Onions clash sink or swim’ for Social Club
Coach Kameron Fox described Young Men’s Social Club’s bottom-of-the-table clash with Flanagan’s Onions on Saturday night as the team’s most important match of the season.
Time is running out for both clubs, who have only one win between them this season.
Victory at Goose Gosling Field would draw Social Club level on points with Onions while another loss could leave them 12 points from safety when the weekend’s matches are completed.
“If any game is important, it’s definitely this one,” Fox said. “It just about guys lacking that maturity in the Premier Division. They are giving a good fight and trying their hardest, but it has been difficult.
“When you are down, things don’t go your way and it becomes a problem with guys starting to disbelieve. For the most part, the guys are still fighting hard and we’re looking forward to Saturday.”
Social Club, back in the top flight after 37 years, are still without a win this season, although they looked like pulling off an upset last time out when striker Clay Darrell gave them the lead against Devonshire Cougars only for Cougars to fight back and win 3-1.
The loss leaves Social Club rooted at the bottom, although only three points behind Onions who are on a losing streak of their own, not having won since they beat Social Club for their only win back in October.
A win for Social Club would lift them off the bottom on goal difference as Onions, who have conceded 40 goals, have the worst goal difference in the league.
Three points could spark a revival, Fox believes, with a game against third-from-bottom X-Roads the following weekend.
“The will to win is there, but the understanding of what it takes to win is not there,” Fox said. “We’re not scoring the chances we’re getting and then it puts more pressure on the defence. I give them props, they’ve been trying hard to fight back, but goals go in and morale drops.
“Guys are still fighting to the end and fighting for the cause. It’s a lack of Premier Division knowledge in the team as a whole which is a problem.”
Social Club are relying heavily on Clay Darrell’s goals with Robert Rawlings, who helped them achieve promotion last season, missing this season as he is at school overseas.
Quadir Maynard, another player from that promotion team under coach Quincy Paynter, opted to stay in the First Division with Southampton Rangers.
“We’re putting all the pressure on Clay, which is a bit unfair, but that is his role in the team,” Fox added. “Robert has gone to school. He was back over Christmas, but we didn’t have any games.”
X-Roads’ 5-1 thrashing of Robin Hood in their last match leaves Social Club nine points from safety.
“Relegation is always going to be in the back of their minds, but I just try to keep their minds focused,” Fox said. “All the teams down there with us, we have to play. We have to play X-Roads and Onions and that would give us six points and some drive for when we play Boulevard and the other teams.
“I give credit to X-Roads; they brought in the right talent.”
Fox had stints at St David’s and St George’s, guiding them both to promotion and was most recently in assistant roles at BAA and Devonshire Cougars.
“These teams had the numbers where you could work on set plays [in training], but to work with 14 players instead of 25 when you’re not winning, sometimes it becomes difficult to work on what you want on game day,” he said.
“It’s not just Social Club, I guarantee that 80 or 90 per cent of the clubs have that problem.”
The team welcomed last weekend’s break, giving them time to work on some things,” Fox said.
“We had a bonding session where we had a barbecue and guys came out and relaxed more rather than having the fear of, ‘Oh, we’re going to lose’.
“This Saturday will show if they’ve got the mentality or not, whether we will sink or swim. I believe they want to swim and Saturday night will tell.”
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