09:33AM, Monday 20 November 2017
Manager Marcus Richardson said he new team’s match management was not good enough after he watched Flackwell Heath concede a 92nd minute equaliser in the 1-1 draw at home to Abingdon United.
After an even first half, the Heathens – buoyed by the introduction of subs James Harding and Charlie Samuels at the start of the second period - took the lead on 48 minutes when new signing Samuels hit a 25-yard effort which took a slight deflection on its way inside the far post.
Both teams had opportunities to add to the score, although the hosts’ were the more straightforward, before the Dons’ Callum Harvey drove home from 12 yards after the Heathens had failed to deal with a hopeful cross into the area with 90 seconds remaining.
Skipper Dean Allen almost pinched all three points for the home side with the last kick of the game, but his snap shot from close range soared over the bar.
Richardson, 40, who took control of the reins at the club on Thursday after the unexpected departure of Paul Shone a couple of weeks ago, was frustrated by the late goal.
“There are small things we can improve on, but as a team we did well in patches.
“We have to have more game understanding though.
“We had the points sewn up. At that stage of the game it’s about game management.
“We were 1-0 ahead not 2-0 or 3-0 up so you have to have game management, but that’s what we lacked today.
“I will show the team over the next few weeks how to get that. I will instil this into them.”
Richardson, in his first game in charge at Wilks Park, was delighted with the impact of new signing Charlie Samuels who opened his account with almost his first touch and showed pace and ability down the left flank..
Richardson said: “He made pace look slow at times. He has it to burn. I believe I have a rough diamond here.
“Also the other kid who came on, James Harding, also did well. He was unlucky not to get a goal when his shot was deflected on to the post.”
Looking further ahead, Richardson – a former striker for many years with local teams such as Burnham, Slough Town and Marlow, plus senior teams like Hartlepool United, Torquay United, Lincoln City and Farnborough – says he believes the Heathens can still push for promotion.
He added that he had not been set any targets by chairman Terry Glynn, but he was keen to do well.
He added: “Terry sold the club to me. He rang me up and asked me what I thought of the position.
“It was a big opportunity for me. They are a club which has been around for a long time, have the right structure and know where they want to go.”
Richardson added that he had asked the current assistant manager San Kelleher to remain in place, but that a decision had yet to be made.
The Heathens are fifth in the Hellenic League Premier Division after this result, eight points behind leaders Highworth Town and having played two matches more.
Full match report and images from Flackwell Heath v Abingdon United, plus interview with Marcus Richardson will be in Thursday’s Maidenhead Advertiser.
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