FOR a team which has struggled to score at home all season, Bulls’ manager praised the “attitude” of his men following their 3-0 win over Tadley Calleva.
It was a crucial win for Gary Freeman’s side, who retain third spot in the Combined Counties Premier Division South, two points clear of Abbey Rangers.
Springfield had been far from a happy hunting ground, with seven of their nine league wins coming in the mainland, prior to the visit of Tadley.
Freeman said: “It was a really pleasing result. I thought the attitude and tempo of the boys was excellent and exactly what we’re looking for.
“Going into half time 0-0 was fine for us because we knew we were the only team creating chances.”
The Islanders came out the blocks quickly following the break and looked threatening. Eventually pressure told and the hosts took the lead through an own goal from Connor Thorne.
“We knew we had to take our chances in the second half,” Freeman added. “Once we got that first it felt like we would get more, which is a good sign.”
The second did arrive, via a sublime dink over the keeper from man-of-the -match Jonny Le Quesne.
The cushion allowed Freeman to make changes, including the introduction of Luke Watson, who made a goalscoring return following suspension.
“We have such a strong squad at the moment,” added the manager.
“Being able to bring on people like Luke [Watson] and Adam [Trotter] to see out the game, as well as the youngsters up top is a great asset for us.”
Le Quesne’s standout display was not lost on Freeman, who said: “Jonny was excellent today.
“We asked him to play a little wider than usual with Francis [Lekimamati] unavailable.
“He didn’t stop running all game and deserved his goal, I’m really pleased for him.”
Le Quesne has become a regular in the Bulls side over recent years and thought his side thoroughly “deserved three points”.
“We held our own in the first half,” said the midfielder.
“We defended well and held our shape, not allowing Tadley many chances.
“If we showed more intent in the second half, we were confident we would get our rewards, and I’m glad they came.”
When questioned about his own delicate finish, Le Quesne joked: “Yes, I’ve been working on that one in training.”
“It was a great through ball from midfield and I’m happy I managed to execute the skill.
“Luke [Watson] making it three at the end was a good way to top it off as well, I think we were good value for the scoreline in the end.”
Much has been made of the local support for their grassroots club, and Freeman for one is very grateful for the fans turning out in horrendous winter conditions.
He said: “The crowd were brilliant.
“It was a horrible day, but credit to our fans for coming out to support us.
“It really means a lot and hopefully we can produce another win for them next week.”
The Bulls enjoy another home fixture this Saturday as they welcome Surrey’s Sheerwater, who languish second from bottom.