Leigh's programme notes for the Carshalton game
Good evening and welcome to tonight’s Surrey Senior Cup game against Carshalton.
We come into it on the back of a disappointing result against Tonbridge Angels in the league on Saturday. In the first half we were very poor. We didn’t play the way we can, we didn’t play to the style and patterns we try to do, and we didn’t play to our strengths. I felt sorry for Louie up top who was trying to do everything on his own.
We were fortunate to go in at 2-2. We had been uneasy in defence. The first goal came from a couple of individual errors that should have been dealt with comfortably. The second was a good finish on his left by Joe Turner.
We then showed a great response with the two goals we got. They came from going out wide and putting balls in. The first one was a brilliant header by Dean. He has had easier headers than that in the past few weeks and not scored! The second was a great finish from Macca after Alfie Doughty chased a ball down and put a cross in.
I thought going in at 2-2 they would be shot to bits because nobody saw that coming, and we would then be on the front foot. I got into the players at half-time. I told them in no uncertain terms we didn’t deserve to be level, and we had to match Tonbridge’s desire and work-rate otherwise we could come unstuck. We are normally stronger in the second half of games as well, so I thought we would go out and get the three points. We had chances to score and test the keeper which we never did, and they got their chance which they took.
Jay Gasson couldn’t start which didn’t help the momentum we have created with that back four. Tommy, Dean, Sean and Jay have been very good. Tolfs as well has been excellent, but he had a bit of an off-day compared to his recent high standards. We need to put that result to bed now and make sure it was just a one-off. That’s something we have done well in recent months - never losing two in a row.
We are in a strong position, but we have to understand that between second and ninth there is three points in it. It has never been so tight so we have to get back on the winning trail at home to Whitehawk on Saturday, end of.
We had three new players feature at Tonbridge. As a rule I don’t announce signings during the season because I don’t want the opposition to get the upper hand on who we are bringing in. When that does happen I feel bad when you fans turn up and don’t know who’s who, but it’s for the good of what we are trying to do.
Rhys Murrell-Williamson got the assist for Dean Inman’s header at Tonbridge. He has been on our radar for a few months. He was at Hampton and then Billericay but hasn’t hit the standards he did last season when he was in the Conference South Team of the Year at St Albans. We needed a right-winger and it feels like the right fit. He has quality delivering balls and he also gets goals. Hopefully he can get a consistent run of games and hit the levels he has in the past.
Joe Wicks is in the Under-23s at Millwall where he is highly regarded. He grew into the game on Saturday, but wasn’t used to the pace of it compared to the 23s. We’ve noticed from the young lads we’ve brought in on loan that the only one who has been on his mettle straightaway is Alfie. The others have taken two or three games. I think Joe will be a good addition to the squad.
Terrique Hall-Anderson is on loan from Charlton. He’s different to what we’ve got. He’s quick, short and dynamic. He can stretch teams and get in behind. He was Charlton Under-23’s top scorer last season. The year before that he played a lot with Ademola Lookman who is now at Everton, so he has pedigree. He will start tonight and we can see what he’s about.
An injury update. Elliott Buchanan hurt his shoulder at Knapill and is 50/50 for Saturday’s game. Leo Chambers should be given the all-clear to be back with us for Saturday which is a real boost. Delano Sam-Yorke has had an operation on a ligament in his hand – which has made a horrendous scar – and there is every chance he will stay with us once he’s fit.
Enjoy the game tonight. I will be playing some of the players that haven’t been given a lot of minutes lately. It’s a competition we want to go as far as we can in, while juggling it with the priority which is the league. Hopefully we can get the job done without the need for penalties like at Knaphill!