Fairford Town manager Jody Bevan has praised his squad for their professional reaction to a tough week in their 2-0 win away at Easington Sports.
Goals either side of the half time break for Connor Thompson and then Aidan Bennett saw the Robins claim the win and it’s a win which comes four days after the local derby against Royal Wootton Bassett Town was abandoned and Bevan admits that the win was the perfect result.
“It was a very good professional performance and just what was needed,” said Bevan. “We were without crucial players yesterday, with Nathan Hawkins, Chris Turner-Williams and Reidy [Jamie Reid] all missing so we had to have a little reshuffle. Easington have been on a great run and were probably the form team in the league after Westfields so to go there on a boggy pitch and come away with three points and a clean sheet was the perfect response.
The players have been fantastic all season, I really cannot praise them enough. I don’t want to rake up old ground but everybody at the club has been very dignified this week and respectfully not got involved in any of the nonsense going on on social media.
I consciously have tried to shield them from a lot of the noise that has come our way this week and the boys have been so professional and the respect they have for each other and the club is wonderful and something that fills me with pride. I don’t think they had anything to prove yesterday but if anybody thought our bubble was about to burst after the week we’ve had, the boys gave an answer to that in the best possible way,” Bevan added.
The incident in question on Tuesday night saw Callum Preece sent off for standing on Bassett winger Brad Pagliaroli following a scuffle been Pagliaroli and Christian Turner-Williams. The incident saw both Preece and Pagliaroli dismissed and following the reaction of the Bassett players, the referee abandoned the game.
Both sides are set to receive punishments from the Hellenic League after videos of the incident emerged on social media and whilst Bevan accepts that his side have questions to answer, he has also condemned messages of abuse towards the club and Preece in particular.
“I have to respect that there are charges for the clubs to answer and have to respect the due process so don’t want to say anything to make the situation worse. However Callum was magnificent yesterday, he has had an incredibly tough week and I was worried if he would be in the right frame of mind to play.
Even yesterday I can see in his eyes that he is still visibly shaken from everything. He was a rock at the back alongside the entire back four and keeper and I was so happy for him at the end. He will now start a 3 game ban. He’s been incredibly apologetic for everything that happened, but Twitter was very quick to act as judge, jury and executioner and Callum has been subjected to a disgusting amount of abuse.
He made a mistake but the ref dealt with it on the pitch and it should have stayed on the pitch. Despite the video looking very bad and I certainly don’t condone what happened, but nobody was hurt or suffered any injury in the incident. The players involved shook hands afterwards and it was done with yet two hours later a video comes out on social media which provokes a frenzy which was in the interest of absolutely nobody and looked bad on the two clubs and the Hellenic League altogether,” said Bevan.
Fairford move onto two home fixtures in the Hellenic Premier, with Flackwell Heath the visitors next weekend and Ardley United this coming Tuesday. Ahead of the midweek fixture Bevan has praised Craig Adey’s men and expects another tough game.
“Tuesday will be another tough game, Ardley are a young team that will look to play. They are not in the best of form but that in itself makes them dangerous opponents for ourselves. They took the lead against Westfields yesterday so they certainly have quality in the ranks.
It is one of only two league games on Tuesday so it is a chance to try and reduce the gap to Westfields to five points and try and keep a bit of pressure on them,” Bevan added.
Bevan also added that Fairford, who will be without Preece as he starts his ban, have injury doubts over forward Connor Thompson for Tuesday but will welcome back player/assistant manager Jamie Reid.