04:30PM, Thursday 05 September 2019
Flackwell Heath bounced back from a drubbing at Burnham by progressing in the FA Vase and picking up three points in the league this week.
The Heathens beat Arlesey Town 3-1 in Saturday’s cup clash before producing the same result at home to Reading City in the Hellenic Premier Division to banish any lingering fears from last week’s 5-0 rout. The fine pair of results was capped off by gaffer Marcus Richardson himself strapping on his boots and getting on the score sheet on Tuesday night.
After a fast opening to the game against Richardson’s former side Reading – previously Highmoor Ibis - the Heathens opened the scoring with captain Josh Baines firing home 30 minutes in.
But Reading City equalised inside of ten minutes after being awarded a penalty when Mo Davies went to ground in the 18-yard box.
The sides remained level until Richardson brought himself on to play up front and with ten minutes left the manager headed in Baines’s 35-yard free kick. After seeing his side getting joy out of aerial chances, he said he was asked by his coaching staff: “Do you not think you will give them problems?”
“I said, I would think so,” Richardson added.
“I was trying to leave (the substitution) as late as possible. I don’t want to take the opportunity of a youngster on the bench.
“I did prove them (the coaching team) right to a certain degree.”
He said he can’t run as much ‘but I still have my almighty strength’, and used it to good effect as he outfought his marker in the box.
Reading City pushed hard for an equaliser but instead conceded a third when ex-player Khalid Simmo picked up the ball inside Flackwell’s half, beat three defenders and scored to guarantee the win.
Simon Johnson, Reading City’s manager, worked with Marcus at then-Highmoor Ibis.
“I tried my hardest to bring him over. It is what he does, it is what he gives (as a coach), he gives good intel to the game.”
Richardson believes Johnson’s high-tempo approach on Tuesday night shows his philosophy has rubbed off on his former protégé.
The results have buoyed Flackwell, who turned around a 1-0 scoreline on Saturday against Arlesey to go through in the FA Vase, after last week’s disappointment at Burnham.
“The boys have given a good account of themselves and I didn’t expect anything less, to be honest,” Richardson said.
He is still a few weeks away from all of his players being fit. “At full strength, we can be a real threat in the league and cup action.”
Flackwell take on Fairford Town at home on Saturday.
Top Ten Articles
Four fire crews tackled the blaze at Slough Heat and Power station last night - with one team still there to watch over the site this morning.