The old cliché that winning breeds confidence has never been borne out more than at Linton Granta FC — as last weekend’s events showed.
Two weeks ago Granta had accrued just one point from their first 11 matches in the Kershaw Premier Division — and their title-winning season of 2011/12 seemed but a distant memory.
The drought was ended however, on October 31, when Granta overcame second-bottom Hemingfords United 3-1.
One week later they went on to double their wins tally in the most remarkable way, by hammering fourth-placed Hardwick 7-0, and a win this weekend at third bottom Foxton will see them rise out of the relegation zone and up two places to 15th.
Even more remarkably, just two weeks before they trounced Hardwick (who finished third in the division last season) the two teams had met in a league match, with Granta coming from 3-0 down to level at 3-3, only to be denied a point by a last-minute goal.
Granta manager, Nigel De’Ath, who took over at the helm from Adam Norton at the start of last season, said: “It was pretty awful for the players really, because they all stuck together.
“We were just not getting results. We had two games where we lost in injury time, having played well, and a couple of games where we lost by just the odd goal.
“The week before (the Hemingfords United win) was undoubtedly a confidence boost and got us over the psychological barrier of getting a win because we played Hardwick a week earlier and lost in the final minute.
“We did our homework, and then a bit, and it worked to perfection.”
The upturn in Granta’s fortunes has coincided with the return of striker Dale Archer after a spell with Ryman League Division One North side Soham Town Rangers, and he has scored five goals in his three matches since coming back. Two of those came in the victory over Hardwick.
De’Ath said: “We lost the first game after he came back, but I think he clearly gives us a cutting edge up front.
“Frankly it’s given everyone else the confidence that we have always got the chance to score goals.”
Steve McNicholas is another player who, although not able to play regularly, has returned to the club and scored in Saturday’s win.
“I think getting them all back together has helped, plus I think the most important thing was getting the win because there was a mental barrier,” added De’Ath.
The team’s aim now is to continue their winning form and climb up the table, as their manager explained: “To get away from trouble is basically the goal, and if we can do that and stabilise it looks better than it did a fortnight ago.”