NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: A century of goals and almost a century of points - but Godmanchester Rovers boss Ollie Drake is already determined to make next season even better
- Credit: Archant
Godmanchester Rovers manager Ollie Drake is already plotting a promotion assault - only two days after their season ended.
Rovers piled up 95 points to finish fourth in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division in Drake’s first campaign at the David Wilson Homes Ground.
And the knowledge that fine effort could have been even better fills the 26 year-old boss with huge confidence for the future.
Drake said: “I feel sure it would have been 98 had our final game against Kirkley & Pakefield actually gone ahead. It certainly would have been well over 100 if we hadn’t began the season so poorly.
“It’s still one hell of a tally and would have been enough to win plenty of leagues. I’m absolutely delighted with the way we turned things around after the disastrous start - we were in the bottom four and out of the FA Cup a month in.
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“We changed so much - personnel, playing style, mentality - and we have ended up with a squad of players who have the ability and desire to be promoted.
“A lot of great work has been done by my assistant, Chris Hyem, and everyone else involved behind the scenes. Now the challenge is to make next season even better.
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“I know I can improve as a manager and I’m confident we can still grow as a group and do even better next season if we’re able to keep everyone together.
“I’ve also been assured the club has plans in place to improve the pitch and that will be a big help. It caused a real problem with postponements and a huge backlog of fixtures this season.”
Rovers, who finished in the top four for the third time in four seasons, were forced to squeeze their final 14 league matches into the past two months. They won 11 of them.
One of the defeats arrived at third-placed Stowmarket last Tuesday when they conceded twice late on to go down 3-2. A Joe Furness free-kick and Elkanah Sibanda effort had earlier put them ahead.
Rovers responded with a 3-0 win at Wroxham last Saturday despite having Hyem dismissed. A Furness opener was followed by a brace from in-form striker Ben Yeomans - his first goal bringing up the club’s century in the Premier Division this season.
Drake’s side then signed off with a 2-1 home success against Ely City on Bank Holiday Monday.
They fell behind before leading scorer Jack Chandler tucked away his 29th goal of the season from the penalty spot following a handling offence that left Ely down to 10 men.
Substitute Austen Diaper got the winner with his first touch after being introduced midway through the second half.