CHRIS HARDY: Witton win a huge relief
It was a huge relief for everyone at the football club to pick up a much-needed win at Witton on Saturday.
It was clear for everyone to see that the players needed a lift, the management needed a lift and the supporters needed a lift as well - and there’s no better way to do that than to go and pick up a win on the road.
The performance was good - we saw a lot of pleasing aspects that we haven’t been seeing from the players recently, which was very pleasing.
There was a good tempo about the team and we deserved to pick up the three points.
I have to say, the attitude and endeavour of the players when we had Luke Bythway sent off and went down to 10 men was excellent.
We had a good shape about us on Saturday and Witton never really caused us too many problems.
Having Shane (Bland) back between the sticks was a huge, huge boost for us.
His injury looked pretty nasty last week, but to get him back in straight away and see him put in another top performance was great.
I have to say, the introduction of Paul Blackett made a huge difference.
Having what I would describe as a ‘real number nine’, who will look to turn a defender and get in behind, makes a massive difference and adds another element to our attacking play.
Paul isn’t quite up to speed on the match fitness front, but it will have done the lad the world of good to get a full 90 minutes under his belt.
We have Paul with us for a month and hopefully that will be mutually beneficial for us and the player as he clearly needs to get some game time and we will offer him just that.
He has good pedigree having learned the game at Newcastle United before having spells in the Northern League.
Fingers crossed he can maintain his form and put the ball in the back of the net for us while he is with us.
We now head into a mouthwatering Boxing Day clash at home to South Shields.
They’re obviously flying at the moment and it’ll be a very tough clash for us.
But these are the games we are in the game for, the fixtures that we look out for when they’re released.
Big home games with a good crowd and atmosphere in the place are great and I can’t wait for it now.
We’ll be checking on the fitness of Bradley Mills ahead of Boxing Day, hopefully he’ll be fit.
I’d like to finish by wishing all readers a very Merry Christmas.