The Ryman Football League
Published 8th March 2012
....Ryman League Division One North title.
Enfield were pegged back in the dying minutes to draw with visitors AFC Sudbury 3-3 last Saturday, and the manager is now calling for his squad to pick up maximum points from their next three league outings.
The result saw the Towners lose ground on division leaders Leiston, but with Newing’s men four points behind in second place, they are still well placed to challenge.
And while the manager believes another nine points should confirm at least a play-off berth, the aim is still to finish at the top of the table.
“The next week coming up will decide if we have got a chance of winning the league,” Newing explained.
“If we do pick up all nine points, it will definitely still be game on. If we slip up, unless Leiston have a surprise slip, we will be looking to consolidate out second spot.”
He continued: “I believe if we get another nine points that is going to nail on a play-off place. The important target is to get another nine points on the board.
“That is the immediate goal but the ambition is still to try and win the league. There is a four point gap to Leiston and I think there will be games won, lost and drawn.”
With ten games to go, Town visit Ware on Saturday before a long trip to Soham Town Rangers on Tuesday night.
Those fixtures are followed by the visit of Ilford, and with all three of those sides struggling in the division, Newing is targeting maximum points in order to keep up the pressure on the pace-setters.
He continued: “Looking at it now, I think to win the league – and we would have to beat Leiston - we are probably going to need to pick up twenty-four points. I can see them picking up twenty. I would be very surprised if they don’t get to ninety points.
“We are probably going to have to win seven or eight of our remaining fixtures. It is a tall order but it is one we are capable of. That is why the next three games are so important.”
But although Newing believes his side will need to overcome Leiston when the two sides clash on April 21st, the manager stopped short of suggesting that game would decide who wins the division.
“I wouldn’t think it will be a title decider,” he explained. “If we start thinking like that, we will come a cropper.”
Saturday’s draw with Sudbury saw Town lose their 100 per cent winning run at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium since they moved in during November.
Enfield found themselves 2-0 down inside the first ten minutes before Michael Ewang and Jey Siva saw the sides level at the break.
Adam Wallace bundled the ball over the line to complete the turnaround but with the game heading for injury time, Sudbury struck again to earn a share of the spoils.
Newing admitted his frustration with the opening exchanges but insisted there were positives to be taken from the encounter despite the timing of the visitors’ leveller.
“We put ourselves on the back foot in the first seven minutes but what was important was that we scored within a minute of going 2-0 down,” said the manager.
“There are massive positives to be taken. With no disrespect to Waltham Forest and Potters Bar who we fell behind to earlier in the year, Sudbury are a far better side and they are rightly challenging for a play-off place.
“There are big positives because from seven minutes onwards, we were the better side.
He added: “That’s the first time since the turn of the year that we have conceded more than one goal in the league.”
After Tuesday night’s Middlesex Charity Cup defeat to Ashford Town (Middx), Saturday sees the Towners make the trip up the A10 to Ware in what Newing expects to be a challenging local derby.
Goals from Wallace and Liam Hope saw Enfield take three points from their opponents earlier in the campaign and a look at the table suggests Town should be looking for another maximum.
Newing is not taking anything for granted though, stressing it will be another tough fixture for his side.
“Ware are going to be scrapping like you would expect them to and it will be a difficult game. That is what games become at this stage of the season.”