We hope you all had a great Christmas and what a way to celebrate than on Boxing Day with a 7-0 home win against Shoreham, the second in the last six weeks. Here are Tony Russell’s thoughts on the game plus a look back to Molesey last Saturday and the upcoming game with Faversham Town.
What a way to celebrate Christmas with a 7-0 win against Shoreham and a feast of attacking football. We could have got over double figures couldn’t we as we hit the woodwork four times. You, Joe and Nathan must have been ecstatic at the end of the game with the performance.
Anytime we win I’m happy, some of the attacking moves we put together were excellent and we hit the woodwork a few times again, I’m starting to lose count how many times we have hit the woodwork this season. With the missed chances as well so it should really have been double figures! I’m sure we sent the home faithful home happy as there were some nice goals in there.
Shoreham to be fair to them tried hard but never really got to grips with the game and at times looked as though they wished they were somewhere else. It was good wasn’t it to score early to settle any nerves.
We spoke before the game about when you play against the teams down the bottom & the importance of starting well & scoring early. By doing that it doesn’t give them anything to hang on to, and it also throws out their plans of sitting back and frustrating you. It meant they had to come out of their bunker which in turn allows us more room in the attacking third!
It was also good to see Aaron Rhule and Freddie Parker score twice. They could have hat-tricks but for the woodwork.
I thought Aaron Rhule was unplayable in the game, we really missed him last week. He is still so raw and needs a lot of work, and that’s something I’m intending on doing once we have one game per week and we have 2 training sessions with him. I think he is coachable, and I feel I can get a lot more out of him and that is something I am really looking forward to seeing as he is quickly turning himself into a really important player for us.
Young Freddie has had to be really patient as he has not had much minutes with Shaggy being in such fine form but I thought he was brilliant when he came on. That boy will be a superstar I have no doubt! At his age you do get inconsistencies but that is to be expected as it’s his 1st year in senior football.
There were a major plus and a disappointment – The ten minute appearance of Karl Dent and what a way to come back with a tremendous finish for the sixth goal. The disappointment would be Michael Power leaving the field after 20 minutes. What is the extent of Michael’s injury or is it too early to say.
Having Denty back feels like a new signing, having him sat behind me on the bench was hard as I just wanted to get him on but I knew I had to hold him back as he has been out for a long time. I think he was on for 15 minutes it was just as the game got a bit flat for us and he came on and just lit it up, I would pay to watch him, his imagination and creativity is brilliant to watch. The goal itself was something I’ve seen him do for years for me at VCD and now at Cray. He looks like he has had a good Christmas so me and him will be spending a bit of time together Thursday and he can ask his mate Shaggy what that means!
Shaggy going off was more precaution we are hoping it’s not too bad but we won’t know until we assess him Thursday. He wasn’t feeling it when he was stretching it was more when he was turning he could feel a little tightness. Ally will get her magic hands on it and see what she can do.
Just going back to Saturday and the 1-1 draw at Molesey. I took from your thoughts after the game you were not happy with the latter stages of the game from our point of view.
No I thought the last 25 minutes was disappointing I was frustrated with myself, my substitution was too negative and I felt that encouraged them to come at us more. I was frustrated at the chances we had to go 2-0 up and failed to take them and I was also frustrated at the players reaction at drawing 1-1. Everyone was going mad at the linesman about giving the corner which led to their goal. Now you like everyone else in the ground I’m sure could see it wasn’t a corner but my argument is this before you start blaming linesmen and referees about the result ask yourself did you make any mistakes in that game? Was I good enough in that game tactically, No? Was the front 3 good enough with the clear cut chances they had, No? Was us as a team good enough in dealing with the corner when it came in, No? And I told the players just that, when I came off the pitch yourself and some of the supporters mentioned the linesman had cost us I didn’t want to hear it. I want us to front up to things, we can’t get better as a group by blaming other people. I see other managers on social media every week blaming officials and I never understand how it can be the same team and Manager not getting the result again but a different Ref’s fault every week?
Finally, a look ahead to Faversham Town on Saturday. They perhaps have not had as good a season as many predicted but they gave us one of our most difficult games when we drew there 0-0 back in October.
I’m really looking forward to the game Saturday, there’s probably 7 or 8 managers in this league that I enjoy chatting with before the game and Ray Turner is one of them. Real good football man, no silliness on the line, just a class act. I’m not surprised they’ve been picking up some results, he has made some shrewd signings, I was a big fan of Harry Stannard at Hastings last year and I’ve always liked Ashley Miller. In fact I was trying to get hold of his number in the summer as I was interested in signing him. So make no bones about it Saturday will be a hard game. But as always we are looking forward to it.