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News Archive > Sport > Boss wants more from improving Newquay squad

Boss wants more from improving Newquay squad

By Tom Howe 15th November 2017

Boss wants more from improving Newquay squad
JACK THE LAD: Newquay’s Jack Bray-Evans skips a challenge from an Ivybridge Town defender

DESPITE their remarkable turnaround from last season, Newquay boss Tony Mackellar revealed he is frustrated by his team’s struggle to take chances in front of goal.

The Peppermints were spared relegation to South West Peninsula League Division One West by Tiverton Town Reserves’ withdrawal last season, ending the campaign four points behind 18th-placed Witheridge with a far inferior goal difference.  

Mackellar grabbed the opportunity to remain in the Premier Division with both hands and, with a number of tweaks in the following months, has guided Newquay to seventh in the table as the 2017-18 campaign reaches its halfway point.

Catching the eye of chairman across the Peninsula League, Mackellar’s Peppermints already hold over 60 per cent more points than the entirety of last season, but the former Godolphin Atlantic manager admits it could, and perhaps should, have been more.

Referring to Newquay’s narrow defeats away to heavyweights Saltash United and Bodmin Town earlier this month, Mackellar said: “We tend to find that we struggle in the last third to create chances. In the Saltash game, we had the ball for 75-80 per cent of the game and we just didn’t create enough chances. We tried to tweak that but I have always said that we can’t go out and buy a star centre-forward from somewhere. We have got what we have got so we have got to try and create more. We have got to be having shots on target.

“For all the play we were getting punished and that happened at Saltash, they had two opportunities and they scored twice. We are still learning but the positive is we are giving top sides a run for their money which we weren’t doing last season.

“We have a tough month this month, we have still got St Austell and Tavistock away. Even though we have had such a good start, would people be complaining if we lose to St Austell, if we lose to Tavistock, if we lost to Bodmin, if we lost to Saltash? These are four sides that are usually in the top five or six. The Saltash and Bodmin games, we could have won either of those. We had more possession against Saltash than we have had in any other game this season.

“The new lads that have come in have got experience and that is the first difference from last season, Tom Whipp and all those guys, they do make a difference. Last year we had a lot of lads that were playing in their first season in this league. We had to change that as you can carry some but not eight or nine. That was the problem. Eight or nine people had never played at that level compared to this season where it is two or three.”

Somewhat ironically, Mackellar was talking on the back of Newquay’s 5-1 home win over Ivybridge Town, the third time they have scored five goals in a match since the current campaign begun in August.

A hat-trick from Glen Squires - one of the more experienced players alluded to earlier - and Tyler Cheshire’s brace helped the Peppermints snap a losing run that had spiralled to five games, keeping them in touch with the top six.

Mackellar continued: “It was a good result and one that had been coming to be fair, apart from maybe Helston, the rest of the games we haven’t played awful but we just weren’t finding the net. We went with the wind in the first-half and knew we had to capitalise on that. We felt that if we got a few goals early on it would kill them off and thankfully that happened.

“We went on and to be honest it could have been one or two more. We felt that the game was dead at half-time which is what we were looking for. We got in 4-0 at half-time which was enough of a lead for the second-half.”

Newquay return to action this weekend at St Austell, historically one of the most talked about fixtures on the local sporting calendar. The 2014-15 champions have had an indifferent start to the season, losing nearly half of their opening 15 fixtures but are unbeaten in three going into Saturday’s clash at Poltair Park.

“It will be a tough game at their place, I know we beat them 3-0 at ours, but they will be more wary of us now. I think we have lost that element of surprise shall we say. Are we confident against them, yes, but it is a tough ask to go to St Austell and do it. They still have a lot of quality players there. At some point in this season they will turn it around.

“We have got Tavistock after that so we have no easy games this month. It goes on and on and on and on. What do you class as an easy game any more in this league? Teams like Witheridge and Camelford - we have to be getting three points against teams like that, yet Camelford went and beat Plymouth Parkway so you never know.

“We are on point at the moment so we just need to keep picking up points and stay in that top 10.”

Kick-off at Poltair Park is 3pm. Back home at Mount Wise, Newquay’s East Cornwall Division One outfit take on Wadebridge Town (2.30pm).

By Tom Howe 15th November 2017

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