United manager Gary Johnson was pleased as his side secured safe passage into the Emirates FA Cup 1st round proper, following a 2-0 win at Sholing FC on Saturday.
“It’s nice, it was good competition.” began Johnson.
“Their boys wanted to stay in the game as long as they could, I thought towards the end there we had lots and lots of chances. We knew they’d be dangerous at the beginning of the game, because that’s when they’d be at their fittest and their most excited, if you like. It was good to get the penalty and go in 1-0 at half time. Once we got the second goal, it wasn’t over – because we kept going for the third goal or fourth goal if we could – but we created a lot of chances in the end.
“They did give us a good game, it was competitive. Obviously the wind and the rain were difficult conditions, the pitch was good – there was nothing wrong with the pitch – so credit to them for that, and credit to them for getting to this round. Unfortunately they will have to wait for another year, and fortunately we’ll move on, and see who we get in the next round.
“I thought they defended their box well, and defended as a group. It was a bit difficult to break them down until we got the penalty, but in the second half, will all due respect, we opened them up at will. Wynter had a couple of chances, Nemane had a couple of chances, Wrighty had a chance, so we created a few chances, and we just maybe need to tuck a few of them away. We can’t be a team that can only score two goals, we’ve got to try to get threes and fours if we can. Anyway, we’ve won the game, and we’re into the next round, in difficult conditions against a team that was right up for it.”
Another positive aspect to an already good day at the office was the return to action of a number of previously sidelined players, with arguably the highlight being an impressive late cameo appearance for Armani Little, after eight months out through injury.
“There was a lot of positives – Gary Warren and Asa Hall playing 90 minutes, we need to get them up to scratch. Josh needed to get up to scratch because he’s missed a couple of games, so I was pleased with the amount of time he had. Of course, the pièce de résistance was Armani coming on and showing us that he’s still got his little body swerves and his little touches, and he could have had a couple actually. When he gets a bit sharper, he’ll be putting them away, he was only on for fifteen minutes, and you could see what he’s got.
“We’ve got a squad now that’s growing and competing for a place, and that’s what we need.”