Barratt’s ‘a real footballer now’
TONY Choules believes Uxbridge youngster Alfie Barratt became a real footballer on Sunday as the defender showed true courage to help his side advance in the FA Cup.
It was quite an afternoon for young Barratt as he was responsible for giving away two penalties against AFC Dunstable that threatened to send the Reds out.
Those couple of mistakes saw a 1-0 lead become a 2-1 deficit, only for substitute Chris Moore to come off the bench and save the day with a double blast.
“We played three 19-year-olds – Alfie Barratt, Jake Cole and Lewis Cole – in the side and thought that there might be a mistake somewhere along the line,” boss Choules said.
“Young Alfie made two mistakes and gave away two penalties, but I think he grew up and became a real footballer on Sunday.
“Our policy is that if we believe these kids are good enough then they are going into the team. He will learn from the experience.
“The senior players were absolutely brilliant with him. Even though we had won the boy was devastated, but they put an arm around him, particularly Mark Dennison and Wayne Carter.
“It would’ve been easy to turn on him because some of these boys have not got many games left and they want to go as far as they can when the FA Cup comes along.
“It was terrific courage and mental toughness from the boy to come through that.
“I believe he became a footballer that day and I think he’ll go on and become the finished product now.
“We now go to St Ives on Saturday and we are on a decent little run. St Ives had an FA Cup replay on Tuesday evening and we have had a clear week, which should help us.”
Elsewhere, AFC Hayes and Northwood were hoping to join Uxbridge in the first qualifying round by winning their replays last night (Tuesday).
The Brook were due to travel to Holmer Green, while the Woods were at Kings Langley after both games finished 1-1 at the weekend.
Ian Crane’s side follow that up by hosting leaders Kettering Town on Saturday and Chalfont St Peter on Tuesday, while Mark Burgess’s men entertain Marlow at the weekend before a midweek trip to Egham Town.
Meanwhile, Spartan South Midlands side Harefield United were knocked out of the FA Cup on Saturday when they lost 2-1 to Leverstock Green.
They begin their FA Vase campaign this weekend with a first round qualifying tie at Broadfields United.
Division rivals Hillingdon Borough are without a Saturday game for the second week in a row but return to action on Tuesday night at home to Tring Athletic.