Michael Palmer says resilience was the reason behind his side ending their four-match winless run as Longlevens came from behind to beat Slimbridge 3-2 on Saturday, writes Sam Yapp.
Second half goals from Jordan Alderman, Charlie McCrae and Joey Haswell guided Palmer’s side to their first win in five matches and ended the year in victorious fashion.
“That resilience isn’t it which is key for anyone playing at this level because if you want to be successful you have to be resilient.
“We knew coming here that Slimbridge like to play, and I feel like we gave them way too much respect.
“We changed things around at half time and just went back to way we want to be playing,” Palmer said.
Palmer and his side found themselves a goal behind at half time after Ben Hands 18-yard attempt put the Swans ahead.
Although there wasn’t much action during the opening forty-five, Palmer still had a positive view of the second half going into his team talk.
“Going into half time, we had a bit of belief knowing that we could get a result.
“We told them to go out and have no fear because we had nothing to lose today.
“You could see we wanted it more and I am really proud of not just players but the club as a whole,” he said.
But it wasn’t all going to plan prior to kick off as goalkeeper, Matt Wieczorek, went out injured in the warm-ups with a hamstring injury.
“It seems to be a common theme at the minute as we keep losing keepers.
“Matty has been feeling his hamstring for a while now, but we didn’t expect it to go tonight like it did,” Palmer said.
So, with no substitute keeper on the bench Levens Co-Manager, Craig Martin, put on the gloves and to many peoples surprise, kept his side in the game during the first half with a solid display.
With plenty of confident aerial claims and a massive smothering save from a George Neill’s close ranged drive, Palmer had nothing but praise for his right-hand man.
“We had no other options, so Craig had to go in, and I think he actually did really well.
“That just speaks volumes of Craig because he’ll do everything for this club,” he said.
With this being Levens final game of 2023, Palmer took time to reflect on how the club have performed in what has been disappointing year for the club.
“We just haven’t had any consistency this year and there isn’t any excuses the table has reflected that.
“Nothing has really fallen for us so finishing off with this result was a reward so to speak.
“If keep being resilient, things will start to go our way,” he said.
But with new year rolling in, it becomes the perfect time to whip the slate clean and start afresh with Palmer excited about what the club are planning in 2024.
“Firstly, we need to get our identity back and for the players to be happy in the place we are.
“We are working extremely hard off the field to compete with the other teams.
“We’ve had some big setbacks this year so we want to try and move forward as a team and club to get some togetherness and see how far we can go,” Palmer said.
Longlevens return to action on Friday 5 January, with a trip to Wantage Town in the Hellenic Premier.