Stanway boss Steve Pitt philosophical about downside of success

STANWAY Rovers’ boss Steve Pitt has been in the game long enough to know that there can be a downside to success.

Pitt, who took over at The Hawthorns at the start of last season, moulded together a side good enough to finish in fifth place in the Premier Division of the Ridgeons League last season, as well as lifting the Ridgeons League Cup.

Four of that team have stepped up a level since the end of last season - Michael Cheek, Russell Malton and Ben Newson all joining Heybridge Swifts and Tom Devaux moving on to Witham Town, who have joined their Essex neighbours in Ryman League Division One North this season.

On top of that Josh Gould is going travelling for six months, leaving Pitt with the task of rebuilding his side.

He returned to former club FC Clacton to bring in Matt Cripps and Kevin Coyle, and admitted he had “gone outside the box” to sign Adelberto Pinto and Jeff Sheppard from Essex Senior League side Great Wakering Rovers.

The experienced Pitt said: “Success at most levels has a flip side, and the bottom line is that four of the five players I have lost have gone to a higher level. That is a nice reflection on what we are doing and how we are striving to do so.”

The early signs of how the new Stanway, who have ambitions of their own to play at a higher level, are shaping up have been encouraging.

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After what Pitt called “a decent pre-season” Rovers opened up in the newly-named Thurlow Nunn League with a 1-1 draw at home to Diss Town last Saturday, before winning 1-0 on Tuesday night at Brantham Athletic, one of the pre-season title favourites.

Stanway withstood a second-half fightback from the home team, who had been distinctly second best in the opening period, and could arguably have won by more if Lee Townrow had not left his shooting boots at home.

Pitt said: “We showed how well he can defend - you are always going to come under more pressure if you miss some clear-cut chances - that puts the other team in the ascendency because it gives them encouragement.

“I am obviously delighted because when we had to put our bodies on the line to defend, we defended magnificently, and we were always dangerous on the break.

“We kept the ball well when we hit them on the break and passed it well. Kevin McLeod’s ball retention was outstanding.”

Stanway’s attentions turn to the FA Cup this afternoon, and an extra preliminary round tie at Gorleston, who will be buoyed after thumping Norwich United 5-1 in midweek.

“If we are on our game we do not fear anyone at this level. We just need to go there and do the job we know we can do. Although we are taking it one step at a time we know there is the cherry of a tie away to Needham Market in the next round if we progress,” added Pitt.

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