Preview: Bateman targeting strong finish ahead of trip to play-off rivals Barton

Steve Bateman says there is "no reason" why his side can't win their final six games of the season
Steve Bateman says there is "no reason" why his side can't win their final six games of the season
  • Bateman keen to put pressure on Kettering
  • Moles currently sit second, 11 points behind the leaders
  • Stevens and Baker fit for Barton trip
0
Have your say

Aylesbury FC manager Steve Bateman is targeting six wins from his side’s final six games of the season as he looks to put pressure on league leaders Kettering Town ahead of this weekend’s clash at Barton Rovers.

The Moles moved to within touching distance of nailing down a play-off place on Tuesday evening when they came from behind to beat Egham Town 3-1.

Following a goalless first half, the Moles fell behind to Brendan Matthew’s 50th minute goal but David Deeney replied instantly before late goals from Ben Stevens and Ryan O’Toole ensured Aylesbury maintained their record of just three defeats since mid-November.

The result – FC’s second home win in the space of four days following their excellent 3-0 victory over Bedworth on Saturday – takes Bateman’s side four points clear in second and with Hanwell losing at Godalming on the same night, it now looks a five-way race for the four play-off positions.

Aylesbury face fellow promotion chasers Barton this weekend, with Bateman still hopeful his side can put pressure on leaders Kettering Town, who are 11 points clear going into the final six games.

Ahead of tomorrow’s game, he said: “We had a tough game against Barton at home when we beat them narrowly 1-0. They’ve been up and around the top 10 all season and from what I can see they’re pushing the boat out.

Brian Haule heads in Aylesbury FC's second against Bedworth at the weekend. Pictures by Marc Keinch

Brian Haule heads in Aylesbury FC's second against Bedworth at the weekend. Pictures by Marc Keinch

“They’ve signed Lewis Putman and Paul barnes, who’s an experience goalscorer, so they still fancy their chances.

“We’re in good form and have people coming back into the squad. Ben Stevens is available again now and Conor Baker is back from injury. We’ve got players who are all chomping at the bit and games like Barton are the ones everyone looks forward to.

“If we can have a really good week this week, we’ll then have one foot in the play-offs and we can look at how high we can finish. It’s Kettering’s to lose but there’s no reason we can’t win those six games and put a bit of pressure back on them.”

Bateman was impressed by his side’s performance and attitude in their win over Bedworth at the weekend and feels it bodes well for the remainder of the season.

“It’s Kettering’s to lose but there’s no reason we can’t win those six games and put a bit of pressure back on them.”

Moles boss Steve Bateman

He added: “If we play like we did on Saturday we’ll have nothing to worry about. I liked what I saw, in terms of our mentality and attitude. I know the boys can play and we’ve been strong throughout and that’s another indicator for those play-offs at the end of the season – big games need big players and big performances and that’s not fazed us this season.

“Our target is to win our remaining six games. We won’t need to win all of those but we’re not looking too far forward, we’re taking it game by game.

“If we can take care of our home games, just by winning them alone would give us enough to get in the play-offs and if we can pick points up on the road, there’s no reason why we can’t stay in second.

“The pitch is in decent shape at the moment, it’s flat and similar to earlier in the season when we played with a lot of pace and energy and I could see that again on Saturday against Bedworth. We were sharper and on the front foot.”

Ryan O'Toole's late goal wrapped up victory for the Moles against Egham on Tuesday

Ryan O'Toole's late goal wrapped up victory for the Moles against Egham on Tuesday

Tomorrow’s match kicks off at 3pm at Barton’s Sharpenhoe Road ground.