Higley critical of side’s AWOL aces

‘Nobody in the league bothers me’ is the message from defiant London APSA boss John Higley.

The Newham-based side enjoyed a good run at the start of the season, but they have run off course recently without a league win since beating Hullbridge Sports in September.

Their latest failure was a 2-0 loss away at Burnham Ramblers at the weekend with Higley only able to call upon 12 players with several of his squad unavailable for the encounter, but he remains optimistic.

“Over the last couple of weeks we haven’t been able to put out our strongest side,” he said.

“When you don’t pay them you cannot force the players to turn up and it was the same on Saturday.

“But this weekend it will be altogether different as all of them are available.

“When we play our full strength side no one in the league bothers me.”

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The APSA boss will certainly need his squad at their best at the weekend as they face second-placed Enfield 1893 at the Terence McMillan Stadium.

Enfield remained unbeaten up until last weekend when they lost 1-0 away to another one of the league’s top sides, Bethnal Green United.

“Don’t get me wrong it won’t be easy as Enfield are a good side,” said Higley.

“But I feel with a full side out we are a challenge for anyone.”

He was a disappointed figure after the Burnham Ramblers loss questioning some of his players’ attitudes after being left with the bare bones of a squad.

“I wasn’t happy as I was busy ringing round on Friday night trying to get together a squad,” said Higley.

“Some of them were out injured or unavailable due to work commitments which is fair enough, but it’s a shame about the rest.

“Six or seven of the players would have made the starting line-up, but their attitude is very poor and a few of them really let me down.”

New signing Greg Akpele was forced to play the whole 90 minutes despite being out for the last six weeks and Higley’s only recognised defender, John Hind, limped off early on, but the APSA chief couldn’t be too downhearted with how his side performed.

“Despite being down on numbers the result wasn’t that bad,” he said.

“Greg was only supposed to play half an hour as he lacks match fitness, but the situation called for him to play the whole match.

“I was forced to bring on a 17-year-old who had no experience at this level before and I shouldn’t have to resort to it.”

Before taking charge of the game at the weekend, Higley took his men to New Lodge to face Ryman Premier side Billericay Town last night (Tuesday) in the third round of the Essex Senior Cup.