Gibbens switch could prove key factor

Kevin Gibbens

Kevin Gibbens

First published in Sport

BLACKFIELD & Langley head for Whitchurch tomorrow with a full house of six Sydenhams Premier points in the bag.

John Robson’s men again came back from behind to notch their second 2-1 win of the season at Christchurch on Wednesday thanks to late goals from Dave Ewen (penalty) and Jamie Musselwhite.

“We went 1-0 down (to a Matt Dodd goal) and weren’t playing very well,” admitted Robson. “But, in the players’ defence, I’ve been picking a different side every game with people away at weddings and so on, and we haven’t quite clicked properly yet.

“We’ve been working hard but it’s down to me to get the right system to suit the players.”

That system could well involve switching ex-Saint Kevin Gibbens from centre-back to centre-forward at Whitchurch. With only around ten minutes left and the points ebbing away at Christchurch, the Watersiders pushed Gibbens up front alongside Musselwhite and it changed the game.

“Fair play to Gibbo, no matter where you play him he always comes up with something,” said Robson.

“We got a penalty which Dave Ewen scored and we should have had another one, for handball, before Jamie finished things off with a real centre-forward’s goal.

“Gibbo and Musselwhite might not be the most mobile but, with all due respect, they’ve got the best brains and we might well play them both up front tomorrow.”

Whitchurch have also got six points out of six. Having triumphed 2- 1 at Fareham on Saturday, they won their opening home match 3-1 against Bemerton – Jack Garner, Joshua Green and Tom Lockyer the scorers. Bemerton had Graham Mankin sent off for a second successive game.

Lymington Town – at Newport IoW tomorrow – followed Friday’s 4-0 win at Fawley with an identical scoreline at Verwood in midweek to go second. James Davies scored twice and Warren Kenna and Jack Odam bagged one apiece.

Fawley have yet to get off the mark. Bournemouth Poppies – thrashed 7-0 at Winchester on Saturday – bounced back with a 3-1 win at Long Lane through Chris Toy, Marc Fairbrother and Sam Pekun. Joe Wood netted the Oilers’ reply.

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