Brightlingsea Regent boss James Webster eyes further milestones
- Credit: Gregg Brown
He may have managed Brightlingsea Regent for the 300th time last weekend, but R’s boss James Webster was in no mood to celebrate the outstanding achievement.
After losing 1-0 at Phoenix Sports, a frustrated Webster admitted that the milestone game didn’t go to plan.
“It was disappointing,” said the boss, whose side host David Wright’s Maldon & Tiptree today.
“We came into the game off the back of our best performance of the season at Needham (a 3-1 win in the League Cup), but put in a flat performance.”
Game number 301 was no easier for Webster either, as his side lost 4-1 at Brentwood Town in the Essex County Cup, despite the boss being absent.
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“Our confidence is a bit fragile at the minute, and it’s been a tough season so far (the R’s sit in 17th position in the Ryman North before today),” said Webster, who almost led the R’s to a famous play-off finish in their first season at this level last campaign.
“We’ve had some great moments, but we haven’t had any consistency. That’s been our biggest issue.
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“We have introduced some new players this season, and it’s taken a little time to gel, but I thought we’d turned the corner after a heavy defeat at Dereham (5-1).”
The R’s accumulated eight points from four games after that defeat, but have taken their foot of the gas again recently, following back-to-back league and cup defeats.
“We need to get back to basics,” admitted Webster, who has added striker Terry Rymer and goalkeeper Ollie Bowles to his squad today.
“We need to get back to being hard to beat and play against.”
Despite Webster’s recent concerns, his managerial reign at his local club has been a fairytale story.
Since taking charge in 2009, with the R’s competing in the Essex & Suffolk Border League, Webster has overseen three promotions as their miraculous rise up the non-league footballing pyramid has progressed.
“I’ve had a lot of highs so far,” said the boss.
“There’s been a few lows – as there always is in football, but I’ve learnt a lot and more so now than I ever have considering the level we are at.”
With the memories flowing, Webster continued: “I’d have to say the 2013/14 season (when Regent gained promotion from the Thurlow Premier into the Ryman North) has been my favourite so far.
“We’d just got promoted into that league, and nobody expected us to do as well as we did.
“We just took it game by game, and suddenly by April, we had a shot of winning the league.
“It was only for a late Hadleigh goal that we didn’t, but we still got promoted – and now we are on the map as a club at a high level.
“The aim now is to stabilise us as a Ryman club on and off the pitch.
“Brightlingsea holds a special place in my heart, and what we have achieved so far is something to be proud of. We want to continue that.”
Elsewhere in Essex this weekend, Witham Town travel to Aveley looking to pull away from the Ryman North relegation zone.
Heybridge Swifts will also hope for a positive result to help pull them out of trouble as they entertain Cheshunt. All games kick-off at 3pm.