Pennicott-Bowen praises Binfield FC players for rising to the challengeBy Adam Lee
May 10, 2012
Binfield assistant manager Keith Pennicott-Bowen urged the Moles squad to retain some perspective on what has arguably been the most successful season in the club’s 120-year history.
The 10-man Moles suffered a devastating 6-0 defeat at the hands of Highworth Town in the final of the Hellenic Challenge Cup on Monday to end what has been a fine season with a defeat.
And although they eventually finished eighth in the Hellenic Premier Division, Binfield still won both the Berks & Bucks Senior Trophy and Hellenic Floodlit Cup, as well as reaching the last 32 of the FA Vase.
And Pennicott-Bowen was quick to remind his players that no matter how disappointed they are with Monday’s result, which was never really in doubt after Johnnie Dyer was red carded for lashing out at Highworth’s Craig Curtis, they can still be proud of a fine campaign overall.
But with a number of talented youth players now threatening to force their way into the first team, the assistant boss has warned the older players in the squad that they will need to be on top of their game to retain their places next season.
“The challenge at the start of the season was to get some silverware because we’ve been knocking on the door for the last three seasons,” said Pennicott-Bowen.
“The commitment they’ve had to give for 10 months in order to do that has been brilliant, but we now have to look at what we can do better next season.
“It’s going to be even harder next season for us.
“We need to be putting our feet up for a couple of weeks, but in seven weeks time we’re back in again.
“Come the beginning of June we need to be re-energising ourselves and preparing ourselves for pre-season.
“We’ve also got a transition with youth players coming through.
“I can’t see drastic changes like six players out and six players in, but we need to go and find one or two players who are a bit more specialist.
“At the moment we like to think we’re a free-flowing footballing team, but we need somebody like Roy Keane or someone in that kind of a mould.
“We need a different edge to our midfield and that’s no detriment to James Suarez or Carl Withers, it’s just the way we need to think about our formation.”
A skilful and pacey Highworth side took an early lead as Moles player-of-the-season Dan Weait misjudged an early clearance, allowing Matt Bennett to score into an empty net after eight minutes.
And before they could really find a way back into the game, things went from bad to worse as Dyer was given his marching orders as he tangled with Curtis.
After surviving a Highworth onslaught, Binfield recovered well, but just as they looked destined to make it to half-time only a goal behind, Tony Joyce made it 2-0.
It was Binfield that asked most of the questions after the break, but Highworth always had the answers, and it was no surprise when they hit the Moles on the break to make it 3-0 through Josh Parsons and put the game to bed.
Worse was to follow as Matt Horsell, Steve Yeardley and Dan Wallington gave the scoreline a very one-sided feel, but despite the result, Binfield can hold their heads high after a battling display against the odds.
Having already played 61 league and cup games prior to Monday’s fixture, the 62nd match was just one too many, but the Hill Farm Lane club can look forward to perhaps even more success in seasons to come.