Best is yet to come for March Town after successive league defeats
- Credit: Ian Carter
March Town boss Arran Duke believes his side have enough quality to show what they are truly capable of at step five after suffering back-to-back defeats.
The Hares were edged by Lakenheath in a 4-3 thriller on Tuesday night at the GER, despite goals from Jack Friend, Craig Gillies and Josh Burrows.
That defeat came after Hadleigh United beat Duke’s men 2-0 last Saturday.
Those games marked Town’s first in the Eastern Counties League Premier Division since 1997, and despite defeat, there is plenty to be positive about.
Speaking after the Lakenheath game, Duke said: “It’s a game we were in and not fully at the races, but a game we competed in and not being too far away from where we need to be to win.
“Both sides made their own problems. From our second goal, it was their problem and we made problems for their goals.
“Did we expect an open game? Probably not.
“We’re still learning as we go on and we’re having to learn quickly with the players that have come in, got injured and we have to deal with it.”
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Seven March players are either injured or in self-isolation, including Dean Miller who limped off with a groin injury in midweek and Jack Frohawk owing to a hamstring injury.
But Duke is keen not to use player absences as an excuse and has confidence his team can improve.
“We’ve got players dropping like flies, but that’s why we’ve got a big squad and I’m never going to use that as an excuse,” said Duke.
“Keeping clean sheets is important and we haven’t done that, it’s something that’s probably a lot of our mistakes.
“Maybe it’s nerves or anxiety when we do let our standards drop for brief periods and we get punished.”
March visit Bugbrooke St Michaels of the United Counties League Premier Division South in an FA Cup extra preliminary round tie on August 7, 3pm.
Despite a depleted squad, Duke is expecting a physical match in Northamptonshire as they look to get their season up and running.
“We’re going there to win the game,” he said.
“It will happen and click, but at the moment, it’s frustrating and we’re not being outclassed.
“It’s fine margins. Five, 10, 15 games in, if we’re saying the same thing, there’s a problem but at the moment, I don’t see that being an issue.”
March Town: Simon Dalton; Drew Barker, Sam Garner, Dean Miller (sub Jack Frohawk, 36; sub George Rayner, 69'), Danny Emmington, Jack Rawson, Jack Saunders, Josh Burrows, Jack Friend, Craig Gillies, Lewis Gibson (sub Kyle Liddy, 87').
Unused subs: Max Mattless, Luke Crombie.
Cautions: March Town - Rawson.
Referee: Mr Chris Severino.