Thoughts from the gaffer on Saturday’s Trophy tie…
By Matty Paddock - 15/01/2018
Posted 9 months ago
John Eustace hailed the comeback quality of his Harriers side after they fought from 2-0 down to claim a draw against Stockport on Saturday.
The reds looked in good shape against the Hatters with a good first-half showing, before being hit on the counter for a goal that gave the visitors a half-time lead.
It worsened, too – Harriers saw a penalty saved before County doubled their lead.
That had the team staring down the barrel of a rare home defeat and exit from the competition, but they responded in style with two quick-fire goals.
Dramatically, they may even have won it in the end, but Stockport were indebted to the skills of goalkeeper Ian Ormosn as he kept out a late double attempt from Liam Truslove and Jimmy O’Connor.
Reflecting on the game, the gaffer was full of praise for both sides but was clearly elated with the character shown by his own players.
“They’re a very tough team and the manager is excellent there; he set them up really well and they were difficult to break down.
“We had some good chances in the first half and were disappointed to go in a goal down.
“To see them in the last 15 minutes still pushing and pushing, I was very proud of them.” John Eustace
“To go 2-0 down quite early in the second half, the lads showed great character and togetherness – I am happy they got a draw in the end.
“It has been a very tough week with two tough away games and the lads have been magnificent with their work-rate and everything they did.
“To see them in the last 15 minutes still pushing and pushing, I was very proud of them.
“It showed the group getting stronger and stronger.”
The penalty that saw Emmanuel Sonupé denied by Ormson was also a topic of discussion after the game.
Eustace admitted he agreed with calls for regular taker Joe Ironside to have been on duty, but insisted that Sonupé won’t be facing any hot water for being bold enough to step up and take on the challenge.
“Joe should have taken the penalty, he took the last one,” he added.
“We have had some words in the dressing room, but Manny is a confident lad and scored his last penalty, so I am not going to harsh on him.
“But Joe is the penalty taker… Manny will learn from that – he scored the equaliser and that was again great character; missing the penalty and then popping up with the equaliser.”