Bourne bosses get the right response to rallying call

Bourne boss Phil Gadsby and Jimmy McDonnell.
Bourne boss Phil Gadsby and Jimmy McDonnell.
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Bourne Town’s players have answered their management team’s battle cry.

Wakes bosses Jimmy McDonnell and Phil Gadsby issued a rallying call for commitment in the final couple of months of the United Counties League Division One season.

They set their charges a target of 10 wins from their final 13 games and Bourne started the ball rolling with 2-1 away success at Bugbrooke last Saturday.

The management duo had a squad of 18 players to select from last weekend and they again have an embarrassment of playing riches at their disposal for Saturday’s home match with Olney Town.

McDonnell explained: “We gave everyone a battle cry after the Raunds game because we had seven unavailable for that match and, maybe if we’d had a couple of players available defensively, then we could have held on.

“We had a squad of 18 last weekend and we should be good for numbers again on Saturday so our call has been answered which is a credit to the players.

“We are not scraping around for players so it’s now about making sure we get everyone game time.

“The likes of Andrew Moss came back in last week after he missed a couple of games because of work and that allowed us to rest Jack Bottreill who has been top drawer for us recently.

“We have got great options now. We had James Zealand, Jack Corby, Jack Humphries, Jack Bottreill and Dan Flood all on the bench on Saturday.

“Another day all those lads would start and that’s the difference between what we had last season and now.

“We’ve got a really good group of lads. There’s no egos and they all mix together well.

“We don’t want the season to just tail off. We want to finish on a high.

“There are still people at the club giving their time to get the pitch ready while the committee do a lot of hard work behind the scenes so the players have to do the same.”

Saturday’s success at Bugbrooke saw Bourne take their haul to 10 points from their last five league games.

They are currently in 10th place in the league standings but, with four games in hand on second-placed Raunds, they only trail the Shopmates by 15 points.

McDonnell and Gadsby will also be mixing up their side’s pre-match preparations to keep their charges fresh for a spree of home matches.

Five of Bourne’s next six United Counties League Division One clashes are at the Abbey Lawn, starting with the visit of Olney Town on Saturday.

They then host third-placed Potton United on Saturday, March 3, before a midweek match with struggling S&L Corby three days later.

The home run is broken by an away trip to Rushden & Higham on Saturday, March 10, before consecutive matches at the Abbey Lawn on the following weekends against Huntingdon Town and Irchester United.

McDonnell commented: “We will be looking at doing something different each week. We will be mixing things up and changing the build-up around.

“We might go out for a pre-match meal in town one week and then put the pool and darts on the following week.

“We don’t want it to become very sameish with players turning up expecting the same thing.

“We might even get someone else in to do the warm-up just so it brings a bit variety and changes things around.”

Two of the form sides in the division will meet at the Abbey Lawn on Saturday when the Wakes host sixth-placed Olney Town.

The two sides have both collected 10 points from their last five league games with Olney beating second-placed Raunds Town at the weekend.

McDonnell commented: “Olney are doing well so it should be a good game of football. These are the sort of games that Bourne Town should be playing rather than scrapping for points in the bottom two or three.

“Those are the pressure games because there’s no pressure on our lads now. We will defend in numbers, work hard in midfield and have the freedom of the land when we’re going forward.

“Hopefully we’ll get another good crowd and, after people have been at work all week, they can come down and be entertained and we can put a smile on their faces. It’s something that we’ve wanted to do this season and it’s worked so far.”