Kirkley & Pakefield boss takes blame for Ely defeat

Paul Tong.

Paul Tong. - Credit: Archant © 2012

Kirkley & Pakefield boss Paul Tong took the blame for the Royals' disappointing 4-0 defeat at home to Ely City on Saturday.

Tong admitted it got to the stage where he had asked too much of his young players and couldn't fault their commitment despite going down to a heavy loss.

'It was a game too far for them really because it looked like men against boys for long spells,' he said. 'But to be honest, that's my fault. We had played on the Saturday and the Tuesday before whilst the youth side also played on the Thursday so it was too much to ask of them really.

'In the first half I thought we played quite well but Ely's physical power made the difference in the end and they fully deserved the win.

'Hopefully, it will stand the lads in good stead because the games they are getting at the moment will be fantastic experience for them and the club going forward.'

With Kirkley safe from relegation Tong has decided to blood more of the club's youngsters in recent weeks and he plans to continue doing so in the remaining matches.

'We will still play the young lads because we want them to gain experience,' he said. 'We're in a position in the league where it allows us to do that. As a young side we are going to make mistakes and we have to allow for that.'

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Tong admitted he has been disappointed with his side's home form this term and hopes to give supporters something to cheer when Hadleigh come to Walmer Road tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

'Ely was another defeat at home and for some reason we haven't done well there this season,' he added. 'I can't put my finger on why but I can't fault the young lads recently – they have given me everything. Hadleigh will be another tough one for us because they have been getting their form back lately but we will be looking to do ourselves justice – I'm sure that the lads will rise to the occasion.'

Scott Woodcock returns from a four-match suspension and will come back into the squad but Tong will try to draft in Rob Hills once more with the club's goalkeepers, Jordan Smith and Dave Attridge, unavailable.

'We've got a bit of a problem at goalkeeper but I'm hoping we can bring Rob in again,' he said. 'Scott's (Woodcock) return will be a big boost though because he's been a big miss for us.'