James Burgess has urged his Northwood team-mates not to let their early-season hard work go to waste by throwing away their chance to make the play-offs, writes Arvin Raj.
The Woods have been one of Calor Gas Division One Central’s surprise packages and are poised for a march on the top-five in the second-half of the campaign.
And Burgess, twin brother of Woods’ player-boss Mark, insists the signs are there that they have what it takes to maintain their form into the business end of the fixture-list.
He said: “I think what we’re doing now is grinding out results, sometimes we aren’t playing particularly well but we’re getting the results and scoring at the right time. We should definitely be aiming for the play-offs.
“Everyone’s playing well, the team spirit is the best it’s been, which does help, but maybe we could score more goals from midfield.
“Perhaps the centre-backs could also chip in too. That would probably see us push on even more.”
Hampered by injuries, Burgess concedes inconsistency has defined his own form this season but is hopeful those issues are now behind him.
He said: “My form has been a bit up and down. At the start I felt fit and I was playing for Harrow where I got sent off.
“I missed six games and I was really paying for it in the last three or four games but now my match-fitness is back to where it should be.
“Hopefully I can continue to be fit until the end of the season.”
The former Wembley youth player insists he loves playing under his brother and believes the duos’ telepathic understanding transmits onto the pitch.
“I love it personally,” he added. “When we were younger we were very fiery. There wasn’t one manager who would play us together.
“But now when we’re out there on the pitch, it helps as we both want to win and hopefully that takes it through the team.”
Northwood had a mixed festive period, recovering from the previous Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at league leaders Dunstable Town to hammer North Greenford United 3-2 on Boxing Day, but then went down 2-0 at Daventry Town on Saturday.
In the same division, Uxbridge followed their dramatic 2-1 win at Slough Town, in which Matt Woods hit a the winner in the second minute of injury time after Slough had levelled moments earlier, with a 1-1 draw at Marlow on Saturday, in which Callum Madigan scored an injury time equaliser. The only festive action AFC Hayes saw was Saturday’s 2-2 draw at home to Leighton Town, in which they also benefitted from an equaliser deep into stoppage time at the end, Dujon Desagurante their last gasp hero.
Northwood were due to visit Potters Bar yesterday, while Uxbridge were at North Greenford and AFC Hayes hosted Chertsey Town. Saturday sees Northwood at home to Slough Town, Uxbridge at home to Barton Rovers and AFC Hayes away at Aylesbury.