THE longer the season progresses, the harder it becomes to ignore Blackfield & Langley’s Sydenhams Premier title credentials.
Yet Watersiders boss Ashley Vickers reckons his side have not got the credit they deserve for an impressive 16-match unbeaten league run stretching back to early September.
Heading into tonight’s home game against Hayling United, Blackfield are lurk ing ominously in fifth place, just two points adrift of top dogs Alresford with four games in hand.
Saturday’s 5-0 pummelling of New Milton means they have rattled in 13 goals in the last three games alone and yet, much to Vickers’ disbelief, they have yet to lift the Premier Division’s club- of-the-month award.
“We’re continually brushed under the carpet,” said the Gang Warily boss.
“Last year we had a poor disciplinary record, but this year we’re up near the top of the fair play league and yet the Wessex League keep ignoring us despite all our FA Cup, Vase and league exploits. People have been disrespectful to Blackfield & Langley for too long.
“We’ve beaten virtually every team in this league and we’re the best side in it by a country mile. Fact.
“I see and read things week in, week out, with so- called experienced people wanting to justify them selves and pick holes in this team and that team, but I don’t go about my business that way. People who know me and have played against me will know I’m the most respectful person going, but I want to win things.
“If the likes of Christ- church and Bemerton beat us fair and square, then fine, but we’re the best team. I believe the players we’ve got here are playing way below themselves. They could go up a league or two and still do well.
“We’re a work in progress and if we can keep the play ers together and the mana gerial staff too, we can go on from here. “We want the people of Blackfield to come out and watch us. We want to be appreciated.”
It would have been hard not to appreciate the quality of Blackfield’s football on Saturday as Alex Baldacchino (2), Kevin Gibbens, Dave Ewen and exciting young AFC Bournemouth starlet Brandon Goodship knocked the stuffing out of New Milton.
It wasn’t that the Linnets played poorly, they just had no answer to the finishing prowess of the star-spangled visiting line-up.
With influential player- manager Darren Curtis kept away by a family illness, New Milton were down to the bare bones defensively, so centre-forward Simon De’Ath filled in as a makeshift centre-half.
Adam ‘Taz’ Roberts – a target of GE Hamble – was a livewire for the home side but, with Lymington Town winning at Totton & Eling, the Linnets now find them selves in bottom spot after losing five on the bounce.
With just 19 league games played so far, title-chasing Blackfield still have some catching up to do, but Vickers is confident they have enough fuel in the tank.
“These lads are fit,” he said. “We had a really good pre-season which will hope fully stand us in good stead. We’ve got a lot of lads of 21/22 who will relish playing so many games and enjoy it, but ask the lads who are a bit longer in the tooth and they’d probably say no!”