Darren Powell knows the true secret behind Hampton & Richmond Borough getting their home form back on track – him being laid up at home in his sick bed.
The joint manager, also a key member of the Beavers’ backline, was forced to follow Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Bury Town via his mobile phone after being struck down by a stomach bug.
A fine hat-trick from Belal Aite-Ouakrim restored some pride after some dreadful recent displays at the Beveree left the club winless at home since January.
With play-off hopes over, that recent poor form had led to accusations the players had taken their foot off the gas with nothing left to play for in the Ryman Premier League.
Powell joked: “I think we all know the real reason why we won the game – it’s because I wasn’t there. What does that say?
“Maybe I should be ill more often.
“It really picked me up getting the goals coming through. We needed that result – the last few weeks everyone knows standards haven’t been met.
“We went on a good run and as soon as we managed to get a bit of hope of a late burst for the top five, we managed to throw it away against teams we should be beating.”
Powell was full of praise for Aite-Ouakrim – the former AFC Wimbledon frontman taking centre stage in a season dominated by goals from Charlie Moone and the return of striker Dave Tarpey.
“I was thrilled for Belal,” added the former Brentford centre-back.
“He’s had his injury issues in his time here and his career in general – every time he’s looked like getting on a run he has broken down.
“It’s been back to square one with him a few times, but hopefully he is over the worst and he can look forward and be a huge part of our team.
“He’s got a lot to offer and he deserved that – he works hard and has scored a few goals in the last couple of matches to give us a lift.”
The Beavers travel to Enfield Town this weekend.
Upstanding: The Beavers wall does its job during the defeat to Canvey Island on Saturday