Colney Heath beaten by ‘better side’ says boss after FA Cup exit to New Salamis

Colney Heath manager Ryan Thompson. Picture: KARYN HADDON

Colney Heath manager Ryan Thompson. Picture: KARYN HADDON - Credit: Archant

Colney Heath manager Ryan Thompson says they are unlikely to have many harder games this season than their FA Cup exit at New Salamis.

The 1-0 win for the Haringey Borough-based hosts came courtesy of a Kyri Portou penalty on 19 minutes but for the first half especially they were in a dominant mood.

A change of tactics from the Magpies at half-time made the contest slightly more even but they still needed goalkeeper Matt Evans for a number of good saves.

And Thompson held his hands up to admit his side were beaten by the better side.

He said: “We worked hard, had plenty of endeavour but the shape wasn’t right in the first half.

“The way they were playing was killing us a little bit. We just had to tweak things and get the fresher legs on.

“We just wanted to get a bit of width about us and the change was to stop them playing and get us further up the pitch.

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“But what do you do? I thought they were superb, I really did.

“They had quality all over the pitch. They were well drilled and we knew we had to stay in the game and make it ugly at times and try and nick something if we could.

“They were the better side by far but our boys never stopped running and never gave up.

“We could have been better in certain areas but it is what it is.

“There are no complaints from me.”

The Magpies fielded a much-changed squad to the one that was set for the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division title and promotion before the season was voided.

They weren’t helped by the enforced absence of Jack Woods, Spencer Clarke-Mardel and Callum Dudrenec but they had four in the starting line-up making their debut and another couple on the bench ready to come on.

And Thompson says the rebuilding has made life difficult.

“It’s been a really hard summer,” he said. “Losing so many players [is difficult] and it’s not like they left because they don’t like Colney Heath, they’ve gone for good money.

“To then try and get everybody in and get them to gel and understand how we do things, I can’t fault them.”