‘We lost one of the top defenders in the league’
Boss Choules insists he’s not bitter at ‘massive loss’
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