Bostik North: Tom Loizou full of praise for Haringey Borough goalkeeper Valery Pajetet after upsetting Welling United in FA Cup
- Credit: Archant
The Coles Park club produced a shock at the weekend with Ralston Gabriel netting a brace to inspire a stunning victory on the road
Haringey Borough manager Tom Loizou hailed goalkeeper Valery Pajetet after seeing his team register a stunning 2-1 victory away to Welling United in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup on Saturday.
The north London Bostik North outfit were big underdogs going into the tie against a side two divisions above them in the National League South.
But Ralston Gabriel put Borough into the lead after eight minutes and it stayed 1-0 until half time.
Wings did level when Joe Healy slide home with 57 minutes on the clock, but it failed to knock Loizou’s team.
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Then came the penalty drama with Pajetet denying Christian Nanetti from the spot with 77 minutes played before Borough won a penalty of their own just a minute later, which Gabriel smashed in.
“In the previous round (at Hitchin Town) he saved three out of the five penalties, so we knew he would save it,” said Loizou.
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“He did exactly that and then we went up the other end and won a penalty ourselves, so he was the difference.
“Last year we had a young lad in goal, but Valery is a lot more experienced and I think he is the best goalkeeper in our league, the one above and the one above that.”
Loizou admitted Haringey were always confident despite travelling to face a Wings side sitting 11th in the National League South.
“It was the biggest game in our recent history, but we all knew we were going to win it. All of the players and staff are on such a high right now and we just felt we could do it and we did,” said the Borough boss.
Although Pajetet’s penalty save was a decisive moment in the match, Gabriel ended up being the match winner.
The goals of the forward earned Borough £4,500 in prize money and sent them into the third qualifying round for the first time since 1986.
Loizou admits there is a lot more to come from Gabriel though, adding: “Ralston is a good finisher when he is on song, but he has not started as brightly as last season.
“He went to Enfield Town in pre-season, but has come back to us and really is only at 40 per cent of the player he can be.
“If he had spent the summer with us then he would be in top condition now, but he is doing very well.
“We are looking forward to him getting back to full fitness and hopefully he can get there for the next round.”
Borough will host one of Bideford AFC or Bodmin Town in the third qualifying round of the FA Cup on September 30.
The two clubs do battle on Wednesday night after poor weathered forced Saturday’s clash to be postponed.
“One is in the Evo-Stik South, so that is the equivalent of our division and the other is essentially the league below,” said Loizou.
“We will be confident, but we won’t let ourselves be complacent because look at what we did to Welling.”