JOINT-MANAGER Kristian Gilbert admits recent postponements have led to a frustrating halt in momentum for Burton Albion.
The Brewers have won their last two FA Women's National League Division One Midlands games, 2-1 away at Holwell Sports and 3-1 at Bedworth United, but those games were played on November 17 and December 12.
Those victories followed a difficult run of form for Albion, going six without a win, but those more recent victories have pulled Albion out of the relegation zone (with four teams going down from Division One Midlands this season) - and continuing our improvement from the previous two seasons.
And Albion will be hoping to play their first game of 2022 this weekend with our rearranged County Cup clash at Sutton United Ladies scheduled for Sunday, January 9 (2pm kick-off).
But with two County Cup games called off in recent months, the first one resulting in an Albion walkover win, and another league game against Wem Town postponed, Gilbert admits it has been frustrating for his side not to be able to continue building momentum.
"I think frustrating is the word," said Gilbert. "Two league wins on the bounce, we're hoping to make it third in the County Cup but with how it’s fallen, it hasn’t helped us with momentum.
"That County Cup tie against Sutton has been rescheduled for January 9, which means the Doncaster Belles league game has to move, but we just want to get going in the league again.
"The atmosphere has been brilliant the whole time and naturally confidence dipped a bit during that bad run of form, but we’ve kept doing the things we’re good at and training has been excellent.
"I think if you’d given us this situation a year ago we’d snap your hand off. We know it’s very small margins in the league and had one or two things gone differently it could have looked different.
"With them relegating four teams this year, it makes it a lot more difficult. We’ll have a much better idea of when everyone is halfway through - but we’re confident, and we have been all season, that we’ll be fine."
Albion's win at Holwell came courtesy of a late strike from Emmalee Hornsby - the second time that striker Hornsby has secured three points.
"At the start of the season, those late goals were going against us but we’ve turned that round," said Gilbert.
"The squad is deeper now and the competition is looking good through the squad. Fitness, too - you can see the work that Josh Davidson is doing with the players on the strength and conditioning side."