BRANTHAM Athletic joint-manager Matt Carmichael insists his side are back on track after a difficult week.

The Imps scored a last-gasp winner to beat Wivenhoe Town 1-0 in the Thurlow Nunn League premier division on Tuesday, following two defeats in which they shipped 11 goals.

Carmichael’s side sit tenth with 15 points from nine games, thanks to captain Ben Newson’s injury-time strike.

On his side’s performance, he said: “I thought it was typical of a side that have had a couple of bad results, conceded a few goals and whose confidence had been knocked.

“We needed to get back on track, so it was important the guys stuck together, which they did.

“We didn’t argue and we didn’t get frustrated, but you could see we were anxious.

“In the team talk, we asked first and foremost for workrate and that’s what they’ve given us.

“Eventually, they’ve tired because we’ve put them under a lot of pressure and we’ve nicked a goal in the end.”

Brantham controlled the game against Wivenhoe while perhaps lacking a cutting edge in the final third.

Nonetheless, the clean sheet was a major positive for Carmichael’s side, given recent results against Redbridge and Felixstowe and Walton United.

In the latter, on Friday night, they lost 5-1.

The Suffolk Seasiders made it ten wins from ten games after fighting back from behind.

The Imps had taken an early lead through Sam Newson but Felixstowe gained sweet revenge for their 7-2 FA Cup hammering at the hands of Brantham in early August.

Looking back on Tuesday, Carmichael added: “Most importantly, we didn’t want to concede after conceding 11 in two.

“You can’t expect to win every game 5-0 and batter teams.

“Sometimes you have to grind it out against a side like Wivenhoe who will scrap for every point.”

Regular goalkeeper Paddi Hawkins was dropped following the two defeats, with reserve keeper Sam Felgate taking his place between the sticks for Tuesday’s fixture.

On the decision, Carmichael said: “It’s a bit harsh on Paddi.

“Sometimes the goalkeeper has to be made a scapegoat because ultimately it’s their job to keep clean sheets.

“I’ve known Sam for years.

“I know of his capabilities and it wouldn’t have been fair to not make a change.

“Sam’s come in and we’ve kept a clean sheet.

“As far as I’m concerned, that decision is justified in my head.

“Obviously Paddi’s got a little battle on his hands now. It’s good to see within our squad that’s there competition. That’s what we want.”

Following Tuesday’s win, Carmichael says a top-six finish is a realistic aim for his side this season.

“We’re in a league that I’d say is probably the most competitive I’ve seen at this standard for a while.

“If you look at Newmarket, Felixstowe and Coggeshall, they’ve basically got Bostik League squads.

“We are 70 to 80 per cent there, so hopefully the rest will start clicking into place.

“There are going to be setbacks along the way, but we’re going in the right direction and I think top-six is realistic for us.”

Brantham are at home to Haverhill Rovers tomorrow (3pm) and head to Hadleigh United on Tuesday (7.45pm).