Friday, March 30, 2012
London APSA boss Zakir Hussain feels his team’s season hinges on their performance in tomorrow’s (Thursday’s) Gordon Brasted Trophy semi-final clash with Southend Manor.
Hussain’s side go into the game after a come-from-behind 3-2 Essex Senior League victory over Haringey & Waltham Development on Saturday.
Substitutes appeared to be the key with Zubair Halleem and Dan Matthews coming off the bench to inspire APSA to victory.
That win meant back-to-back league wins for the first time since mid-September for Hussain’s side, and he’ll look to continue that at home against second-placed Southend Manor in the final four of the Gordon Brasted Trophy.
And with four league games remaining after that, the APSA chief feels that result will go a long way to determining how their season finishes.
“Thursday is absolutely key,” said Hussain.
“Southend Manor have everything to lose and if we can get through to the final then that will create competition amongst the players for their starting spot in the final.
“We go into it off back-to-back wins and the lads are full of confidence. The season may be ending too soon with us now picking up results.
“But if we lose on Thursday it will put a dampener on the season. A win on the other hand keeps the momentum going and could mean we’ll have a great end.”
Hussain has hailed the introduction of striker Benjamin Tagoe into his squad and since his arrival it has sparked an upturn in fortunes for APSA, with Tagoe scoring in all of the club’s last three wins.
“Since Benjamin has come in he has given us that threat up front that we didn’t carry before,” he added.
“In the last three games we have netted nine goals, and that shows the impact he has made. Having a settled side in these last few has been great as well.”
After tomorrow’s match, APSA are back in action in the league on Saturday, at home to league leaders Witham Town.
■ Meanwhile, fellow Newham side Clapton lost out narrowly 2-1 to Burnham Ramblers in the Essex Senior League on Saturday.
Wilfred Thomas’ side make the trip to Hullbridge Sports this weekend.