By Jamie Arrowsmith 05/04 Updated: 10/04 09:44
FAIRFIELD Villa joint manager Paul Oakes has called on his players to bounce back quickly after the disappointment of Wednesday night’s 4-1 defeat against Archdale ‘73 in the final of the Worcestershire Junior Cup.
Villa, who conceded four times in the second half to fall to defeat, face another crunch game tomorrow when they entertain Littleton in the second leg of the President’s Cup semi-final, with a 1-0 lead in their favour from the first leg.
“It is important we get our heads right for Saturday as Littleton are a very good side and are more than capable of overturning a deficit,” Oakes said.
“We will need to be right on our game if we are to finish off the job but getting a positive result would be a perfect boost to us so quickly after Wednesday.”
Villa, who were beaten 3-0 at Alvis on Saturday in Midland Combination Division One, took a 1-0 lead into half time with them against Archdale thanks to Scott Gaffney’s goal but suffered a second half horror show to fall to defeat.
Oakes’ men had the conditions in their favour in the first half and were well on top throughout, only being denied more goals by a fantastic goalkeeping performance from Archdale’s Dean Smith who denied Gaffney on two further occasions as well as Martin Slevin.
“I couldn’t fault the lads in the first half and it is no exaggeration to say we could have been three or four up at the break,” Oakes said.
“Their goalkeeper has performed brilliantly to keep the lead down to one and then the tables were turned in the second half as they made the most of the conditions.
“We didn’t do ourselves any favours with the way we defended but I’m taking nothing away from Archdale. Full credit to them, they thoroughly deserved their victory over the 90 minutes.
“From our point of view we did well to get to the final but it just wasn’t to be on the night. People will look at the scoreline and think we got battered but that wasn’t the case, we could have quite easily won the game had our chances gone in during the first half.”
Turning his attention back to tomorrow’s semi-final, Oakes said his side will not alter their approach to the game despite holding a slender lead.
“I don’t think it will affect our approach at all, we will be going out to win the game,” Oakes said.
“Yes a draw will do us, but it is dangerous game setting out to do that, especially against a Littleton side who have definitely got goals in them.”
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