Barnston remain positive as they look towards a bright future

THE MOOD at Barnston remains a positive one despite a first defeat of the year in the Essex and Suffolk Border Division One.

Barnston AFC 2 West Clacton 4

THE MOOD at Barnston remains a positive one despite a first defeat of the year in the Essex and Suffolk Border Division One.

One bad result does not ruin a good season so far and the home side might have grabbed themselves a point, according to manager Leighton Williams.

After seeing his charges take the lead thanks to a Mark Pledger header in the first half, Williams looked on as his players battled back from 3-1 down to 3-2 – Dave Canning also getting himself on the scoresheet.

And, although conceding a late but controversial fourth on the break as they pursued an equaliser, Williams was pleased with his side’s determination.

“I could not be prouder of the performance that was put in,” he said. “Yes, we lost, yes, they were the better team. But we gave them a real game, and can feel a bit hard done by that we did not take a point from the match.

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“For a squad containing only four players that have played above this standard we really did put in a performance to be proud of against a bigger club full of experience.

“Our central midfield pairing of Luke Nash and Gareth Heard looks to be getting better and better each week and Jay Haberland had his best game in a Barnston shirt until injury struck.

“We know that on this performance we can take on the best teams in this division with confidence.”

West Clacton are hot on the heels of third-placed Barnston as the race for promotion to the premier division hots up. But as a club Barnston are looking at the long game as well as the short-term.

Before kick off, Williams said: “We are building this club slowly. It would be great to get to the premier division and then in the long-term move into the Ridgeons league. That has to be the goal but it will take time.”

On Saturday Barnston were up against a number of players who have Ridgeons Premier League experience already but they still put in an energetic performance.

After getting to 1-1 at half time West Clacton, who are a reserve team for FC Clacton, made their dominance tell in the second half, but their fourth and decisive goal was not without controversy.

At 3-2, the ball went off for a goal kick, but with the linesman still flagging play was allowed to continue by the referee who was placed 30 yards away.

Clacton made the most of it and swept up the pitch to kill the game off with a clinical finish.

Next: Barnston AFC host second placed Newbury Forest. Kick off 2.30pm.