11:05AM, Thursday 02 December 2021
Chris Ayres’ honeymoon period at Flackwell Heath may well be coming to an end after successive defeats to Guildford City and New Salamis, however, the new manager was 'thoroughly pleased' with his side's efforts in Saturday's 2-1 defeat to their league rivals.
Having bowed out of the FA Vase to a late goal against Guildford City, this was another well contested encounter at Wilks Park, but unfortunately, the fine margins went against Flackwell.
The result also marks the first time the club have conceded more than one goal in a match since Ayres and his assistant Paul Shone took over.
The hosts fought back well and, had they been afforded another five minutes, Ayres is certain his side would have snatched a share of the spoils.
“To be honest, on Saturday, it was probably one of the best performances I’ve seen since I’ve been at the club,” he said.
“I’m thoroughly pleased with how we played against a very good side. We have watched videos on them and know of their experience, but I think we matched them well.
“We had the same amount of chances as them in the first half – they had three, we had three. The difference was that they took their opportunities and that gave us a little bit of a mountain to climb in the second half.
“After the break, we showed good character. We changed the formation and in the last 30 minutes, I thought we were excellent. We managed to score, and I think if we had another five minutes, we would have certainly got an equaliser.
“We were really knocking on the door and throwing everything at them. If it was a boxing match, it would have been called off.
“But that’s the way it went. It was a really good performance so I’m not going to be too down.”
On Tuesday evening, Flackwell Heath were knocked out of the Berks and Bucks Senior Cup in the first round by Sandhurst Town. With the score 1-1 at full-time, thanks to another late equaliser from the Heathens’ Fabian Driffill, the tie was decided on penalties with the Fizzers emerging victorious in the shootout, 4-3.