Walls have ears as Moles learn Mur­ray game-plan

Egham News - - FOOTBALL -

CCL Premier Ash­ford Tn 0 Mole­sey 1 IF only th­ese walls could talk had a whole new mean­ing at the Robert Parker Sta­dium.

Pi­etro Pal­ladino re­turned to haunt his old club as Mole­sey in­flicted on Ash­ford their third league de­feat in four matches and boss Steve Webb cred­ited part of his team’s suc­cess to over­hear­ing the home team’s pre-match teamtalk.

“Be­cause of the na­ture of how the dress­ing rooms are laid out we could hear ev­ery­thing,” re­vealed Webb. “They were say­ing they were go­ing to come at us for the first 20 min­utes and that when they got their first goal they would re­vert back to their nor­mal game.

“They also tar­geted one of our play­ers as a weak link so we knew what they were go­ing to do. We were able to with­stand that and were strong and to be hon­est they never re­ally trou­bled us and Liam Allen only had one save to make in the first half. Sa­mad Kazi was a po­ten­tial threat for them but that was only out wide and they took him off early in the sec­ond half any­way. Apart from that they didn’t re­ally pose much of a threat.

“Mark Bit­mead came off the bench for them and I sup­pose they had the sort of dilemma I had in de­bat­ing whether to change a win­ning team [after beat­ing Chert­sey].”

Pal­ladino struck in the 44th minute, the lively for­ward, a for­mer Tan­ger­ines’ star, sneak­ing in be­hind Ash­ford’s tor­mented back-line to smash a shot part Tyler Tobin into the roof of the net – although there was con­tro­versy sur­round­ing the goal.

You would nor­mally ex­pect one of the man­agers to com­plain that some­thing was wrong when the op­po­si­tion scored but it was ac­tu­ally hon­est Moles’ boss Steve Webb who ad­mit­ted. “I thought it looked off­side and I also thought it was hand­ball. Be­cause of the sun and the an­gle, it looked like it had gone be­hind the goal so I was sur­prised to see that it had gone in.”

Ac­cord­ing to Webb there was very lit­tle doubt about who de­served to win the contest de­spite the nar­row mar­gin of vic­tory. “You al­ways think they might nick one when you are only 1-0 up but it wasn’t re­ally like that,” said Webb. “We thor­oughly de­served it and it could have been three or four.”

Ash­ford sec­re­tary Alan Con­sta­ble con­firmed that view, and added: “It was a nig­gly af­fair, with a ref­eree who looked out of his depth at times but while pos­ses­sion over­all was rel­a­tively even, we found our­selves un­able to cre­ate barely a sig­nif­i­cant chance all af­ter­noon.

“Pal­ladino had ear­lier hit a tremen­dous ef­fort which re­bounded from the wood­work and prob­a­bly de­served his luck with the goal, when some felt there had been a hand­ball be­fore.

“But the truth was that the vis­i­tors carved out more op­por­tu­ni­ties than us and they de­served to win the match.”

Ash­ford boss Ben Mur­ray had no ex­cuses and reck­oned: “It wasn’t good enough from us and we didn’t do enough to win the game. We didn’t cre­ate enough chances and for the first time in a de­feat I can say we didn’t de­serve any­thing out of it. It was a very flat game and they came and did a good job on us. We didn’t play our nor­mal game and they pressed us high from the start.”

As for other teams lis­ten­ing through walls he joked: “Fair play if they picked up on that, I’ll have to start us­ing some sort of code or start whis­per­ing from now on.”

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