Shoreham face up to fixture pile-up in battle to beat drop

Shoreham are facing seven matches in the final 23 days of the season as they look to avoid Bostik League South relegation. Picture by Derek Martin
Shoreham are facing seven matches in the final 23 days of the season as they look to avoid Bostik League South relegation. Picture by Derek Martin

Shoreham Football Club are facing a hectic finish to the campaign as they looked to avoid Bostik League South relegation.

Mussels saw both Easter fixtures washed out in the wet weather, leaving them needing to play their final seven games of the season in the space of just 23 days.

Shoreham sat 14 points adrift at the foot of the table after the Easter programme, knowing they need to pick up points fast to pull off what would be a great escape.

Whyteleafe were due to visit Middle Road on Saturday but that fixture fell victim to a waterlogged pitch, while Mussels’ Easter Monday encounter at Thamesmead Town suffered the same fate.

Shoreham’s game against Thamesmead has been rescheduled for tonight but a date has yet to be confirmed for the rearranged meeting with Whyteleafe.

Mussels boss Sammy Donnelly admits his team face a daunting task if they are to get out of trouble this season and said: “It was a really frustrating few days over Easter. To have not one but both matches called off because of the weather was frustrating. There is not a lot we could have done – all we can do is focus on the games we have to come now.

“We find ourselves in a really difficult position but we will not stop fighting this season.

“I felt we could have picked up a few more points along the way and maybe deserved to have done, the way we have played at times. It is what it is and the aim is to pick up as many wins as we can in the remaining matches.”

With Shoreham in such a precarious position, Donnelly is all but resigned to relegation this season.

Mussels’ manager admits he’ll be giving more of his under-18 players a chance in the final few matches.

Youth-team pair Nick Collyer and Alfie Proto-Gates have featured for the first team on occasion this campaign, with more now expected to follow suit.

Donnelly added: “Some-times you have to take a step back to go forward. I think giving the under-18 players, who are still in with a chance of winning their league, will be for the club.

“You’ve seen with Lewes and Worthing that they’ve stuck by youth players, with both of them now enjoying success.

“I believe giving these younger players a chance now will stand them in good stead for what is to come next season and looking further forward than that.”

But Donnelly will not give up hope until anything is confirmed.

“It is going to be tough but while we still have a chance we will not give up the fight,” Donnelly said.

“If we can pick up some points, with games coming thick and fast, you never know what can happen.”

Mussels are in action in their rearranged clash at Thamesmead Town tonight (7.45pm).

Report and reaction available at www.shorehamherald.co.uk