Plenty of positives for Castle

Saints boss pleased with season opener

CITY boss Steve Castle says he took plenty of positives from Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Thurrock, despite his side losing a two goal lead.

It was harsh on a new look City side who for an hour looked by far the better side with one of the most pleasing aspects for Castle the performance of his front men, Drew Roberts and Inih Effiong, who both got off the mark at the first time of asking.

“Performance wise for an hour I thought everyone was top drawer,” Castle said afterwards.

“There was not a single lad who I thought dipped under six out of 10. We are absolutely gutted with a 2-2 coming to one of the teams I think will comfortably be in the top half.

“Thurrock are probably one of the better teams in our league, we’ve come over here and for an hour in my opinion we’ve battered them.

“I don’t think they had any chances of note until they got their goal and then we went on the back foot a little bit. All I can say is I’ve got some really good positive stuff.

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“They’re absolutely gutted and they’re gutted because it’s the standards that we set ourselves in the first half. We only just missed that opening opportunity, we got two goals in front and it’s a belief thing.

“I think if we kept that belief and we kept ourselves in front that would have just taken us on to Tuesday.”

Ben Martin and Hassan Sulaiman both returned to the Saints line-up after re-signing for the club on Thursday and Castle paid tribute to the pair’s contribution.

“Ben Martin’s come in and he’s a fantastic lad,” explained the City chief.

“There’s no money at the moment, obviously we’ve got to try and address that. It would have been great if we got that victory and then got a victory on Tuesday, I think it makes my claim that little bit stronger for the inclusions and us going slightly over budget. Hassan just works his socks off and fully warranted his place and Ben was a colossus in there.

“They’re popular lads and they’re good players. I got a text off Paul Bastock and he was absolutely buzzing we’d got them.”