Cooper: Blues play-off hopes not dead

On target: Met Police striker Charlie Collins now has 11 goals to his name this term

On target: Met Police striker Charlie Collins now has 11 goals to his name this term

First published in Sport Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports editor

Met Police boss Jimmy Cooper has not given up hope of making the Ryman Premier League play-offs after celebrating 10 years in charge at Imber Court.

The in-form Blues, unbeaten in the league since November 26, won 2-1 at title chasing Kingstonian on Monday – two days after holding high-flying Maidstone United to a 1-1 draw.

The results moved Cooper’s side up to 13th in the table and, with all the goals coming from in-form strike force Charlie Collins (two) and Bradley Hudson-Odoi,  the manager sees no reason why the rise cannot continue.

“I thought I had the right squad at the start of the season, but that wasn’t to be, so I take responsibility for that,” said Cooper, who was given a guard of honour at the start of the match to mark his decade at the helm.

“We’ve come into a rich vein of form now. There are plenty of games to go, so we’ll see where we end up.

“Bradley has been a brilliant signing and we fought off competition to get him.

“At the start of the season we did not have anything going forward and couldn’t score goals.

“Now we have an attacking threat and we are giving the opposition something to think about.”

Collins netted the equaliser at the weekend, but it was his opener on Monday that will live long in the memory – for the wrong reasons.

Ks were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Blues’ box and took it quickly only for the referee to blow his whistle again – seemingly for the kick to be retaken – only to allow play to continue.

In the confusion, Collins raced clear to fire his side ahead five minutes before half time and the lead was doubled after the break when Hudson-Odoi latched on to a clearance from a Ks corner to fire the second.

Ryan Moss pulled a goal back for the hosts with 18 minutes to go, but it was too little, too late.

“The first goal should not have been a goal, but we got lucky and took advantage,” said Cooper, whose side host Lewes on Saturday.

“We got a bit of breathing space in the second half. The onslaught came, but we were able to just about hold on.”

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