I don’t fear anybody, says Battle boss

Dean Boyd lays the ball off during Battle's semi-final victory over Christ Central. Pictures by Simon Newstead
Dean Boyd lays the ball off during Battle's semi-final victory over Christ Central. Pictures by Simon Newstead

Battle Baptists manager Gary Walsh says he doesn’t fear anybody after the football club booked its place in the National Christian Cup final.

The Macron East Sussex Football League title contenders were convincing 5-1 winners at home to South London side Christ Central in last weekend’s semi-final.

Walsh said: “Everything at the moment is going swimmingly and as long as we can put out our same side, I don’t fear anybody. We’re playing some great football, we’re scoring goals and we’re not conceding. We’re a great team to follow at the moment.

“The team is working so hard. They (the players) are all over the place and the intensity is fantastic. We’re winning possession through competitiveness and utilising it really well.

“We’ve got lots of pace all over the team which helps enormously and we’re carving out chances. We’re scoring goals from all over the team.”

Battle will go on to face a team from Liverpool in the final, which will be played at a Football League ground probably some time next month.

Harry Loates challenges for an aerial ball.

Harry Loates challenges for an aerial ball.

“I liken it to looking forward to your summer holiday,” continued Walsh. “Having a final to look forward to is like having your summer holiday booked. We know it’s going to be a great experience whatever happens.”

The Baptists have won four matches to reach the final, all of them by at least a three-goal margin. They’ve scored 18 goals and conceded just three.

“At the beginning of the season we wanted to do well in this competition and saw the first two away games as being a bit tricky, but each game has been fairly comfortable,” added Walsh, who says he’s been grinning like a Cheshire cat over the past few days.

“The blessing for us has been in each of the games we’ve scored early so it’s been a case of being able to relax and enjoy the game.”

Trystan Mayhew pressurises an opponent.

Trystan Mayhew pressurises an opponent.

After the excitement of the national cup, it’s back to the bread and butter of the league for Battle tomorrow (Saturday) as they travel to Robertsbridge United.

Currently lying second in the Premier Division, the Baptists are 10 points behind leaders Hollington United with four games in hand. Battle have six league matches remaining.

“We’ve got to keep everyone’s feet on the ground, approach each game as it comes and try to win it,” said Walsh. “It’s just a case of getting these fellows to really enjoy the moment and enjoy their football.

“Hollington are looking strong and I don’t really expect them to slip up in their last two games. The job’s fairly straightforward for us; we’ve got to keep winning each game as it comes at us and that’s all we can do.”

Yordan Yordanov tussles for possession.

Yordan Yordanov tussles for possession.

Battle were due to contest the league’s Premier Travel Challenge Cup final next Monday night, but that has now been postponed and a new date has yet to be announced.

The Baptists will again be without midfielder Glen Carrick tomorrow, but they are hopeful defender Ollie Jeffs will return from injury. They also hope to welcome back another defender, Mike Amar, after he had to withdraw from the Christ Central game at the 11th hour due to work.

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Ian Rafati blocks the path of a Christ Central opponent.

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