Bostik North: FA Trophy progress came at a cost admits Haringey Borough boss Tom Loizou
- Credit: George Phillipou/TGS Photo
The Coles Park club defeated Sittingbourne on Monday to reach the third qualifying round of the FA Trophy
Tom Loizou admitted Haringey Borough’s FA Trophy win on Monday night over Bostik South side Sittingbourne came at a cost.
Ralston Gabriel scored the only goal of the game at Coles Park to book the Bostik North side a spot in the third qualifying round following the 1-0 victory.
The two teams couldn’t be separated on Saturday as Kane Rowland’s opener for the Brickies was cancelled out by Gabriel.
But Haringey got the job done on Monday, although they will now be without two key players.
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Loizou said: “I was pleased to get through, but it was a tough game and we picked up some injuries.
“Our goalkeeper Valery (Pajetet) was stretched off and he is someone we rely on quite heavily.
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“Luckily we have Austin Byfield and I’ve always said in them we probably have the best two goalkeepers in the league.
“We also lost our left-back Michael to a hamstring injury on Monday and he’s probably going to be out for three weeks.
“Valery is looking like three months because he has torn a muscle in his calf, so the victory came at a cost.”
A major positive for Borough amidst the injury problems is the recent form of forward Gabriel.
The in-form striker has found the net 17 times during his last 14 appearances in all competitions for the club.
Gabriel has hit three hat-tricks in that time, but Loizou had a warning for defenders in the Bostik North.
He admitted: “I still think we have not seen the best of Ralston yet despite him scoring another goal.
“He is scoring as many as he is missing right now because he could’ve had a hat-trick on Monday, but I can’t complain too much.”
With goals not a problem for Haringey, Loizou will hope Byfield can pick up the baton from the injured Pajetet.
It seems likely Borough’s first-choice goalkeeper will not play again in 2017 after tearing a muscle in his calf on Monday.
Loizou said: “Austin has been with us on and off for the last three years and he was our number one and then picked up an injury and was out for a while.
“When he came back we loaned him out to Cockfosters, but he’s waited patiently for his chance and now he’s got it.
“It seems Valery will be out for three months, hopefully it is only two, but Austin has an opportunity now to show what he can do.”