A SUBLIME win over the league favourites, a gritty Saturday afternoon comeback and a derby day triumph...it’s been a good few days for Justin Gardner’s Aveley.
After two defeats in their opening two games, Millers now sit sixth, having won their last four games on the spin.
Last Tuesday, Teddy Nesbitt inspired the side to victory against AFC Sudbury. He scored two and set up another for Petrit Elbi as Millers won 3-0.
On Saturday, Elbi was on the score sheet again as Aveley came from 1-0 down to win 2-1, with Marcus Elliot bagging an 80th minute winner.
Then on Bank Holiday Monday, Gardner’s side made the short trip to Chadfields to take on Paul Vaughan’s Tilbury.
Former Docker and Millers skipper Junior Baker scored a 29th minute header to seal the win and cap off a good week.
Speaking after the Chatham game, in which Ade Yussuf gave the Kent side the lead, Gardner said: “I didn’t think we played well today. I thought we won ugly. I thought our goalie [James] Marrable was man of the match today and if it wasn’t for him I think we would have lost.
“But the good thing is, we would have lost that game last season and I said to the boys ‘you’ve won ugly and that’s the sign of a good team’.
“I don’t think we had a shaky start. I’ve not been disappointed with any of the performances apart from today.”
And on his side’s good form and chances for the rest of the season, he added: “We’re just going to be relaxed about it and not put any pressure on ourselves. We’re just going to enjoy every game. It’s a tough league and maybe 15 teams who feel they can go up, so we’ll take one game at a time.”
In contrast, Vaughan’s Tilbury are struggling for consistency.
Harry Cook scored twice against the 10 men of Heybridge Swifts last Tuesday as Dockers pummelled the North Essex side 3-0. Ben Hunt scored the other in that victory as Danny Barber saw a first half red card for Swifts.
But that was followed by a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the league’s early leaders Needham Market before Millers triumphed in the season’s first Thurrock derby.