Hemel Hempstead Town manager Dean Brennan feels that skipper James Potton proved a lot of doubters wrong today as he helped his side to earn a draw with Sutton United in the FA Cup.
Potton scored an excellent goal in the first half to give Hemel the lead, and Brennan felt this was just reward for a player who has received some unfair criticism in recent weeks.
“What a goal it was,” enthused Brennan after the game. “It was lovely passing and delicate intricate play, and then what can I say about Potts (James Potton) – if anyone has ever doubted him, I never did.
“I’ve never doubted that boy, and the people that did need to have a good look at themselves because he’s a fantastic footballer.
“When we get the best out of him, he won’t be playing at this level – I can tell you that now; that boy will be playing at a much higher level but he has just got to believe in himself, and he is starting to do that now.
“Last week he got us out of the mud as the captain by coming up with the goal, and again today he was our best player by a mile – he was the best player on the park.”
I’ve never doubted that boy, and the people that did need to have a good look at themselves because he’s a fantastic footballer.Hemel Town FC manager Dean Brennan
Looking at the game as a whole, Brennan was pleased with the effort and endeavour shown by his side, who will travel to Sutton on Monday night for the replay,
“It was a tight game, and they are a very good side who have invested heavily in their squad and work with a much bigger budget than us,” said the Tudors boss.
“It shows how far we have come as a football club that we are challenging with the likes of Sutton United. Little old Hemel Hempstead are punching above our weight against teams like Sutton.
“There was a great atmosphere and the supporters were amazing today. I thought the team were excellent and our energy levels were brilliant.
“Our quality could have been a bit better at times and we had a fantastic chance to win the game at the end, but we scored a fantastic goal in the first half.
“It was a great contest, a great game, and a great National League South FA Cup tie. Both sides tried to play the game the right way and we have no complaints; we’ll just go again on Monday. At least we’re in the draw.”
Brennan was also full of praise for 19-year old Ivorian forward Wilfried Gnahore, who was named man of the match by the game sponsors.
“These type of games suit Willy, because he can get between the lines,” said Brennan. “He’s a 19-year-old kid and another gem that we’ve unearthed in our young team.
“I’m just proud of the players and proud of the supporters and thought we did very, very well today, very well.”