Positives and negatives for Martin Standen as extent of Arlesey Town job becomes clearer

Archie Sayer's double salvaged a point for Arlesey Town against Baldock Town.

Archie Sayer's double salvaged a point for Arlesey Town against Baldock Town. - Credit: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHY

The hard work starts now for new Arlesey Town manager Martin Standen after a less-than perfect draw with tenants Baldock Town.

Archie Sayer scored twice, the second 15 minutes from time, as Arlesey scrambled to a 2-2 draw in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division.

But it was a far cry from the opening win of Standen's tenure, a 5-1 success at London Colney, and after Adam Turner and Ashley Hay had fired Baldock ahead, there were chances for the visitors to go further and further ahead.

"I’ll take the point," said Standen. "The first half was terrible, whether it was Christmas or whatever, and it is down to me to find the best with what I’ve got. 

"It was completely different to [London Colney] and I feel like I’ve got a job on my hands. 

"But when you have quality in the final third, you sometimes don’t need it elsewhere. 

"We didn’t lose so I’m happy with that and it is a derby. It can be decided on the flip of a coin in a derby. 

"The players know that this wasn’t good enough but they showed me a reaction in the second half and give me something to work on. 

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"We’ll take it."

Arlesey's preparations were hit by the loss of a number of players, including hat-trick hero from the Colney win, Charlie Moss, who went down with COVID-19 on the morning of the game.

Standen also played a half-fit Reece Crowter from the start, something which he admitted may have contributed to the disjointed showing in the fit half.

He said: "He’d hurt his neck but I thought having him out as well as Reece Cameron, Charlie Moss and Joe Ladbury would have put us in a bit of trouble. 

"As a manager you have to make the decisions and it probably wasn’t the right one with Reece. 

"Credit to the boys who came on in the second half when we changed it, they worked so hard which was great for us. 

"It’s not all negative but late pull-outs don’t help when you are trying to prepare. 

"And Baldock weren’t bad. They worked hard and it was men against boys in the first half. 

"My boys showed me something different in the second half and we may have won it at the end. 

"There are a few negatives but there is also some positives."