1 and tick­ets can be pur­chased at www.ibox­ingtick­ets.com.

n STRUG­GLERS: Weald­stone’s Matty Har­riott takes on Hayes & Yead­ing dur­ing his side’s 3-0 vic­tory; (below) ex­pe­ri­enced United de­fender Dar­ren Purse Photo by Alan Palmer Pho­tog­ra­phy

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