Manager, and player on the night, Danny Grainger expressed his delight at getting back to winning ways against Tuesday’s opposition, Gretna.
Reds ran out 1-4 victors after West Cumbria’s own Kevin Connolly broke the deadlock early on, before goals from Liam Brockbank, Charlie Bowman, Ash Kelly and Scott Allison (the only player not to score his first for the club) made the result a pleasing one for the boss..
I’m delighted. The performance tonight was very good.
Watching the lads in the first half, they were calm on the ball, looked composed and created chance after chance. I think Dav [Symington] really should’ve had five before half-time.
We’ll iron out those little mistakes as regards to chances that we’re giving away. It’s not really anything that any team is doing to us, it’s what we’re doing to ourselves that’s costing us.
Reds come from behind numerous times to claim victory in pre-season, and Grainger praised their ‘fantastic mentality to comeback again.’
Finishing the vast majority of big chances created each game has been an issue for Reds over the six friendlies but the manger isn’t too concerned at the conversion rate.
We’ve could’ve had a lot more goals than what we’ve had. But the lads are picking up how we want to play, and how we want to do things.
I’d be more worried if we weren’t creating chances. When you’ve got the likes of Dav Symington, Scott Allison, Nathan Waterston, Ash Kelly, Tinners, you’ve got these players who are gonna score goals.
Although, one player in particular Grainger was pleased with was striker Bowman, who netted for the first time after being out for around with an long term injury.
I’m delighted for Chaz, he was absolutely dead on his feet tonight and he’s popped up with goal, so he’s been rewarded for his efforts.
Again, on another night we could’ve quite easily scored five or six goals.
The opening goal was the product of route one football, with Grainger well aware how the defence getting caught out on the break.
It’s something we need to iron out. We’ve gone from having a set piece out wide, and then had the ball go in the back of our net 10 seconds later.
It’s disappointing but the reaction from the boys was fantastic. Young Brock [who Connolly held off] held his hand up for the goal and then he stepped up to score so I can’t complain about that.
On Brockbank’s star showing, his manager – who was at Carlisle United at the same time as the Millom-born left back was in the academy – claimed that the 18-year-old could got on to have a ‘fantastic career.’
Brock’s a talent and I’ve said that from day one and told him when he came in.
He’s a young lad stepping into the men’s game and one he gets that side of things nailed down, he can really kick on. There’s no reason why he can’t and have a fantastic career.
He’s a good player with all the tools and attributes to be a fantastic full back and I was over the moon for him to get his goal tonight – which I know he’s been dying to get over the last few weeks.
Boss Grainger himself made a 12-minute cameo at centre back, rolling back the years at the ground he started 17 years ago as a prodigy.
Regardless of the sentiment, the boss told us that ‘you never know’ if he’ll decide to lace up his boots over the coming season, before elaborating.
I have always said that I’m here to manage but, if needed, I can pull a strip on. I’m more than confident with the boys we have that I shouldn’t be needed, but it’s nice to have that insurance policy of an extra player if required.
Reds have the weekend off before travelling the to Neuven Stadium to face Greater Manchester and recently promoted Northern Premier League side Radcliffe on Saturday 3rd August, kick-off 3pm.