‘We lost one of the top de­fend­ers in the league’

Boss Choules in­sists he’s not bit­ter at ‘mas­sive loss’

Harefield Gazette - - SPORT - By Tim Street tim.street@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

MAN­AGER Tony Choules reck­ons Uxbridge FC have lost one of the South­ern League’s best de­fend­ers in Dave Thomas.

The Hon­ey­croft stal­wart made just over 300 ap­pear­ances for the Reds be­fore fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of Craige Tomkins and sign­ing for Chal­font St Peter over the summer.

Like Tomkins, Thomas has gone on to be a hit with Uxbridge’s South­ern One Cen­tral ri­vals, but Choules is not bit­ter.

He said: “Dave is a mas­sive loss. He’s the best full back in our divi­sion, and one of the best in the whole league. But I’ve known Dave and his fam­ily for years and he had the chance to go to a club who should be among the chal­lengers this year, so he went with our bless­ing.”

Choules’ own aims for a season, which cur­rently sees Uxbridge sit­ting in mid-ta­ble fol­low­ing three wins from their open­ing seven games, are a tad more mod­est.

He said: “The first aim is to get enough points to en­sure we’re not in a dog fight and, once we have 40 points, we can look at it again. We just want to fin­ish as high as we can and keep pro­gress­ing our young play­ers.”

One of those young­sters, Abs Eisa, went off in­jured just 12 min­utes into Uxbridge’s 2-1 FA Cup sec­ond qual­i­fy­ing round home de­feat to Har­row Bor­ough on Satur­day.

Choules said: “The game changed when Abs went off. He is very tal­ented and has a big fu­ture in the game.”

Nev­er­the­less, Uxbridge took the lead just five min­utes later through Thomas’s re­place­ment at left-back, Ash­ley Quashie, a summer sign­ing from Egham, who ri­fled in a free kick from 25 yards out.

Un­for­tu­nately, their lead lasted barely a minute be­fore Har­row drew level, and the Ry­man Pre­mier vis­i­tors grabbed a 72nd­minute win­ner.

Choules added: “It was a fan­tas­tic strike by Ash­ley and I thought it would win us the game, but we just didn’t per­form.

“We thought Har­row were there for the tak­ing, but we got pun­ished for a cou­ple of de­fen­sive er­rors and the boys are very dis­ap­pointed.”

Else­where, in South­ern One Cen­tral, Ryan De­bat­tista scored for the third game in a row, but it was only enough for North­wood to draw 1-1 with Aylesbury United.

AFC Hayes had no game, but in Spar­tan South Mid­lands Divi­sion One, Sean Man­gan scored the only goal of the game for Hare­field United at Buck­ing­ham Ath­letic, while Hillingdon Bor­ough won 3-1 at Che­sham United Re­serves.

n DE­FENCE CHANGE: Dave Thomas (above left) is now play­ing for Chal­font St Peter; (above right) Ash­ley Quashie scored with a free kick in the FA Cup

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