Ahead of Saturday’s trip to Beckenham Town’s Eden Park Avenue, we talked with Saturday’s star Joel Daly to get his view on what is soon to lie ahead.
So Joel, would you say that the togetherness within the squad is increasing week on week?
“Yeah, I think it is to be honest! Obviously start of the season none of us had played as a unit before so it was always going to take time for us to blend together and know each other’s playing styles, and I think in the last few weeks you’ve seen that togetherness”, he replied.
“The result on Saturday was key – we didn’t play particularly well but still ended getting up the three points. In keeping the clean sheets and the defensive cohesiveness of the side has been very good. I don’t know how many goals we’ve scored in the last few games but you can see those forward players have really built those relationships and the chemistry between us is building, constantly building.”
Looking at the home and away record there’s a bit of a contrast in performances: five wins at home in the league compared to four draws away. Remaining unbeaten is imperative, but would you say there is a different mentality before a match on the road?
“Not really. I think we all set out as a team to go and get the best out of every game that we play, but unfortunately the away record hasn’t been as good as it has been at home. But we’re still unbeaten, we’ve played some tough sides. We go into every game with the same mentality and that’s to get the three points.”
“I think the home crowd really spurs us on and that is a really big bonus. I think teams coming here [The Enclosed Ground] really struggle because we have that 12th man in The Din. But I think away I’m not too sure what we can put it down to to be honest, but like I said the mentality doesn’t change, we try and get the best out of every game that we play in”, he added.
Looking back at our last away trip to Ashford United, who were another strong side, do you think you’ll set out in a similar way to that day?
“Yeah, I think we had good chances in the game against Ashford. Most of the away games that we’ve had we have had good chances to put the game away but we’ve just failed to do so. I’m sure this Saturday and looking further on into the future and throughout the season we will end up putting those chances in the back of the net.
“You’ve seen at home we’ve been able to score loads of goals so I’m not really fazed that we’re not scoring as much away at the moment. But I’m sure that will come. We’re still creating chances, that’s the positive. If we weren’t creating chances then that would be a worry but this Saturday we’re really looking to get three points on the board. I know they’re [Beckenham Town] a tough side and they’re around us, but that would be a big one for us if we can get the three points.”
And for you personally, it’s as if you’re growing stronger with each passing week. Would you say there is some truth in that?
“Yeah, I’m always trying to improve myself as a player and just get as much as I can out of the game for myself and as well of the team, that’s the most important thing. I’ve played in many different positions this year for Shaun [Saunders] and I’m always willing to help out the side. So if I can play my part in getting three points and spurring us on and getting us up the table then I’m happy to do so.”
To sixth-place Beckenham Town they travel this weekend, looking to extend that mightily impressive unbeaten league streak to 13 matches. A strong ask indeed but, in terms of morale and momentum, it’s firmly instilled within the Hawk.