NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: March Town making life tough for themselves in the promotion race
PUBLISHED: 08:49 17 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:49 17 January 2020
It's a case of two steps forward and one step back for March Town again.
The Hares endured another stutter in their Thurlow Nunn League First Division North promotion challenge last Saturday when falling to a 3-0 defeat at Ipswich Wanderers.
Brett Whaley's men fell behind midway through the first half and then saw their deficit double 10 minutes into the second period.
March were unable to respond after losing influential striker Craig Gillies to an ankle injury and a third Wanderers goal late on sealed their fate.
Keeper Charlie Congreve then prevented further damage in the dying moments by saving a penalty.
"It's the same old story of us being punished for our inconsistency," said Whaley.
"We weren't terrible by any means and it probably wasn't a 3-0 game, but we didn't do enough to get anything out of it.
"In our last nine games we have won two and then lost one three times. Every time we get close to the top four we seem to throw in a bad performance or result and have to drag ourselves back up again.
"It's a mentality thing and we have to approach each game as if it is a cup final. It doesn't matter who we are playing, each game is worth the same to us.
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"I could never question the work-rate of the players, but they stop doing the things they are good at when they come under pressure.
"Not enough players are brave enough to want the ball when the going is tough and that has to change."
March are one point outside the top four but boast games in hand on many of the other leading sides in the standings.
They host Cornard United at the GER tomorrow, 3pm, and it's a clash they cannot afford to take lightly.
Whaley's men were beaten 3-2 in the reverse fixture last month and can ill afford another slip up if their promotion dream is to become a reality.
Whaley added: "This is the type of fixture in which we have struggled at times, but we haven't lost back-to-back games for two seasons.
"The lads have proven many times that they react well to defeats and we have to ensure that is the case again.
"It's still in our hands in terms of finishing in the top four, but that won't be the case for much longer if we continue to throw in bad results.
"We're making things more difficult for ourselves than they need to be."
Latest signing Eoin McQuaid made his March debut in the defeat at Ipswich Wanderers.
The former Wisbech Town midfielder arrived last week from Step 4 side Dereham.