DESPITE Bulls’ five goals in the win at Molesey, manager Gary Freeman praised the efforts of an opposition who made life difficult for his men at Walton Road on Tuesday night.
Rooted to the bottom of the Combined Counties Premier Division South, the hosts were only 3-2 down with 13 minutes to play.
Late strikes from Kieran Lester and Jay Giles eventually steered the Bulls home.
Freeman was left pleased with the points – if not the performance.
‘Coming away midweek meant a number couldn’t travel so it does test the squad a little bit, and the surface at this time of year is difficult,’ he said.
‘But to be fair to Molesey, I thought they worked really hard and showed spirit for a team at the bottom of the table.
‘They made it difficult for us and we couldn’t play the way we wanted to, but it was all about getting the three points and we’ve done that.
‘You’re thinking what’s their confidence going to be like going 2-0 down, and can we get control of the game.
‘The first 15 minutes was end-to-end and we got that lead and then you just want that third so you can relax. But they didn’t let us and we struggled to move the ball around.’
Midfielder Adam Trotter, in alongside Joe Kilshaw in central midfield in a slightly adjusted Bulls line-up, reflected on the tactical adjustment, noting it took time for the Bulls to get used to.
‘The way we were playing with the diamond formation; it’s going to put you in areas, especially attacking, where you’re going to overload and create those chances,’ said Trotter.
‘But defensively it’s going to open you up at times and they exploited that down the channels, where they had a few opportunities.
‘We changed our shape in the second half and that gave us a lot more control of the game.
‘You never want to get too regimented but it’s Gary’s decision at the end of the day.
‘I imagine different formations, different personnel and different options help as you never know when players are available.’
Two well-taken goals from young Molesey forwards Will Robinson and George Craig ensured the home side were within touching distance until the closing moments of the contest.
Freeman noted the switch in shape contributed to one of the league’s most miserly defences being breached.
‘I’ll take some blame for the first goal, because we played a tight diamond and they did quite well on that left-hand side.
‘James [Quérée] was overloaded on occasion, but it was a decent finish.
‘We changed it at half-time to nullify Molesey’s threat with a three going forward, and it helped. We had to mix it up due to availability really.
‘Lorne Bickley wasn’t available, neither was Karl Hinds or Kamen [Nafkha] – and Fraser constantly tells me he’s a number nine.
‘He worked hard and got his goal.
‘So it’s just sometimes about moving people around.’