Whitton United’s success on three fronts this season, built on solid rearguard
- Credit: Archant
Whitton United assistant manager Glenn Snell believes his team’s success on three fronts this season has been built on a mean defence.
United reached the final of the Thurlow Nunn Division One Knock-Out Cup on Tuesday, defeating hosts Saffron Walden 2-1, to set up a final with Debenham LC at Woodbridge Town FC on May 2.
Whitton have already reached the Suffolk Senior Cup Final at Portman Road, where they will play Ipswich Wanderers, and are flying high at the top of Thurlow Nunn Division One, six points clear of their nearest rivals Swaffham Town, with three games in hand.
Interestingly though, Whitton have not steamrollered sides this season, indeed they have only scored more than three goals in a game on four occasions this season, but have by far the strongest defence in the division.
“Defensively we have looked really sound and conceded the fewest goals in the league,” said Snell.
“We brought Scott Marjoram into the squad at the start of the season and he has been outstanding, along with Robbie Knott.
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“Then we have Liam Jones in goal who I think is the best goalkeeper around this area and who could still play higher. Luckily for us, he is happy to play for Whitton.
“So we have a solid back-five and play with two holding midfielders and no-one has really troubled us this season.
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“It can be hard on the front-three at times as they sometimes don’t get a great amount of support but we don’t give them any stick, putting the ball in the net is a difficult job, and things are working well for us at the moment.”
United host AFC Sudbury Reserves on Saturday, looking to maintain their impressive run which has seen them drop just 13 points all season.
The finishing line is coming into view, although Snell admits promotion to the Premier Division would represent a big step up.
“At the start of the season we set out to get promoted and wanted a run in the two cups we were in, so what has happened is beyond our wildest dreams,” said Snell.
“We have always brought in players with our eyes on the future as this is an ambitious club that wants to get promoted.
“Whitton has been a big club over the years and everyone wants to go up, although it would be a big step, having played and coached in it.”
He added: “It’s a hard league to get out of though and last year I thought we were one of the best teams in the division and we finished seventh, so credit had to be paid to the six teams that finished above us.
“But last year, no disrespect to the players then, we probably had 14 decent players, whereas now we have got 19.”
As well as an improvement in personel, the club also has a terrific team spirit according to Snell, the team, managed by Paul Bugg, having a never-say-die attitude.
“That’s the biggest thing, the team spirit at the club is fantastic,” added Snell.
“We have played a number of games this season where we have won and the opposition have said to us, ‘We don’t know how you are top of the league!’
“We never know when we are beaten.
“We were 3-1 down against Ipswich Wanderers and came back to draw 3-3, while we had our backs to the wall against Haverhill and beat them 1-0.”