‘It’s point­less hav­ing tar­get’

Hay­lock says United are just try­ing to win all games FOOT­BALL

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT - By Tim Street tim.street@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

United let a two-goal lead slip at Ox­ford City on Satur­day to leave them lan­guish­ing in what is a very tight Na­tional League South drop zone as the sea­son nears its cli­max.

Only Bas­ingstoke at the foot of the ta­ble seem doomed, with sec­ond-bot­tom St Al­bans right be­hind Hay­lock’s men and were due to play their game in hand last night (Tues­day).

United now have three games to save their skin, start­ing at home to Con­cord Rangers this week­end, but as far as Hay­lock is con­cerned, what will be will be.

He said: “I never get caught up in set­ting tar­gets, there’s no point in it.

“I could sit here and say we need this many wins and this many points, but it could all change with the next set of fix­tures.

“It’s tough enough as it is, why worry? We will just try to win all our games and see where it takes us.

“We will prob­a­bly need to win all our games now, but so could other teams.

“I will put some pres­sure on the play­ers and try to get a re­ac­tion. I’ve tried to take the pres­sure off them, but now it’s time to ram it down their throats.

“I was rel­e­gated as a player and it’s not a nice feel­ing.

“We need to step it up, es­pe­cially as we’ll be mov­ing into the new sta­dium next sea­son, and it would be good to do so as a Con­fer­ence South club.

“It’s a fab­u­lous fa­cil­ity and I can’t wait to be play­ing there.

“The sooner the bet­ter and then we can start build­ing this club again. We just need to get over the line on and off the pitch.”

At half time last S a t u r d a y, Un ited looked des­tined to es­cape the drop zone, af­ter go­ing 2-0 up at Ox­ford City thanks to an own goal and an El­liot t Benyon strike.

But two o sec­ond half goals from the hosts earned them a share of the spoils and de­nied Hay­lock’s men what would have been a cru­cial three points.

The draw did at least end a three-game los­ing streak for United, who also play rel­e­ga­tion ri­vals Bath City at home on Satur­day week be­fore fin­ish- ing their cam­paign at Gosport Bor­ough.

Else­where, Uxbridge en­joyed a ter­rific 2-0 home win over Bed­ford Town in the South­ern League Di­vi­sion One Cen­tral. North­wood were beaten 4-2 by Leighton Town. AFC Hayes were beaten 2-1 at Chess­ing­ton & Hook United in the Com­bined Coun­ties Premier Di­vi­sion. TOM Helm has been tipped by Mid­dle­sex and Eng­land crick­eter Steven Finn to reach the top.

The 21-year-old (pic­tured) made his de­but for the county last sum­mer be­fore suf­fer­ing a stress frac­ture that ended his sea­son be­fore it re­ally be­gan.

And he has been touted as the most tal­ented young bowler that Finn, who has 113 Test wick­ets in his ca­reer so far, has seen.

He said: “Tom Helm, in my opin­ion, is the most tal­ented young bowler I’ve ever seen. I don’t want to pump his tyres up too much as he’s got a lot of learn­ing to do still.

“He’s got some­thing dif­fer­ent and spe­cial. You watch him bowl and you think it’s beau­ti­ful. It’s easy, it’s quick and it’s swing­ing both ways at will.

“If he can stay in­jury free, he’ll be a very good player in the fu­ture for Mid­dle­sex and hope­fully higher than that.”

Helm, nat­u­rally, was flat­tered by Finn’s praise, jok­ing that he once wanted the Eng­land in­ter­na­tional to sign his shirt de­spite wear­ing the same kit, but his first fo­cus is to prove his fit­ness now his in­jury trou­bles are hope­fully be­hind him.

“I started bowl­ing again on Mon­day af­ter I had a set­back at the Oval two weeks ago,” he said.

“I haven’t bowled much over the last year but the drills I’ve done have me in a good place. I’ll be ready to rock and roll when I get the chance.

He added: “First off, I want to stay on the pitch all sea­son. I want to do the right things in tak­ing wick­ets for the sec­ond team and get back in the squad.

“I don’t ex­pect to jump straight into the first team. I need to prove I’m fit and do the right thing.”

Helm has also en­joyed work­ing with di­rec­tor of cricket Angus Fraser and bowl­ing coach Richard John­son.

He said: “Gus is al­ways there with open ears and will give ad­vice if you ask him. He’s fan­tas­tic to have about. You can only look up to him.

“Richard’s got a great crop of seam bowlers but we’re blessed to have the coaches we have and, for me, in par­tic­u­lar Jonno. He’s as good a bowl­ing coach as there is out there. It’s great for us.”

Com­pe­ti­tion for places is fierce with Finn, Toby Roland-Jones, James Harris and Tim Murtagh all bat­tling Helm for a place in the side.

The 21-year-old said: “There’s a lot of com­pe­ti­tion for places. They’re the guys you’re up against. Once you do get there, you know the work you’ve put in. It’s a chal­lenge, but there’s a great re­ward.”

n TOUGH TIME: (Above) Hayes & Yead­ing could still climb to safety this sea­son, says Garry Hay­lock (be­low)

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