VIRGINIA Water manager Ceri Jones has explained his side must learn to take the ruff with the smooth this season, writes Rob Stevens.

The Waters lost just once in their last six matches in the Hellenic Premier Division in 2018, but have began the New Year with a single win in six games in all competitions.

Their winless streak ended with a 2-1 victory in the league at Brackley Town Saints on Wednesday with goals from Josh Guichard and Adam McNamara.

That success came after a 1-1 draw against Bishops Cleeve on Saturday when a Jamie Read penalty was cancelled out by Euan Crowe inside the final 15 minutes at Stag Meadow.

Jones told the Observer: “It was a thoroughly deserved draw and a point was a fair result for both sides because the game could’ve gone either way.

“We were all over them in the first half. We dominated but didn’t build on the lead.

“Bishops Cleeve were on top in the second half but didn’t create too many chances, and we missed opportunities to win it late on.”

He continued: “We’ve been a little bit unlucky in the six games prior to Brackley in midweek.

“We’ve been down to 10 men and nine in two of them but were the better side with less players in both.

“We didn’t lose in six matches prior to that and people tell me this is what happens in this league. You have an unbeaten run and then a winless one, but we’re still in a healthy position.

“We’re keen to get some momentum going but we’ve got to take the rough with the smooth.

“It’s easy to celebrate when you’re winning but when the chips are down you’ve got to stand up because that’s where togetherness comes from.”

The win in midweek means Virginia Water have moved up two places to ninth position in the league table ahead of a trip to Lydney Town this Saturday (3pm).

Virginia Water Development stand in sixth position in Hellenic Division Two East and return to action with a trip to second-from-bottom Chalfont Wasps this Saturday (3pm).