NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Boss urges March Town not to fall away towards the end of a fine season

March Town manager Brett Whaley during their pre-season friendly against Deeping Rangers. Picture: I

March Town manager Brett Whaley during their pre-season friendly against Deeping Rangers. Picture: IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

March Town boss Brett Whaley has told his players to roll up their sleeves for the fight for a top-six finish.

The Hares chief is anxious to ensure an excellent season, in which the club have flirted with promotion in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, does not fade disappointingly.

A 2-0 defeat at Swaffham Town last Saturday left March sitting sixth in the standings – and that’s the lowest finishing position that Whaley will accept.

He said: “We’re at a stage of the season where we really needed to hit top form to stand a chance of going up, but we’ve actually had a dip if anything.

“We are just a little bit behind the top sides and the reality I we’re not quire ready to go up this season.

“The fact the loss at Swaffham was only our fifth defeat of the season shows how much progress we have made.

“Finishing in the top four is still a possibility for us and we definitely want to be in the top six at least after doing so welll.

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“The next stage is to try to turn half of our draws into wins next season and we will be challenging at the top end if we can do that.

“We had to make a lot of changes last summer and have then made other additions during the course of this season, but we’re now a point where we have a settled squad with a lot of quality and hopefully we can keep this group together.

“The one thing we lack is a little bit of experience and that’s something I can hopefully address in the summer.

Toby Allen slammed March’s best opportunity over bar in a blank first half, but the Hares were then undone by two Swaffham goals in the opening 15 minutes of the second period.

Whaley’s men created little in response and he has called for a reaction when they host Downham Town tomorrow in a GER derby clash, 3pm.

“It’s another big game,” added Whaley. “Downham are one of the teams who could knock us out of the top six so we need to get a result.

“We nicked a point at their place with nine men so we can take confidence from that, but they are a good side who work very hard.

“It will be a 100-miles-an-hour derby game and we’re going to have to do whatever is required to get something from it.”

March have signed highly-rated Peterborough Sports winger Jordan MacLeod on a dual registration deal for the rest of the season.