Hinshelwood: Lots of positives, lots to work on
Manager Adam Hinshelwood was left disappointed his side couldn’t finish off their Bostik League Premier Division season with a win after visitors Brightlingsea Regent scored a late equaliser.
After dominating the first half, the Mackerel Men went behind to an Aaron Condon goal on 68 minutes, but were level just two minutes later through George Barker and in front on 77 minutes thanks to Sam Rents. Late drama followed as the visitors were reduced to 9 men with the sending’s off of James Love and Josh Gould in stoppage time before Billy Hunt scored a late penalty to cap an eventful game, one Hinshelwood had to add to the tally of dropped points this season.
‘That was an extraordinary game! First half we played some really good football, as well as we have done all season. Left to right, we were good until we got to the final third and our decision making was poor, similar to a few games this season. It’s a performance we’ve seen far too regularly this year and I see it as another two points dropped, 12 I think in total from games where we should have won.’
‘Those games of fine margins will separate us at the other end of the table next year and we have to find a way to stop it if we want to be up there and challenging. As in some games this season, we had to wait for them to score before we got some urgency, too much waiting for something to happen and we can’t afford that next season, draws need to be turned into wins.’
Hinshelwood also felt his side could have dealt with the penalty situation a little better, ‘The defending from us there wasn’t great. They were down to 9, one taking a throw, one was the keeper and one stayed back defending so they only had 6 players for us to deal with in and around the box. It shows our soft underbelly we sometimes have and we have to eradicate it from our play, I felt sure the game wasn’t over when they went down to 9 men.’
Hinshelwood reflected on the season’s performance and expectation with safety achieved with four games to spare, ‘2nd bottom was the target when I came here, just to stay in this division. Confidence was very low when I arrived, go a goal down heads would drop and another lost three points. But, I’m really pleased with how we turned it around, the quality and standard of the players we got in raised the expectations a little bit, I’m somewhat disappointed we should have been at least 12 points better off than the 57 we did get. Our target was 60, we didn’t quite get there, we’ll look to be better, but for me it’s looking at the points we lost.’
‘There is lots to be positive about though, a good group of players here with more coming through from the Under 18’s, but there is lots of work to be done if we are to reach for the play-offs next season.’
Hinshelwood was pleased to see another 1000+ crowd in attendance at the Bibby Financial Services Stadium, ‘Fantastic support once again, I think it’s achievable for every home game next season. If we can get the right players into this club that will bring people in to watch I think we can do it. There’s a great buzz about the place at the moment, we get praise for how we play, how the club is run off the pitch and the community feel around it.’
Hinshelwood is already planning for next season and believes he must be quick off the mark in preparation for the challenges ahead.
‘Very busy off season for me, starts on Monday. We’ll reflect on things that have happened, how we can improve them and it’s very important we get the hard work started. We’re looking at a lot of local derbies next season so naturally a lot of clubs around us will be looking for players at this level, we want to get our business done early and not be left waiting. Hopefully when players see the support we have here and the way that we like to play it’ll be a big pull and we’ll get in the players we want.’