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All smiles for Kevin Wilkin after first win in charge at AFC Telford United

AFC Telford United manager Kevin Wilkin wore a smile as he thanked the Bucks fans for sticking by their team, and saw them rewarded with a 2-1 home victory over Banbury United.

Kevin Wilkin (AFC Telford United Manager)clapping fans after beating Banbury 2-1.
Kevin Wilkin (AFC Telford United Manager)clapping fans after beating Banbury 2-1.

Winning has been a less than familiar feeling for Wilkin since his arrival, but at last he saw his side’s progression rewarded with maximum points:

“It’s feels nice; it does feel kind of strange,” he said. “There have been too many games that have gone by where we’ve been beaten, but fair play to the lads and the supporters.

“They’ve deserved more than this before now. The crowd have stayed behind us and have continued to back the lads.”

The Bucks’ first league win in almost four months arrived thanks to goals from Coventry City’s on-loan defender George Burroughs and the returning Montel Gibson.

Forward Gibson cut short a loan deal in October because of work commitments but also made a commitment to Wilkin to try and resolve those issues.

Having done so, he netted the winner on his ‘second debut’, restoring the Bucks’lead just a few minutes after Banbury had levelled through Giorgio Rasulo.

Burroughs and another loan player, Adam Senior from Bolton Wanderers, were central to the result and performance, and the duo won high praise from Wilkin.

“They were absolutely outstanding,” said the boss. “With the greatest respect to Banbury, they don’t carry perhaps quite so much physical presence across their front line as some teams do at this level.

“They’re a good side with good athletes who can move the ball well and have good energy levels, so it’s tremendous credit to Adam and George.

“It’d be rare that you’d play two 20 years-olds at centre-half. It’s a position that normally requires a bit of maturity and fair play to them; at their tender age they’ve shown a massive amount of that.”

The Bucks’ victory didn’t lift them out of the bottom spot in National League North but cut the deficit, and although there is still much ground to recover, the result seemed to lift the mood, of both fans and players, something that Wilkin feels will help the likes of Senior, Burroughs and Bailey Sloane.

He said: “Digging in, in the way that they have, is great for those young lads on loan with us, playing the way they have today and showing that little bit of leadership. They’ll benefit no end from the result.”

Telford travel to Bradford Park Avenue tonight (7.45pm).

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