The good ship Petersfield Town is back sailing on a familiar course – according to manager Ian Saunders.
The captain of the ship has guided his successful vessel away from choppier waters experienced in the first half of this season and back to the smoother seas where the Rams have gone on to experience success in the previous two campaigns.
Apart from a successful run in the FA Cup to the third qualifying round, Petersfield’s early form in the Southern League could be described as indifferent.
The Rams had floated into uncharted waters for them after losing only two league games in each of the previous two seasons but in Southern League division one central this season they were up to nine defeats by the end of November.
However, a run of six straight wins in all competitions – including Wednesday night’s comfortable 6-0 victory at Christchurch in the Russell Cotes Cup – has seen the Rams sail into the calm waters of consistency once again.
‘It feels like our form and play has returned to where we were last season and the season before,’ said Saunders.
‘I think the first half of the season brought more defeats than we have been used to as we have been finding our feet after stepping up to Southern League football.
‘But we now seem to have settled back into the same style of play which has brought us the success we have enjoyed in the past.
‘And with that comes regular wins and the ability to string these together which we struggled to do earlier on in the season.
‘I’m not sure I can put my finger on what has changed or slotted into place for us other than we changed a few things around in November and December both in terms of playing staff and our tactics and that seems to have done the trick for us.’
Petersfield head to Barton Rovers tomorrow (3pm) keen to make up for the 2-2 draw the two sides shared back in August at Love Lane.
‘That was a frustrating game for us as Barton equalised after seven minutes of injury time,’ said Saunders.
‘They were a strong side and probably haven’t had the season they wanted after making the play-offs last season.
‘This is a game where we have to go there and look to win if we want to keep pushing on up the table.’
The Rams will be without first-team duo Sean Wain and Gary Norgate for their trip to Bedfordshire.
– GRAEME MOIR