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Manor visit familiar foe with confidence

PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 October 2015

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors

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Key players will come back for the New Wilderness outfit on Saturday as they visit Chichester after heavy loss to London Irish Wild Geese

Eton Manor get to grips with their London Irish Wild Geese opponents (pic: Martin Pearl).Eton Manor get to grips with their London Irish Wild Geese opponents (pic: Martin Pearl).

Eton Manor head coach Jamie Connors is pleased to be able to welcome back a number of key players for this weekend’s trip to old rivals Chichester in National League Three South.

The New Wilderness outfit were beaten again last Saturday, going down 55-0 to London Irish Wild Geese, who are currently second.

Connors was positive about the performance of his side, which included youngsters Charlie Wood and Tom O’Connor making their debuts for the first team.

“We have a few more people available again on Saturday,” said the Manor coach. “Callum McKie is in contention, he hasn’t played since the first game of the season.

“Ashley Somers and Alex Hunter return. Ben Thomas, who didn’t play at all last year, might be back. If he isn’t available this weekend, he should definitely be fine after that, so that’s a boost. We will have a few more after Saturday’s game so we are looking in better shape.”

What will also help Manor is the run of fixtures they have coming up, starting at Chichester.

There is no match on October 17, but Connors men then face Gravesend and Wimbledon at home, before a trip to Bracknell.

After that they entertain Westcliff on November 21 and all the aforementioned teams are in the bottom half of the table.

This weekend’s trip to Chichester brings back memories of a 25-16 London One play-off final loss in West Sussex back in 2014 so Manor will be hoping to make up for that too.

Connors added: “It is a familiar place for us. Chichester have done well since getting into the National League and particularly last year.

“They had a strong team last time we faced them, so we will see what they have this weekend.

“Our next five games are against sides closer to us in the table so we can certainly look to compete more in those and hopefully take some points from the games as well.”

Although Manor suffered a heavy loss to London Irish last weekend, Connors was pleased with several aspects of their play.

They had a number of chances to make their mark on the scoresheet, but failed to take them and couldn’t register a point.

He added: “We had quite a few opportunities to score in the first half, but we couldn’t take them. Our tackling was good and I was pleased with us overall.

“They were a very good side, they are unbeaten with a bonus point win in each of their games so when you look at that they are up their as one of the best teams we have faced this season. We had two players making their debut so when you consider that, it was always going to be difficult.

“I think them and Tonbridge are probably two of the best sides in the league. They are the top two at the moment. London Irish all around are probably better, but Tonbridge had some really good backs.

“The next four or five games for us are against sides in the bottom half so when you look at it we have had a really tough start.”


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