Bragging rights to Heathens boss as former gaffer out-Shone
IT was a case of apprentice beats sorcerer for Paul Shone as Flackwell Heath kicked off the league season with victory over Bracknell on Tuesday night.
The new Heathens boss found himself in at the deep end, pitted against Town’s Mark Tallentire, a former gaffer from his playing days.
Things did not start well either, an early ‘spell’ of pressure seeing Tallentire’s men ahead courtesy of Callum Whitty’s fifth-minute penalty.
However, Shone and his side had a trick or two of their own up their sleeve, James Tripp’s header drawing the team’s level, before the hosts magicked up the best move of the match finished by Dan Rapley to complete the turnaround before the break.
And Joe Blount made sure any hopes of a Bracknell revival were made to disappear with a third from Dan Burnell’s pinpoint cross after the interval.
For Shone it was not just a job well done against an old mate, but a win over a side he expects to be contenders in the toughest and most open Premier Division for a decade.
“Mark (Tallentire) managed me for four and a half years at Binfield and we’ve become close personal friends, so you could say it was the perfect start,” he said.
“After a sloppy first five to 10 minutes we grew stronger and stronger, and if we’d been more clinical we would have won by more.
“Bracknell will be one of the favourites in what is the toughest league for 10 years. There are big sides financially and player-wise, so I don’t expect anyone to run away with it.”
Shone fielded three debutants in ex-Beaconsfield defender Andy Dean, Slough loanee Gurkan Gokman and teenage midfielder Matt Stockhill, the last in particular earning glowing tribute from his boss.
“I stumbled across Matt through a recommendation from another manager and his performances preseason and last night suggest someone playing well beyond their years.”
Next stop for Shone and his new recruits is Saturday’s FA Cup extra-preliminary round tie at home to Baldock.
On target: Dan Rapley finished off the move of the match to put Flackwell Heath ahead.