Hippos boss on last game of 2018: “It was a bad day at the office.”

PUBLISHED: 13:21 31 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:21 31 December 2018




Honiton Town’s year ended in disappointment as they suffered a 5-1 defeat at St Martins in a South West Peninsula League Eastern Division match on the final Saturday of 2018.

The Hippos, playing their 20th game of the season and their 33rd league match of the year, suffered their 21st defeat of the year, shipping three second-half goals having been ‘in the contest’ and just 2-1 down at half-time.

Town boss Kev Blackwell lamented: “It was, all in all, a most disappointing day at the office.

“I kept the shape that served us well against Axminster and looked to take the same spirit into the match at St Martins where the home side played with a front three that certainly stretched our back three – and pulled our wing backs all over the place!

“They [St Martins] were into a top gear very early on and scored twice, which left us fearing the worst!

“We then had to make a change, which was uncomfortable for me to be making so early, but it was so necessary for the good of the team. It was a decision based on the formation of the team rather than the actual quality of the play, and as a former player myself, I am fully aware of how hard such decisions are to take as a player, but there really was nothing personal about my decision.”

He continued: “The change in shape was vindicated in as much as it did seem to steady the ship a little and we got a goal back through Blake Fremantle after good work from Joe Dixon, which took us into half-time just a single goal in arrears.”

“During the break we spoke of the need for us to start the second half as we had finished the first, when we were enjoying the upper hand in the contest.

“However, again it was the home team who came flying out of the traps with their front three again proving a real handful. They scored two goals in quick succession, which, in all honesty, clearly knocked the stuffing out of us!

“They added a fifth later on and once again we were left reflecting on what looks, on paper, like a turning over, but I have to say, yet again, the lads put such effort and commitment into the 90 minutes and certainly did not deserve to troop off at the end of the match having lost by a margin of four goals!”

Blackwell added: “However, one thing that has seemed to creep into my current management style is moaning and groaning about our misfortune as well as getting uptight when things are not going our way and that really is not helpful! Such moans don’t help me in my management and they clearly are not healthy for the players and I hold my hand up that I have done a fair bit of moaning about our lack of any sort of fortune of late.

“The verbal complaints don’t help me as manager, and they really don’t help the players around those doing the moaning. What’s more, they don’t help with regard to match officials and opposition linesmen. So I am looking to change my approach and, to be fair to the players on duty at St Martins, who, as I have already said, gave their all for the cause, I must accept that we got beat owing to the decisions that I took.”

He continued: “I want honesty from the players and I need to be honest with them! One thing that does fill me with pride is that we are clearly ‘in this together’ and we will dust ourselves off and be ready for our next game, which is this Saturday’s Mountbatten Park meeting with Ilfracombe Town.

“I shall be making changes; we need to get some points on the board, but the buzz word is going to be ‘encouragement’ across the complete divide of our match preparation and application.”

● Check out the year of 2018 and the month-by-month Honiton Town South West Peninsula League, Eastern Division, results now at www.midweekherald.co.uk

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