Wakes are set victory target to finish season with a flourish

Dan Schiavi has joined Bourne Town from Premier Division neighbours Deeping Rangers.
Dan Schiavi has joined Bourne Town from Premier Division neighbours Deeping Rangers.
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Joint Bourne boss Jimmy McDonnell has set his side a target of 10 victories from their final 13 United Counties League matches.

The Wakes make the trip to face struggling Bugbrooke on Saturday looking to bounce back from a 5-3 away reversal at Raunds last weekend.

That was their first Division One defeat since the beginning of December and, following the double signing coup of Zak Munton and Dan Schiavi, McDonnell has high hopes for the rest of the campaign.

He said: “We want to win 10 of our last 13 games. That will put us in a good position and where realistically we should be.

“We want to improve our league position every year and, if we can get those wins, then that would be the result of a good season.

“We are a very good footballing side, but we need to turn out results as well because talk is cheap if we don’t reel off four or five back-to-back wins.

“Zak and Dan are massive signings for us. We have raised the bar by bringing them back to the club because we are no longer going to settle for a mid-table finish.”

Munton and Schiavi both made goalscoring returns to Bourne colours in the Raunds reversal.

Schiavi signed just hours before kick-off on Saturday after completing his transfer from near neighbours Deeping Rangers.

McDonnell said: “We have fallen very lucky to have two fantastically gifted footballers who tick all the boxes for us. Some of their link-up play on Saturday was scary to watch.

“But they are also the right people for the club. They know the players and fitted straight into the changing room on Saturday.”

Bourne had held a 3-1 interval lead at Kiln Park on Saturday before the Shopmates reduced the arrears after the break and then hit the Wakes with three goals in the final 10 minutes.

The Wakes were shorn of a number of first-team regulars and Raunds made the most of the absence of three Bourne centre-halves.

McDonnell added: “The pitch became very heavy in the second half and we looked leggy. Three of the goals we conceded were soft.

“We couldn’t afford to have seven players – including three centre-halves – missing for that type of the game.

“We might have got away with it against another side so we’re not going to press the panic button.

“But it was a disappointing result because everything had been going well.”

McDonnell and co-boss Phil Gadsby will have virtually a full-strength 18-man squad available for Saturday’s match at Bugbrooke.

Top scorer Jezz Goldson-Williams is the only absentee as he continues his recovery from a dislocated shoulder.

McDonnell continued: “We’ll be fielding the strongest side we can. We’ve always had a good response with everything we’ve asked of the players and we are going to need every one of them for the run-in.

“We need the lads to be honest with us and we want them to be committed to what we want to achieve. They need to show a level of commitment that we expect.”

“We want to keep players fresh so we can finish off what we’ve started and not let the season tail off.

“There has been a lot of hard work being done off the field as well and hopefully we can reward that loyalty with a strong finish to the season