We need sup­port­ers to roar us on says man­ager

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT -

Around 250 of the Stones faith­ful made the trip to South­port for Satur­day’s last-32 tie in the FA Tro­phy with Bartlett call­ing the qual­ity of their sup­port be­fore, dur­ing and after the 2-1 vic­tory, among the best he has ever ex­pe­ri­enced in his long man­age­ment ca­reer.

It was all in marked con­trast to six weeks ago, when sec­tions of the away sup­port were vo­cal in a dif­fer­ent way dur­ing the de­feat to Hunger­ford.

And while Bartlett doesn’t ex­pect as many to make the shorter sea­side trip to We­ston­super-Mare for Satur­day’s Na­tional League South clash, he has called on the fan­base to pre­serve their vo­cal chords for match days home or away for what could be an ex­cit­ing last three months or so of the cam­paign.

“Speak­ing per­son­ally, Satur­day was one of my proud­est days,” said the Stones boss. “Six weeks ago it was all doom and gloom when, after the Hunger­ford game, the fans gave us some stick, whereas Satur­day was the best at­mos­phere – per­haps along with the FA Tro­phy win at Cam­bridge a few years ago – I can re­mem­ber.

“They clapped us off after the warm-up and then we could hear them singing while we were sit­ting in the dress­ing-room.

“The emo­tions at the end were made all the more spe­cial by vic­tory which you knew meant so much to so many peo­ple.

“They can be flat some­times though, and then it is up to us to try and spark them, but we are in this to­gether. We don’t want to play badly and they don’t want to be flat.

“The next few months could be ex­cit­ing but from the mo­ment the ref­eree blows the first whis­tle un­til he blows the last, ev­ery­one has to do their part to get us over the next hur­dle.”

We­ston prom­ise to be a more for­mi­da­ble test than per­haps they might have been just weeks ago hav­ing, like the Stones, ex­pe­ri­enced some­thing of an up­turn in for­tunes.

“They have picked up a cou­ple of play­ers and turned a cor­ner,” added Bartlett.

“But all our re­cent games have been tight against teams at the top of our league, and we have com­peted in ev­ery one of them.

“If we play to our ca­pa­bil­i­ties I be­lieve we can get the re­sult.

“If we can get a lit­tle run go­ing maybe we can give our­selves an out­side chance of get­ting into the play-off po­si­tions – it is go­ing to be tough, but there is a lot of pos­i­tiv­ity around at the mo­ment.

The Stones are due to face the win­ners of last night’s re­play be­tween Brack­ley and Stock­port County – a game which kicked off after the Gazette went to press.

For the Weald­stone man­ager’s thoughts on the win­ners of that tie, go to getwest­lon­don.co.uk/al­labout/weald­stone-fc.

VI­TAL: Gor­don Bartlett has urged Stones fans, inset, to keep cheer­ing on his team. Pic­ture: John-Pa­trick Fletcher (inset: Steve Foster/Har­row Sport)

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