Michael thankful for squad depth after injuries spoil Cinderford away win

Cinderford Town manager Paul Michael has praised his squad for rallying together, after a number of injuries spoiled his side’s 4-3 win away at AFC Totton. 

Two goals each for James Harding and Andy Lewis saw Paul Michael’s men stay in 6th place of the Southern League Division One South table and also saw the Foresters pick up their 6th win in their last eight league outings.

Following the game Michael praised his side for rallying after losing numbers throughout the afternoon.

“It was a great win,” said Michael. “Every away win in this league is great and I was really pleased with the overall performance.

We lost Jarrad [Welch] to illness the morning of the game then [Liam] Angel in the warm up and Lorcs [captain Lorcan Sheehan] to a late challenge that will see him out for a few weeks at least, so to rally the way we did – especially when you add that we lost Ethan Moore last week, shows what a good squad we have and now there’s opportunities for others to show what they can do,” Michael added.

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After Andy Lewis’ 8th minute penalty, James Harding added to his midweek hattrick against Gloucester City with a well taken finish to double his side’s lead.

A second Lewis spotkick made the scoreline 3-1 after Totton had pulled one back, before Harding notched his second before a late rally from the hosts and after the game Michael has praised his side for their goals – in particular Harding.

“James is great in front of goal and I’ve said that many times before,” Michael said.

“He also scores tap ins which only look easy because he works hard to get himself into those areas. What I’ve been really pleased with is his back to goal and link up play in the last two games, his decision making and care of the ball in those areas has been excellent, he’s always going to score goals.

You have to give credit to the likes of Hunty [Josh Hunt] and Marley [Thomas] for some great assists for him too.”

As Michael mentioned, Cinderford Town lost Lorcan Sheehan suffered a medial ligament injury and is expected to be missing for a few weeks. With the big FA Trophy tie at Havant & Waterlooville next week and a Southern League cup tie with Swindon Supermarine on Tuesday night ahead of them, Michael admits that his full squad will be used this week.

“The injuries give us a big problem heading into the Havant game. It means we need to protect most of the players and only a couple of players who need minutes going into the weekend will feature on Tuesday against Swindon Supermarine.

The boys have played a lot of minutes lately and we need to protect a few on Tuesday night so there will be opportunities for some young lads to show us that they should be involved against Havant & Waterlooville on Saturday,” Michael added.

READ MORE: Check out the full list of results in and around Gloucestershire this weekend right here