Hayden's thoughts on the draw at Lewes
Following Kingstonian’s action packed 3-3 draw at Lewes on Saturday, manager Hayden Bird offered his thoughts on the game.
Apologies for the delay in printing this, Hayden did write these notes on Saturday evening, the web guru blames it on watching the Paris-Roubaix cycle race on Sunday...
"Although we scored a 98th minute equaliser, it thought it was a deserved equaliser. The players played with great character to come back three times today against a very good Lewes team. I'm delighted for the players and I'm delighted for the travelling Kingstonian supporters who were unbelievable, even by their own standards!"
"It was important not to lose after such a good performance. We've now been beaten just once in seven games, which was to the team who are currently in 2nd. We want to end the season well, so it was a morale boosting, last-gasp equaliser."
"Although the team played well in the first half, we changed the shape at half time to try to put the team much more on the front foot. Tactically, the players were spot-on in the first half. We stopped Lewes playing through the thirds, tempting them to hit long diagonal balls, which prevented Bradley Pritchards and Michael Klass affecting the game."
"Unfortunately, Julian made a rare mistake, which presented Lewes with a 1-0 lead. Therefore, we needed to asset ourselves more in the second half in order to ask more questions of Lewes defensively."
"In a good team performance, I thought Walter was excellent, I was delighted with him. Walter, Alex and Alfie are now beginning to show why we signed them. There is a bigger picture for these lads, I knew they needed time. They will be big players here next season."
"Equally, what a captain's performance from Simon Cooper! He was excellent at left-back and epitomised the personality of the team."
"Overall, I thought it was a great game between two good sides. Could we have won the game? Of course, although it's fair to say both teams could have won, so a draw is probably a fair result."
"Although we are pleased, the goals we conceded were disappointing. All three goals were avoidable. Julian - who has been nothing short of exceptional throughout his loan period - made an uncharacteristic mistake for their first goal. It happens, it's no problem and he showed why he will develop into a top professional in the way he responded."
"Joe Taylor took his goal superbly to give Lewes the lead again. It was one of the few occasions when Coleman De-Graft got the better of Simon and Taylor showed why he is so prolific with very clever movement to find space in the six yard box."
"Lewes' third goal was as a result of a rash challenge from Kenny. He tried to win the ball but probably didn't need to commit himself. So when you ask yourself could we have won the game, the answer is yes. However, was it a point won or two points lost? it was, without question, a point won."
"On Monday we play Leatherhead in another game whereby we can affect the ultimate outcome of the division. I must be honest and say I'd prefer not to be in this position. Mick Sullivan (Leatherhead Director of Football) is a very good friend and I know how much work he, the management and the new regime have put into staying up. On the flip side, I have a lot of good friends at Merstham, who are in almost exactly the same position! I'd like both teams to stay up!"
"With the greatest respect to Mick and Merstham, both know me well enough to know I'll put my friendship to one side for ninety minutes on Monday. My loyalties and my allegiances are with Kingstonian. We want to extend our recent run and ensure that by the end of the season we have been beaten only once in eleven games. This should secure a very creditable 8th position in the league and our first piece of silverware since 2016."