Bateman remains upbeat after St Ives draw

Steve Bateman
Steve Bateman

Aylesbury FC boss Steve Bateman says his side must “keep things in perspective” as they continue to chase promotion in Division One Central of the Southern League.

The Moles have flirted with top spot for much of the season, but last week’s defeat to Kettering combined with Saturday’s draw at St Ives has seen them drop to fourth.

Although they remain comfortably five points inside the play-off places, both Hanwell Town and Barton Rovers have games in hand.

Speaking after his side’s draw to St Ives, Bateman said: “We’ve got to keep things in perspective. We were always going to drop points between now and the end of the season.

“Our target was to get in those play-offs places and we’ve still got every chance of doing that. “We’ve got 11 games left and we’ve just got to roll our sleeves up and not feel sorry for ourselves.”

Kyle Anthony gave Aylesbury a fifth minute lead against St Ives on Saturday before James Hall earned the home side a deserved point.

Bateman added: “St Ives are on a good run of form. They’re unbeaten in six games and have taken points off some of the so-called better sides.

“The pitch was difficult but we got off to a great start, and then we conceded five minutes later from our own corner. It was just a ball hoofed over the top and then the lad’s had a shot and it’s taken a deflection off our defender and the ball’s gone straight through James Weatherill who, by his own admission, will be disappointed he hasn’t kept it out.

“It gave them a lift and it became a difficult game again. I thought we were better second half, we played the conditions better and towards the end we had two or three chances to put the game to bed, but equally they had one on the break where James made a good instinctive save.

“I thought the way we finished we were going to come away with all three points.

“Ordinarily you’d be fairly content with a point away from home against one of the form sides, but it’s come on the back of the Kettering game. It felt like we lost the game afterwards but we’ve got a point and we take that and move on.”

Speaking about his side’s defeat to table-topping Kettering, Bateman said: “It was obviously disappointing because of the respective points situation and we’ve got a bit of catching up to do.

“There was nothing in the game really, it was played on a poor pitch but it was the same for both teams.

“From dead balls they’ve got good delivery and we spoke about it before the game and we did really well in the first half and dealt with whatever they put in.

“We were just looking for a bit of quality which we’ve had at various times this year but unfortunately we conceded from a free-kick which we didn’t need to concede, and the guy’s ended up with a free header and that was the difference on the day.

“It was very frustrating because it’s something we talk about a lot but it’s cost us on the day.”