Russell Jee hopes Willand Rovers’ superb 1-0 win away to Bitton on Tuesday night will act as a turning point in the season.
Rovers have endured a tricky start to the campaign so far, having only won one and lost four of their first six league games heading in Tuesday’s clash.
But Ryan Guppy’s 25-yard first-half free-kick – followed by some stout backs-to-the-wall defending – saw Jee’s side leave South Gloucestershire with all three points.
Rovers are not in action this weekend, but the manager hopes that win will have a galvanising effect on his players for next week’s trip to high-flying Bristol Manor Farm.
“It is another tough, tough test – they don’t get any easier.
The lads have the weekend off, so hopefully they can have a break, recharge their batteries and get ready for the next game.
“We have just taken four points out of Odd Down, Melksham and Bitton with two of them away from home, and I would have taken that. Those three will finish in the top six.”
Heading into Tuesday’s match, the odds looked stacked against Rovers following a 2-1 defeat to Odd Down on Saturday. Rovers had taken the lead in that game through Angus Wilson before the hosts stormed back to claim the points.
So when Willand took the lead against Bitton, on Tuesday, through Guppy’s free-kick, they were still a long way from victory. But some heroic defending left the previously-undefeated side unable to level, handing Rovers an invaluable win.
Jee said: “To be honest, it was a fair result. I think we deserved to win. From one to 11 they were superb on the night. I think we could still be playing now and we wouldn’t have conceded.
“Honestly, we stuck bodies on the line at every opportunity, we blocked shots from every angle and just played really well.
“It is the first time Bitton have lost and it is the first time they haven’t scored two in a game, so to keep a clean sheet was fantastic.
“We had other chances as well, but the most pleasing thing was the way that we hung in there.
“They are a big, strong outfit and play with three up top, they play their pitch well and cause a lot of teams problems at home – not many teams go there and win.
“We had a bit of lady luck but the sheer workrate was superb – the lads were spot on.”
Jee continued: “I would rather have a game this weekend, although we do have a few niggling injuries to get over so it’s not a bad thing.
“Joe Curtis has a thigh injury and Tom McHale’s foot is a bit sore after rolling his ankle, so we have a bit of time now to recover.”