NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Huntingdon Town demands more after seeing his side make winning start

Huntingdon Town goalscorer Ian King with manager Jimmy Brattan. Picture: IAN CARTER

Huntingdon Town goalscorer Ian King with manager Jimmy Brattan. Picture: IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

Huntingdon Town boss Jimmy Brattan was delighted with a winning start to the new United Counties League season last Sunday - but less impressed with the performance that earned it.

Huntingdon Town coach Alex Cook looks on during the game at Whittlesey Athletic. Picture: IAN CARTER

Huntingdon Town coach Alex Cook looks on during the game at Whittlesey Athletic. Picture: IAN CARTER - Credit: Archant

Town launched their Division One campaign with a 2-1 victory at Whittlesey Athletic in a fixture which formed part of a groundhop event and attracted a terrific crowd of 340.

It was a game settled by a spectacular late strike from Chris Jones after debutant Sean Roberts' opener was cancelled out within a minute by the hosts.

But Brattan was unhappy with the performance of his side in the first half of a game in which fine saves from new goalkeeper Sarunas Snitkas kept them level.

"It's great to get off to a winning start," said Brattan. "But we got away with one in all honesty.


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"We knew the threats that Whittlesey posed and didn't deal with them well enough in the first half when our goalkeeper kept us in the game with three very good saves.

"The boys were told in no uncertain terms at half-time that they had let themselves down after a great pre-season.

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"We want to get the ball down, play good football and break at pace, and we did a lot more of that in the second half when we were much better.

"We lacked a bit in the final third at times, but Chris popped up with an absolute worldy to get us the three points."

The Town squad featured seven debutants with goalkeeper Sarunas Snitkas, full-back Freddie Francis, midfielder Ian King, wideman Ashley Firth and striker Josh Rosser all in the starting line-up.

Goalscorer Roberts and Marinho Manga were also sent on for their first appearances as substitutes in the second half.

Brattan added: "It's going to take a bit of time for us to gel and hit our peak after bringing in a lot of new players.

"But we have high expectations of this group and they can't afford to perform like they did in the first half.

"We've made no secret of the fact that we want to be challenging for a place in the top five and we need to be able to pick up results against sides like Whittlesey for that to happen.

"Regardless of the performance, we have to be happy to have started the season with a win and got our first three points on the board."

Midfielder Ben Keating has left Town to join Soham Town Rangers, who play two levels higher in the Bet Victor League North Division.

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