Hendon boss Gary McCann, while delighted with the win against Metropolitan Police on Saturday, admitted that he could not really enjoy it.
“We have picked up 18 points out of the last 24, but such is the pressure and tension we have been under that we have not be able to really enjoy and appreciate any of the victories. It has been win one game and get ready for the next match and trying to pick up another three points.
“At the start of the season, a points target of 50 is set firstly. We have reached it later than expected , but with two games to go we are still looking to steer clear.
In the other two leagues (Northern Premier and Southern League Premier), the teams fourth-bottom have 41 and 42 points, so our 50 points would leave us safe. A few weeks ago, I thought 52 would be enough, but now I believe we will need a point or two more than this total.
“The last two games are going to be very difficult. But I have confidence in my players having the mental strength to cope with the pressure and come through with the results we need.”
Looking back at the win over the Police, McCann said, “I said last week that the level of our fitness would be the key against Folkestone and so it proved.
I made the same point about the game against the Police and I think our improved fitness made the difference again, along with our substitutes.
“Our first half display was OK, but I didn’t think we had done enough to deserve to be ahead at half time. I wasn’t happy and asked for a bit more energy from the players and also to replicate recent standards.
“Our defence, both full-backs and both centre-halves, were excellent and limited the number of chances for their forwards. We did really well to keep a lively front three quiet and didn’t give their dangerous front men any real chances.
“In the second half, I thought we were very good and completely dominated for large parts of the period. But, the longer we went without scoring, the more concerned you become about conceding a goal and there were two incidents that might have been costly – the counter-attack when Roman passed behind Collins and then Lloyd Macklin’s long-range shot which Tom Lovelock saved.
“Our first substitute had a huge impact. Marcel Barrington added pace against the tiring defenders and they could not cope with him. I thought the way he added to the attack it would be a matter of time before we made the breakthrough.
“However, once we had gone in front, another followed and we very nearly added a third in stoppage time.”