AFTER back-to-back draws, Gary Freeman was pleased to see his side express themselves at Guildford City on Saturday afternoon, a 7-0 win getting their title charge back on track.
Raynes Park Vale left Springfield with a point last weekend, before a 2-2 draw at AFC Croydon Athletic in midweek surprised plenty – especially given the hosts, mired in a relegation battled, played the final 30 minutes with ten men following the sending off of Oshane Brown.
‘We’ve had a couple of really tough games, so we just said to the players we want to enjoy it, try and move the ball and keep it as much as we can,’ said Freeman.
‘We wanted to be patient, not so transitional and not get into a battle. Guildford set up in a way which saw them sit off us so we could do that, but the key is always getting the first goal and once we got that the half-time chat was around encouraging our boys to keep doing the same.
‘The whole reason we do this is to play and enjoy it. We don’t want to engage in physical battles and we want to express ourselves. I’m surprised Guildford didn’t come out a bit more after the first goal or try to break it up, so it was pleasing for us that it gave us the chance to enjoy the ball.’
With a pivotal clash against current league leaders Walton & Hersham on Tuesday night, Freeman gave plenty of minutes to all 14 players on duty at the Guildford Spectrum and moved to allay any fears on the fitness of star man Sol Solomon.
‘Sol was just a precaution. We were actually going to take Luke (Campbell) off and put Frank (Tobin) on at centre-back, as we haven’t seen him there yet. But Sol got a bang to his back and there was no point taking any risks, especially with the score at where it was.
‘It’s just a bang and having spoken to him, he should be absolutely fine for Tuesday. It’s always nice to get subs on early and rotate a few and it also means we should be fairly fresh for Walton.’
Walton & Hersham remain a name synonymous with non-league football in the south of England, and Freeman was only full of respect for the Bulls fellow promotion challengers.
‘Obviously they are a good team and even though they probably have a few different players from when we played them last time, I think they’ll play the same sort of way.
‘I just hope people come out to watch it and that we deliver a similar performance to last time we played them – but can see it through this time! (Bulls relinquishing a 4-1 lead with ten minutes to play in November)
‘While it won’t be the defining moment of the season as there are still 36 points to play for, you can’t argue the result will obviously have a huge impact for both teams.
‘We’ll be pretty much at full-strength. Adam Trotter will be back having been rested for today with a hamstring issue, and Jake Prince will also be in contention. Given how Rai (Dos Santos) performed today, it gives us a healthy headache in terms of selection for those forward positions.’