The Evo-Stik League Southern
Published 20th August 2012
....claims that the introduction of Josh Parsons in the 2-2 draw with Merthyr Town on Saturday was a “master-stroke” and instead praised his players for their fitness and commitment to salvage a point from a losing cause.
With just over 20 minutes remaining at the Webbs Wood Stadium, `Marine found themselves two goals behind to Merthyr - who are strongly tipped to challenge at the top of the table this season.
However, Webb threw Parsons into the mix and quickly the former Swindon Town youngster turned the game in the hosts’ favour, setting up the two goals scored by Ashley Edenborough which dragged `Marine level.
Some would call it managerial genius but Webb was a little more reserved in his analysis upon reflection.
“I wouldn’t say it was a master-stroke. In fact, you can look at it the other way and say that I got it wrong at the start and turned it around later,” he told the Swindon Advertiser.
“We had a bit of background on them and we knew a bit about their shape. We decided to go like for like in terms of shape but it didn’t quite work for us.
“They were the better team for the first hour and then when they scored their second goal we knew we had to change it and we went to a more regular 4-4-2 formation.
“Josh Parsons has come off the bench and he’s done really well and he was involved in both of the goals and Ash Edenborough has taken both of his goals really well.”
Marine appeared to be looking squarely down the barrel of defeat on their opening outing of the campaign after Luke Jones and Andy Thomas had fired Merthyr into a strong position.
However, Parsons’ impact was almost immediate as he was involved in the move that led to Sam Morris being tripped in the box resulting in a penalty which Edenborough comfortably slotted home.
The tricky winger then teed up Edenborough once more with 16 minutes remaining, and the forward beat two defenders before firing past visiting keeper Giles Cutlan.
“It was our first game and maybe there were a few nerves around with a big crowd and we didn’t play to our potential for that first hour,” said Webb.
“As the game went on we started coming on more and one of the real positives was our fitness levels and that’s good to see after the work we’ve done in pre-season.
“To get two goals and to get a point against a good team, and I think this team are going to be challenging right towards the top of the division, was a good way to start the season.
“Josh has staked his claim for a place after coming off the bench.
“He created the goals and did well when he came on.
“We know it’s not just about the eleven players on the pitch. We’ve got a very talented group of players here and we know we have options to use.
“I think for them when they look back at it they’ll see themselves 2-0 up with 20 minutes to go and 2-2 will be a really disappointing result for them.
“For us it’s a great result. It’s good to get something out of the first day of the season and it sets us up nicely for the games to come this week.”