Higley hopes Bly will give a boost

LONDON APSA boss John Higley has boosted his squad with the signing of experienced defender Jamie Bly.

The former Barking and Redbridge player joins APSA as they hope to kick-start their league campaign with two games in three days after mixed fortunes last week.

They enjoyed success in the Essex Senior Cup after a 3-1 penalty success over Basildon United, with the scores locked at three apiece after extra time, earning them a third round tie against Ryman Premier side Billericay Town.

But two days later they slumped to a 4-0 loss against Witham Town in the league as APSA cursed the fixture pile-up.

“We are forced to play our home games on a Thursday and it is not helping us at all,” said Higley.

“With the Essex Senior Cup tie yet to be arranged, we could have to play four games in seven days and for any player it is going to be tough to balance that as well as their jobs.”

It is a similar story this week as Higley prepares the side for games against Stansted tomorrow (Thursday) and Takeley on Saturday.

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But the Newham-based clubcan take positives from the Essex Senior Cup win with keeper Steve Brown saving three penalties to ensure their path into the third round after an exciting game which saw six goals and three sending-offs.

“We gave away three very sloppy goals, but in the end we just made it through,” said the APSA manager.

“It sets us up nicely for Billericay and hopefully we will be able to give them a run for their money.”

Stansted go into the game off the back of a 2-0 league win over Barking at the weekend and Higley feels it’ll be a tough test for his side.

“It is going to be difficult out there against Stansted as they are a good side, but if the lads can reproduce their best then we are in with a shout,” he said.

“We are still in the top six in the division and we need to start reproducing again in the league.

“Takeley haven’t started the best, but hopefully we will have enough about us to earn the three points.”

On the acquisition of Bly, Higley hopes he will add quality and a wealth of experience to his defence

“Jamie has a lot of local non-league experience and that’ll stand us in good stead and hopefully he will be a good addition to the squad.”

The club have also received a boost after being reinstated in the Gordon Brasted Trophy.

APSA lost 2-0 at Southend Manor, but the hosts fielded an ineligible player meaning APSA now have the chance of earning some silverware, with the draw for the quarter-final stage being held tonight (Wednesday) at the Essex Senior League meeting.

n MEANWHILE APSA raised �440 in aid of the Pakistan flood victims at the Five Pillars Golf Society fundraiser, organised by chairman Zulfi Ali.