Thu, 12 Sept 2019
THATCHAM Town manager Danny Robinson was left frustrated after his side was denied an injury-time equaliser against Salisbury in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.
The Kingfishers went down 3-2 at home to Steve Claridge’s side at the Stacatruc Stadium, Felipe Barcelos and Scott Rees netting for Town, while George Colson, Tobias Holmes and Kevin Amankwaah were on target for the visitors.
But in second-half stoppage time, Thatcham looked to have snatched a replay when they had the ball in the net after Salisbury keeper Tom Smith failed to clear his lines.
But referee Adam Baker disallowed the goal after ruling that Michael Miller had fouled Smith.
Robinson said: “We didn’t get beat by Salisbury, in my humble opinion, and I never blame referees because they have such a hard job to do, but every little decision went their way.
“They were given a penalty. I thought we should have had a stonewall penalty and their goalkeeper has stood his ground and punched the ball into the back of his net – even the linesman gave it as a goal.
“Let’s be honest, there was nothing wrong with what we did.”
Robinson expressed how proud he was of his side, who have started the season strongly, and said: “I felt that for the majority of the game, we had the ascendency and when they scored they slightly grew into the game.
“I still think we kept the ball better than them and we moved it better, but set-pieces were always going to be a danger and I am annoyed with that because we could have done better.
“I am so proud of my players – each and every single one of them.”
The home side found themselves 2-0 down at half-time, and despite the margin, Robinson wasn’t worried.
He said: “I told them to be positive and I thought footballing-wise we were the better side, but they had the physicality and power.
“We didn’t create a lot, but we had snapshots and half-chances and truthfully, Struds [Paul Strudley] didn’t have a save to make.”
However, the Thatcham boss admitted: “You have to take it on the chin. Salisbury are a fantastic side and it’s where we have to aspire to be.
“To pit my wits against one of the great players in Steve Claridge is a true honour and we’ll dust ourselves down because we have a fantastic group of players – Lady Luck just wasn’t with us.
“We weren’t meant to win, they were the favourites.
“It’s Salisbury Football Club against little Thatcham so we need to bounce back and I am confident our group of lads can do something special this year.”
Thatcham will now turn their attention back to the league on Saturday as they host Bideford.
Robinson said: “If truth be told, that’s all I care about because I want us to do better than last year.
“What we did last season was no way near where I want us to be – I want us to be the best around.”