Burns bids for perfect ten to save the Robins
WES Burns is targeting a haul of ten goals this term, and if the on-loan forward can indeed reach double figures he might just preserve Cheltenham’s Football League status.
Burns capitalised on a defensive mix-up to give the Robins an early lead over play-off chasing Newport County on Friday night – his fourth goal since joining on loan from Bristol City at the start of February.
But Miles Storey levelled proceedings just before half-time at Rodney Parade as the visitors were forced to settle for a point that keeps them embroiled in a scrap for survival.
They now travel to midtable Portsmouth on Tuesday night and after causing Newport leftback David Tutonda no end of trouble – the 19-year-old was substituted early in the second half – Burns insists he is full of belief.
“The more game-time I’m getting, the more my confidence grows and that is starting to show on the pitch now,” he said.
“When you’re a winger it’s a compliment when the other team takes the fullback you’re up against off the field.
“It was a good decision for them because it wasn’t working for the left-back. We go again on Tuesday and hopefully we can get all three points.
“After the Accrington away game, I set myself a target of five goals for the season but I think we could maybe be looking at double figures if I carry on the way I am now.”
Burns pounced with just 13 minutes on the clock as he rounded Joe Day and slotted into the unguarded net following a mix-up between the goalkeeper and defender Kevin Feely.
Storey met Ryan Jackson’s 38th-minute cross and looped a header over Trevor Carson to equalise before Feely nodded County’s best second-half chance over the bar from close-range.
In truth, the draw, which extends the Exiles’ winless streak to three games, was a hammer blow to their play-off chances as Jimmy Dack still searches for his first home win since taking charge.
The next opportunity comes on Tuesday against Luton, and assistant manager Wayne Hatswell is eyeing an improved attacking display. “We had to come back from a goal behind and we just couldn’t quite find that finishing touch in the final third,” admitted Hatswell.
“The goal knocked the stuffing out of us but we rallied and it was a great header from Miles.
“We just didn’t have that quality in the final third that you need to win games like this.
“It’s a point gained for them but we’ll take another point on the board and the play-offs are still in our hands.
“We’ve got Luton at home on Tuesday and we just need to get that win on the board – the sooner, the better.”
STAR MAN WES BURNS Chelten