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Burnham rise to sixth in Hellenic Premier Division after statement away victories

Two statement away wins this week have catapulted Burnham FC up to sixth in the table and manager Paul Shone sees no reason why his side can’t finish in the top four this season. 

The Blues travelled to Fairford Town on Saturday as underdogs, particularly after their 6-2 defeat at Longlevens the previous weekend. But with Matty Ayres grabbing a brace to add to strikes from Gavin James and Joe Blount, they returned home with a satisfying 4-2 win and three points in the bag. 

Then, on Wednesday night, Tom Willment’s thumping header earned them a narrow 1-0 win at Brackley Town Saints. It leaves the improving Blues just a point of the top four, a remarkable turnaround for the side who were occupying one of the relegation places just a few weeks ago. 

“No one was giving us a chance,” said Shone (above) after his side's win at Fairford.

“But we knew that the lads had that kind of performance in them.

“The opposition manager also said we deserved to win from minute one. He accepted they were beaten by the better side. The performances we’ve been delivering of late have been that of a top six side and people have been telling us your league position is false. We don’t feel we’ve had the rub of the green this season but on Saturday we were excellent, from 1 to 11 it was an outstanding performance.”

The newly-promoted Blues spluttered out of the traps and struggled in the early weeks of the season. They were also shocked and saddened by the death of teammate and u18s player Luca Skivington in a road accident – an awful event which Shone says gave the side some perspective and turned them from boys into men. 

“We had some events at the start of the season which hampered us and had an effect for sure,” he said. “It wasn’t a good feeling and football took a back seat for a while. But the way we’ve been playing of late there is no reason why we can’t finish in the top four.

“The players have now got to trust in themselves and believe they can put in performances like this consistently.

“You look at the table now and we’ve not too far off fourth place.”

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