Toolstation Western Football League
Published 8th August 2012
.....newly-promoted Melksham Town in last Saturday's Toolstation Western League Premier Division opener.
Lining up with three centre backs, the new-look Willand side did manage to take the lead with Khaled Badavi's super solo effort. But they found themselves second best for large spells of the contest, and had debutant keeper Ryan Draper to thank for keeping them ahead after some superb saves.
But two goals in the last 10 minutes gave Melksham the lead to make it a third opening-day defeat in four games for Willand, and a disappointed Jones called for big improvements from a number of players.
"I never said it was going to be easy," said Jones. "We have had a big change in players and tactics over the summer, but we are going to push on and keep at it for the moment.
"There is no point panicking or falling out about it but we do know we have to get better.
"The effort and commitment I can't fault one bit but we just came up a little bit short on the day.
"We are not going to panic yet but we must realise that we have to improve. I always seem to lose the first game but how we lost this one was disappointing.
"It looked like we were going to hold on for the win but we didn't manage it in the end. We were just on the back foot a little too much for my liking.
"We are going to have to get better and a few of the players are going to have to up their game. I'm not saying that as a criticism but they have to improve."
Next up for Rovers is a trip to Hallen tonight, before visiting Larkhall Athletic in the FA Cup Extra Preliminary Round on Saturday.
One player who will not start either match but has been signed is former Saltash United left-back Chris Long, with Jones keen to keep with his strongest eleven for the early part of the season. It is understood Jones is poised two sign two more players in the near future.
Captain Danny Jee is another player who is unlikely to feature, as he picked up an Achilies injury in the warm-up before the Melksham game.
Jee was suspended for that match, although an unimpressed Jones believes his skipper should have been eligible to play.
"I was told at 6.15pm on Friday that my captain was suspended for the game, even though I know for a fact that he has already served his suspension," said Jones.
"I was then told I couldn't review it until Monday, which was no good because the game itself was on Saturday.
"Just to top it all off, he was then injured in the warm-up before the match so now he's got an Achilles injury and I don't know how long he'll be out for."