FC CLACTON record-breaker Kevin Coyle admitted having mixed feelings after clocking up a milestone appearance in Saturday’s defeat against Gorleston.
The midfielder made his 300th appearance for the club in their guise as FC Clacton (370 including Clacton Town appearances).
But while proud to play so many times for his hometown club, Coyle wishes the landmark could have come on a happier day.
Gorleston scored within 45 seconds and ended up running out comfortable winners, in the Thurlow Nunn League premier division encounter at the Rush Green Bowl.
“I’m proud to reach another milestone and it’s nice to know that at the end of the season I’ll get some kind of award,” joked Coyle, who is the record appearance-maker for FC Clacton.
“Obviously I’m disappointed it didn’t come on a day when we won, though.
“The goals we gave away were really poor. We were so indecisive.
“It was such a horrible feeling to concede so early on and it was like ‘here we go again’.
“Giving the goals away in the manner we did was really disappointing, because aside from that I don’t remember them troubling us.
“(Goalkeeper) Paddi (Hawkins) didn’t have a save to make and we had the better opportunities in the first half.
“But there’s no getting away from the fact we have to defend better if we’re to stand any chance of staying up.”
Coyle is third on the list of all-time club appearance-makers, combining Clacton Town and FC Clacton matches.
Former skipper Paul Hillier is out in front on 466, with brother Sean having played 372. Coyle may overtake the latter in the final weeks of the season – and he will be hoping to play his part in a dramatic escape act.
Clacton are second from bottom in the table and fighting relegation, sitting six points behind Wivenhoe Town and seven behind Hadleigh United.
“It’s still doable and could go down to the wire, but only if we beat Wivenhoe here on Easter Monday,” said Coyle.
“We have to win that game and probably have to beat Walsham here too (on April 8).
“Out of our last six games, four or five are winnable.
“There’s always the chance of a reprieve, too, and we have to try and finish as high as possible.
“If you finish second from bottom you’ve got half a chance but if you finish third from bottom you’ve got a decent chance.”
There was another milestone during Saturday’s game, with Adam Daniels scoring twice to take his overall Clacton tally to 30 goals.
“They were two almost identical goals, from virtually on the goal-line,” said the long-serving defender.
“They weren’t my finest but at least I was in the right place to put the ball in the net.
“It’s always satisfying to score and I’m happy to have scored 30 now, but obviously I’d have preferred them to come in a win.
“It was a game I thought we could win, especially after seeing that Gorleston had lost 3-0 at home to Brantham last Tuesday. But we defended poorly and they punished us.
“Their first goal right at the start was such a soft one from our point of view.
“When you’re down there in the table, you can’t afford to do things like that.
“Suddenly we’re chasing the game and they’ve got extra confidence.
“It’s going to be a big ask (to stay up) and we’re relying on other teams slipping up, but we still believe it’s possible.”
“We just want to close the gap and really put pressure on the sides above us.”
Clacton host Kirkley and Pakefield at the Rush Green Bowl on Saturday.