Five things we learned from AFC Telford's loss at FC United
AFC Telford United fell to their first-ever loss against FC United of Manchester on Saturday.
Here, Joe Edwards looks at five things we learned about the Bucks from the defeat.
1 More experience is needed
Aside from 28-year-old skipper Shane Sutton – who is still getting used to National League North – and 27-year-old keeper Jas Singh, there was a distinct lack of know-how in the Telford XI.
Ryan Wilson, 24, was the third oldest player to start the 3-1 defeat at Broadhurst Park and the Bucks could do with having a couple of veterans in the camp.
Rob Edwards has plenty of talented youngsters at his disposal and some older heads would help them realise their potential.
2 Discipline has to be improved
A booking for Wolves loanee Connor Johnson took Telford’s yellow card count for the term so far to 26 – from 22 games.
The Bucks have also picked up four red cards this campaign and Ross White and Jon Royle are both serving suspensions.
They are not a dirty team – far from it – but their tendency to pick up needless yellows and reds needs to be ironed out. Edwards has expressed his disappointment over the issue, saying: “We need cool heads.”
3 They have to give as good as they get
Physicality is key to success in National League North – it has been proven over the years.
Telford must buck up their ideas in that department as they got roughed up a bit on Saturday, they fell into FC United’s trap and did not have an answer.
United were not dirty though – they were firm but fair, like a lot of teams are in the division.
The Bucks do not need to get carried away as bookings are an issue, but they have to roll their sleeves up and be up for a battle.
4 Henry Cowans can hit them
What a strike it was that put Telford ahead early on.
Cowans, from 35 yards out, let fire and took everyone by surprise, including United keeper Lloyd Allinson – who got a hand on the ball as it flew into the corner.
The former Villa midfielder has shown glimpses of real quality since his arrival, with this screamer being his standout moment.
He does need to improve his work off the ball, but we now know he is capable of coming up with goals from distance.
5 Max Leonard may take a few games to show his quality
The 23-year-old’s debut was not all that memorable, although he did show a few nice touches in the No.10 role.
Having joined from league rivals Curzon Ashton last week, he had only trained once with the squad before Saturday’s game and, at times, he was not on the same wave length as his fellow forwards.
With no midweek game, he has the chance to develop an understanding with his team-mates in training before the visit of Alfreton.