Shoreham seeking strong finish to testing season

Nick Collyer found the net as Shoreham were beaten by Ramsgate on Saturday. Picture by David Jeffery
Nick Collyer found the net as Shoreham were beaten by Ramsgate on Saturday. Picture by David Jeffery

Sammy Donnelly is desperate for Shoreham Football Club to end on a high note as a tough Bostik League South season comes to an end.

Already-relegated Mussels have endured a turbulent campaign and suffered a 12th league defeat in succession as they were beaten 5-1 by Ramsgate at Middle Road on Saturday.

Shoreham have won just three times in the Bostik League South all season but Donnelly wants his team to add at least one more victory to that tally before they go off for their summer break.

Whyteleafe were the visitors to Middle Road for Mussels’ penultimate game last night (Wednesday), then Donnelly takes his team to Phoenix Sports for their final league match of the season on Saturday.

Shoreham manager Donnelly said: “I’m desperate for us to get a win to end what has been a long, hard season.

“I saw a few of the players’ heads drop in the defeat to Ramsgate on Saturday, which wasn’t acceptable. I accept it has been a really tricky campaign but we must keep fighting right until the end of the season.

“Winning one of our final matches this season would give everyone a bit of lift heading into next season.”

Donnelly has sat down for discussions with a number of the current playing squad, with a number set to return for Shoreham’s Southern Combination League Premier Division assault next season.

Despite what has been a far from ideal first-ever campaign in the Bostik League, Donnelly admits the long-term aim is to return to the level they are at. But if they are to get there once again, they need to make sure they are better equipped.

He added: “We know how hard it is going to be next season. There are some really strong teams in the SCFL Premier Division.

“Whoever doesn’t go up this season will only be looking to avenge that next season.

“I think all of the squad would be better remaining here and giving it a go with us again but some of them may have ambitions to play higher.”

Goalkeeper James Broadbent and young defender Alfie Proto-Gates have already agreed to stay at Middle Road for the 2018/19 season, while Donnelly is optimistic that Nick Collyer, Alec Scott and a number of other key members of his squad will stay put.

And having a set group of players in place ahead of pre-season is what Donnelly wants, especially after a turbulent summer leading into the current campaign.

“I had to completely rebuild leading into this season and that is not something I want to happen again this year.

“I’ve had chats with near enough the whole squad already and a number of those talks have been positive.

“Things can change over the summer with other clubs coming in and what not but at the moment it is looking positive in terms of what will be available to me in the SCFL Premier Division.”