Dennis Kutrieb hailed striker Rakish Bingham’s eighth and ninth goals of the season as the Fleet’s number nine scored in each half to see off Slough Town at Arbour Park on Tuesday evening.
“He was very clinical and I feel very relieved because there were some critics [saying] that he doesn’t score goals and I’ve always backed him up,” said Kutrieb. “I say he will score goals, he’s a good striker.
“He’s – for me – one of the best strikers in the league because when you see his workrate off the ball, that’s unbelievable. He presses all the time, he runs, he’s one of the boys with the most running [in the stats] after the game because he’s a really hard worker and tries always to work for the team. It doesn’t matter if he scores a goal or the others, he’s very professional. Scoring two goals, that’s what he deserves.”
And the man who supplied the assist for the match-clinching second goal, James Dobson, also came in for praise on his return to his old club.
“He’s a very professional player, he’s an experienced player, he doesn’t get the minutes he deserves normally because we have a strong squad,” Kutrieb explained. “I always have to make decisions and so some decisions go against him. He had one of his best seasons here [at Slough] and when you have such experiences for a club like this, and you can [play] against them, sometimes you get something in the back of your mind. As you can see, he prepared the second goal, it was a perfect cut-back and Raks was really clinical. Fair play to Dobs, he’s a professional player and he did it very well today so I’m happy for him as well.”
On the game itself, the Fleet manager felt his side reacted well to the disappointment of Hampton’s late winner and adapted well to Slough’s pitch.
“We had a great first half,” he said. “I was very pleased with the boys, very happy for them because after the Saturday game, to come back on Tuesday against such a strong opponent, it’s not easy. From a really tough soft pitch to a 3G, they came good. I was very happy for them that we scored a goal to get the lead, the second half was a little bit too slow for my feeling. I said to the boys, it’s not done here. It’s a tough pitch, it’s a tough place where we have to come. I saw many games from Slough before and I said the table is not [telling] the truth at the moment so we have to take care and we need a second goal to win this game. And obviously after the second goal, our boys had the confidence back we needed.
“We like to play on 3G because there are no excuses for a bad pitch. Saturday was a really bad pitch but it’s not disrespectful against Hampton because they tried to do their best, they prepared the pitch really good, but when you have such weather and such a soft pitch it’s always hard. At the end of the game I felt sorry for their groundsmen because I didn’t see any green on the pitch. So of course today [this pitch] is better for the boys to play football and to move the ball around quickly. But I think if you asked them, they love to play on grass.”
Kutrieb’s side adjusted well to the loss of Adam Mekki before the 20th minute was up and the Fleet boss said the stand-in skipper might possibly have continued but it wasn’t worth the risk of a more serious injury.
“Some of our players are not the youngest so we have to take care of them,” he said. “When there is a small issue, I have to react in the moment because we don’t want to have big injuries, and that’s the reason why we subbed him off. He has a small problem, he could [have carried on] probably but we don’t want the risk, we have another tough game on Saturday.”