SHRIVENHAM manager Gareth Davies believes his side’s slow start to the season prevented them from potentially being top of the Hellenic Premier Division at Christmas.

Following the accumulation of 16 points from their opening decade of fixtures, Shrivenham were languishing down in the lower-mid section of the league before a run of nine games unbeaten catapulted Davies’ men up to third thanks to 14 from their next six.

Still 11 points behind leaders Westfield, Shrivenham’s last defeat was against their upcoming opponents Windsor back in late September – a 4-2 loss in Berkshire.

Keen to reduce the points deficit to the league leaders as much as possible before the two clubs’ meeting on December 28, Davies is eyeing another three points on home turf this weekend.

He said: “We’ve always said that we’ve got a good group of players, but when I look back at the points that we’ve dropped, it is a bit disappointing and we could be doing better.

“I can’t grumble though really because we’re up near the top at Christmas, and that was always the aim.

“Hopefully now we can keep winning games and continue to be there or there about at the end.

£The slow start has killed us a little bit, but we’re on the crest of a wave at the minute, so we want to keep working hard to stay there.”

Reflecting on the previous meeting between the two clubs, Davies rued several missed chances that saw his side throw away a 1-1 draw at half-time to eventually concede three times in the second 45.

The Shrivvy manager wants to see his confident forwards put the game beyond doubt early on this time and says hard work will carry the team through to another successful afternoon.

Davies said: “Windsor beat us down at their place, but it was a game where we were in it for a long time.

“We didn’t take our chances and it ended up biting us in the bum.

“It doesn’t matter where they are in the table, you know you’re in for a tough game when you play Windsor.

“But we’ve trained hard this week and we’ll be ready. We’ve been working really hard in games and the results have been following.

“That’s why I keep saying to the players that if we’re going to do anything this year, that has to continue.

“We can’t drop off in games or turn up and think teams will just roll over for us.”

Elsewhere, Royal Wootton Bassett are away at Virginia Water in a meeting between two struggling sides while Fairford Town are in Gloucestershire Senior Cup action when they travel to Wick.