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By Jamie Arrowsmith Thursday 15 November 2012 Updated: 19/11 11:46
IT HAS been a week of mixed emotions for Fairfield Villa manager Paul Oakes with the delight of Saturday’s 3-0 Midland Combination Division One home victory against Shirley Town being tempered by the loss of two key men.
Villa’s victory was their fifth in a row in all competitions and leaves them fourth in the table with the chance to go joint top if they can win at Droitwich tomorrow.
On the down side, they have lost Andy Nicol to Bromsgrove Sporting and Martin Slevin to Littleton this week, two departures that have left Oakes in contrasting moods.
“We knew when Andy came back to us that it was not going to be long term and he has been given the chance to play at a higher level with all of the business being done in the right way,” he said.
“Martin’s departure has hit me for six and I’m not all that impressed by the way Littleton have gone about their business to be honest. I’m disappointed by that one.”
Nicol signed off with two goals as Villa made a winning start to life at Earlswood Town whilst work is carried out at their Recreation Ground home.
Nicol scored the only goal of the first half to put Villa ahead following good work from Stuart Hall before returning the favour for his strike partner after the restart as the lead was doubled.
Villa were well on top throughout the second half and Nicol completed the scoring after linking well with Hall again to leave Oakes delighted.
“Things are going really well on the pitch at the moment and to carry that on against Shirley was pleasing,” he said.
“Goals are going in frequently at one end and we are managing to keep them out at the other, so long may that continue.
“To be fair though, we struggled in the first 20 minutes and were lucky not to be 2-0 down but once we got ahead we were comfortable and ended up deserved winners.
“Throughout our years in the Midland Combination, Shirley have always been a bit of a bogey side to us, as have Droitwich to be honest, so I’m delighted with the lads for getting such a valuable result and hopefully we can do it again tomorrow.”
Villa beat Droitwich 3-0 just a few weeks ago but Oakes said he does not expect that to have any real bearing on tomorrow’s contest.
“No I don’t think it will make much difference. Both of us had a lot of players missing that day and I would expect us both to be stronger tomorrow,” he said.
“They are fighting for their lives and we know it won’t be easy. But if we can apply ourselves properly then hopefully we’ll get the job done.”
Oakes will hand a debut to goalkeeper James Burrows tomorrow, who has joined from Bromsgrove Sporting, as a result of Spencer Hunt suffering with shin splints.
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