Yaxley FC overcome the odds to become serious play-off contenders

Yaxley FC have overcome considerable odds to become live play-off contenders in Division One Central of the Southern League.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 9:53 am
Dan Jarvis scored for Yaxley at Wantage

The Cuckoos reeled off six straight wins before last night’s (February 11) disappointing 1-1 draw at bottom club Wantage to move into seventh place, just six points outside the play-off places.

They beat a physical AFC Dunstable side 3-0 away from home last Saturday to complete their winning run.

And Yaxley have achieved their magnificent form with a threadbare squad which has suffered regular departures and injuries.

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Skipper Ross Watson was the latest to be tempted away, by a big money offer from divisional rivals Bedford Town, while promising forward Charlie Johnson has joined Soham.

Key men Joe Butterworth Liam Hook and Kyle Nolan have all been recent injury absentees and yet Yaxley kept on winning.

“I did say the run of games we’ve just been would define our season,” Yaxley boss Andy Furnell said. “They were all games I fancied we could win, but to do so when we’ve had so many availability problems is a terrific achievement.

“We have often been scrambling around for players, but the attitude on the pitch never changes no matter who we have in the side. To win six games in a row in this league is a great effort and to score at least three goals in every one of those wins shows how well we’ve been playing.

“We can’t compete financially with the big hitters in the division. We lost Ross to Bedford because they doubled his wages, but we just get on with things.”

Yaxley could well win again this weekend as they host struggling Kidlington at the Decker Bus Stadium on Saturday (3pm), but then things get tougher.

“We travel to Halesowen the following weekend,” Furnell added.

“And they beat Halifax to reach the FA Trophy quarter-finals last Saturday.

“We still have to play away at the top three, but play-off rivals Welwyn and Aylesbury have to come to us as do a couple of the struggling sides including Wantage.

“We want to beat last season’s 11th-place finish, but we could yet spring a much bigger surprise by reaching the play-offs.”

Dan Jarvis scored a second-half equaliser for Yaxley at Wantage last night.

Peterborough Sports’ scheduled Premier Division Central game at Rushden & Diamonds last night was postponed.