03:21PM, Thursday 26 November 2020
Josh Coley. Photo Darren Woolley
Ryan Peters would probably have taken a point prior to Saturday’s clash with Bromley. But the way things conspired with the side leading 2-0 early in the second half and still holding a narrow lead in the fifth minute of injury time, he admitted being ‘down in the dumps’ to have only drawn the game.
The Magpies came into the clash off the back of a six-game unbeaten run, having won five of them, but were without a string of first team players through injury with Dan Sparkes, George Wells and Nathan Blissett the latest casualties.
However, if there’s one thing the Magpies have in abundance this season its character, and Peters has spoken regularly about having two quality players for each position.
James Comley, Remy Clerima, Sparkes, Wells, and Blissett may have been sitting in the stands but the hosts were still able to field a team capable of battling for all three points against a very decent Bromley side.
They missed out on victory by a whisker, with Chris Bush netting a fabulous leveller in the 95th minute to make it 2-2 but, far from being disappointed or downhearted, Peters was ‘licking his lips’ at the prospect of getting all of the players back from injury and seeing what the side can do when they’re firing on all cylinders.
“They’re a good side and we’d expect them to be up there come the end of the season,” he said. “Before the game you’d have probably taken a point but when you get to a minute from getting a win it’s hard to take. If you’re going to lose or draw a game at least it was to wonder strikes, because that’s what they were. It shows how far we’ve come. We’re seven unbeaten and we’re still down in the dumps because we’ve drawn a game with Bromley. But we’re on the right track and moving in the right direction.”
Saturday’s draw briefly listed the Magpies as high as third in the table, but Wealdstone’s 3-3 draw with Sutton bumped them back down to fifth by the end of the weekend. Peters is confident the side have learned lessons from last season, when they made a similarly positive start before dropping down the table. They were very much embroiled in a relegation scrap when the campaign was halted in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, Peters is confident those mistakes won’t be repeated and he hopes they can get to 50 points as quickly as possible in order to refocus on other targets.
“We’ve learned from last year,” he said. “The start wasn’t too dissimilar to this, but we’ve just got to keep working hard and showing the same energy.
“This is an amazing point and we’ve been on an amazing run. Some of those boys have been out injured for two or three weeks so, we’re seven unbeaten with many first team boys out of action.
“We’re licking our lips at the prospect of having everyone back and having a full squad to choose from. We’ll have to leave some boys out and that will be a headache, but this is one of the best squads we’ve had for a long time. We’re hoping to get to the 50-point mark as quickly as we can so we can then look for something else.”
Danilo Orsi-Dadomo netted his first goal at York Road with a slick first half finish after a lovely run from Josh Coley, while Shaun Donnellan netted his first of the season with a terrific second half strike. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough for victory, but Peters said it was good to see the goals being shared around and the signs are there that United can have a very productive campaign.
“We’ve been asking Sam (Barratt) to score more than he should,” he said. “Danilo got his first start after being out for a few weeks and he was terrific today. He’s given the gaffer some food for thought.
“Josh Coley was terrific as well. We’re getting more goal scorers now. With the injuries stacking up we’ll need that. We’ve got some that will be coming back soon but others will be out a little bit longer. Nathan Blissett took part in a light session but at the end of it he hyper extended. It’s nothing major but he wasn’t available today and we’re not too sure on next week either.
“We don’t want too many more injuries. We won’t be doing too many contact sessions until we get these boys back from injuries. Josh Coley came off at the end as a precaution but hopefully he’ll be fine. He realised he better stop before something happened. We’ll assess it on Monday but hopefully there’s no damage at all. But, if he is injured, we’ll regroup and do what we’ve been doing.”
The Magpies face an Altrincham side on Saturday who lost 1-0 at home to Bromley in midweek. They sit 14th in the table.
“We’re in good spirits,” added Peters. “We’ll go to Altrincham and do the same again, we know we’ll score and if we can keep things nice and tight, we’ll hopefully get a good result.
“As far as we’re concerned it’s one of the strongest squads we’ve had in terms of having two players for each position.
“The boys that start know they can’t afford to rest on their laurels. They’re all pushing each other to be better.
“That means we go into games high on confidence knowing that we’ll score and that makes games a lot easier.”
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