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Updated: Jan 16, 2020

MEDWAY MESSENGER REPORT - Monday 16th December 2019

Further coverage of this game can be found here

Lordswood made it an unhappy return to Martyn Grove for former manager Richard Styles on Saturday.

Styles quit the Lords for Tunbridge Wells in the summer, taking most of the squad with him.

His successor, Darren Anslow, made the club's new crop of players aware of the significance of the fixture and they turned in an excellent performance.

Anslow said: "We got the players in 15 minutes earlier than normal and said to them we know it's just another game to us, but you need to understand it carries more meaning to everybody else outside this dressing room.

"Tunbridge Wells' dressing room was full of players who were here last year and no one wants to go back to their old club and lose.

"We impressed on our players that Tunbridge Wells would come out and give an extra 20% and if we can't match that, we'll be in trouble.

"We changed the gameplan slightly and they followed it to the letter. It was really pleasing."

Victory came at a price with Rob Gillman, Tyler Anderson-Parr and Emmanuel Maja going off injured.

But Lords made light of that with goals in either half - both scored by defenders - moving them up to 13th in Southern Counties East.

The first came from Jai McKinlay when he back flicked a free-kick from Taylor Fisher over the keeper on 21 minutes.

Jai McKinlay opened the scoring for the Lords (picture courtesy of Allen Hollands)

Teenager Alex Brefo - who excelled as Gillman's replacement - clinched victory on 72 minutes by volleying home Luke Medley's cross following successive corners.

Alex Brefo sealed victory with a crashing volley (picture courtesy of Allen Hollands)

Anslow said: "It's good to have both goals come from centre-halves because we're not the biggest side.

"You look at Tunbridge Wells and they're all quite big but we scored twice from set-pieces and then defended their set-pieces.

"The first goal was important because we'd been under a bit of pressure and it was probably the first time we'd got in an area to cause a problem.

"At that point they're thinking they've had all the play and are 1-0 down. Second half, i felt we were in control."

"That's three cleans sheets in a row now, which is also important."

"Rilwan Anibaba's in form in goal, coming for everything, and the defenders have got so much confidence in him.

"Our back five have been pretty consistent in terms of personnel, they all understand each other and they know it's going to take something special to beat Rilwan.

"Clean sheets breed confidence. If you're going to score against us, you'll have to work hard for it.

"We know the run of clean sheets won't last forever but it's a massive positive for us at the moment"

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