SELSEY boss Steve Bailey says he and his players are staying cheerful despite their search for their first win of the season continuing.
Against Corinthian in the Vase, once again the Blues matched their opponents for long spells but couldn’t finish them off – and were out of luck as they slipped to a 3-0 defeat.
It’s not the first time that’s been the case this term for the men from the High Street Ground, but Bailey is convinced one win, however and wherever it comes, will change everything.
Selsey sit bottom of division one of the Sussex League after five games and are now out of three knockout competitions.
It’s a tough and steep learning curve for Bailey and his young squad as the club commit to a new era of using locally-produced players to keep down overheads.
After the Vase defeat, Bailey told the Observer: “We are in every game – we’re not being battered. But we’re very inexperienced and our fitness levels over 90 minutes are not the same as many other teams possess.
“We have young players who are still getting used to playing men’s football and fitness is a big part of that.
“It’s frustrating because, although there have been games we’ve not to deserved to get anything from, there have been others we should have won.
“But we’re keeping our spirits up and know the first win will make a big difference to everyone’s outlook.”
Injuries have not helped. Captain Dave Rough is out for about six weeks with the broken arm he suffered at Arundel on bank holiday Monday while Mark Thompson is out for a few weeks with a broken hand.
The Blues have also had two nasty cases of concussion plus a plethora of more minor injuries and niggles.
“It means we are having to rely more and more on kids,” said Bailey. “There are a lot of 16-year-olds involved. They’re doing well but we mustn’t expect too much of them.
“Fans are showing patience. They know the direction the club have decided to take. We have reduced admission and are seeing more people come in. Bar takings are up. It’s a long road but it’s the right one to take.”
The Vase tie was 0-0 with 15 minutes left but the Kent side punished Selsey three times late to progress to the second qualifying round.
Selsey crashed out of the Peter Bentlry Cup in midweek, losing 2-0 at home to Lancing. Again the goals came in the final half-hour.
They return to league action this week, with Shoreham’s visit to the High Street Ground on Saturday followed by a trip to face Crawley Down Gatwick next Tuesday.
Selsey v Lancing
Peter Bentley Cup