KJM SPORT REPORT Street 3 Millbrook 0 Macca reaction

Millbrook AFC LogoSadly Millbrook’s first season at Western League level is ending with the sort of nosedive nobody at the club saw coming after a great run in the middle of the campaign.

This was their sixth successive defeat and during the run they have scored only one goal, a Josh Toulson effort against Ashton & Backwell.

From being a team who prided themselves on clean sheets and the ability to score plenty of goals, they have fallen apart at both ends of the pitch.

Yet they could still finish in a respectable mid-table finish of 12th if, somehow, they can summon up one last effort and beat Brislington at Jenkins Park on Saturday (1500ko).

Three points would lift them above Wellington and Bitton.

So what does Brook manager Macca Brown make of it all? He’s been understandably proud of the way his team have played for most of this season – but what he is witnessing now must be hard to swallow.

Brown admits: “I’m very aware that this weekly report is now close to just becoming a therapy session for me as we work our way through a horrible run!

“But equally I’m relishing this to a certain extent; don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t feel nice but you can’t always have everything your own way.

“We’ve never been in this situation before where we’ve had a long consecutive run of defeats but it all gets added to the hard drive.

“I’m a great believer that if you’re the smartest person in the room, then you’re in the wrong room, you have to challenge yourself and everything can’t always be easy, this experience will be huge for us all and the lads must have the resilience, maturity and mindset to deal with that.

“That is hard when they are seeing other clubs start to lift trophies at this time of year, but they can’t get lost in the moment, they have challenged themselves hugely this season by stepping up when not all players fancy that challenge, and will look back and it’ll be their most important season to date.”

Of Saturday’s defeat, Brown said: “There is no doubt we are shooting ourselves in the foot right now. They say when you’re not in good form things go against you and that’s where we are.

“We’re probably the only team that within the space of two minutes can go from having a huge penalty appeal turned down, to 30 seconds later conceding from a corner, to 30 seconds after that going down to 10 men after 20 minutes, so we don’t help ourselves.

“It’s similar in the second half, with 15 to go we thought our luck had changed, they go down to 10 with their goalkeeper being sent off for handling outside the box, and then down to nine with a sin bin protesting it and you think it’s game on.

“But we blaze the resulting free kick over the bar and then 30 seconds later it’s in our net straight from the goal kick to make it 3-0.

“We have to handle the negative moments better, the officials were frustrating for both teams, the referee was strutting around like a peacock making sure everyone knew he was there but we played into his hands.

“I have to admit it leaves me exasperated on the sideline, it’s hard to explain what I’m seeing at the moment but it’s a huge learning curve and I won’t dismiss the importance of that.

“It’s unrecognisable from what we were about a few months ago but it’s a different set of circumstances.

“The personnel is very different, and when we have multiple players out we call upon our reserves and that obviously shifts the goalposts somewhat.

“They’ve not let me down at all and the support from the Reserves management has been brilliant, but when Western League sides lose three or four players like we have since Christmas for one reason or another, they replace them with ready made alternatives and we aren’t in that position.

“We then have to readjust which weakens us further; I’d love to use JT (Josh Toulson) up front, or Muz (Laurence Murray) in midfield where they want to be and where their influence in the team is so big, but they have to make up for the missing personnel in other areas and do a job for the team.

“My expectations may have lowered but I’m not accepting the situation for what it is, I’m ambitious and I want to challenge the best.

“I’m calm right now because there’s not much we can do, we have one game left next weekend and it’ll be a similar squad and we’ll do our best to finish the season on a high because overall I think our season deserves that, but ultimately you get what you deserve in this game.

“On that note, I’d like to congratulate Stuart, Ken and the players at Tavistock, and also to Lee, Matt, Godders, Stu and everyone at Parkway for their amazing achievements this weekend.

“It’s fantastic for the local game that two sides on our doorstep have been so successful at their respective levels.

“Not forgetting Steve at Helston, Jake at Mousehole and Dane at Saltash as well who finished their seasons on Saturday, we’ve had some great games with those clubs and they’ve had superb seasons.”

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