ROGER HERRIDGE believes youngster Eddie Lee has the quality to fill the vacant striker berth at Binfield.
The Moles suffered a big blow last month when top scorer Sean Moore departed the club to join neighbours Bracknell Town, leaving Herridge short of attacking options.
Binfield were also without forward Ian Davies for last Monday evening’s trip to Reading City due to suspension with winger Jemel Johnson instead used as the number nine.
However, Herridge turned to teenager Lee off the bench in the second half and he helped the Moles recover from 2-1 down to win 3-2 at the Rivermoor, winning a late penalty which was converted by Josh Howell.
That was Lee’s 11th senior appearance of the season for Binfield, most of which have come from the bench, and he has notched two goals in the process.
And the Binfield boss is excited by the progression of his striker, who also scored for the Berks and Bucks County FA Under-18s against Devon last month.
“In terms of attacking options, JJ (Johnson) started as a number nine on Monday night and had a really, really good game,” Herridge told The Wokingham Paper.
“He’s a real threat when he plays there.
“I don’t think he scores the amount of goals that he probably deserves or probably should, but the fact is his work-rate and movement tends to create the chances for other players around him.
“Then you’ve got Eddie Lee.
“Eddie’s had a few injuries over the last season-and-a-half and he’s in our Allied Counties team. He’s only young and he’s got an awful lot to learn.
“Potentially he’s the best one of the lot.
“If he progresses the way he’s progressing, he’s the one that’s going to go on and play at a really high level of football.
“Don’t be surprised if you see Eddie Lee, if he stays fit, starting an awful lot of games between now and the end of the season.”
The clash with Reading City was just Binfield’s fourth game since the beginning of November in what has been a frustrating few weeks.
Saturday’s trip to Tuffley Rovers was called off due to a waterlogged pitch and the Moles sit 13th in the Hellenic Premier table, but have played fewer games than every other side in the division.
That is set to change between now and Christmas, with four matches scheduled in just 12 days as the Moles look to finally try and build some momentum to their stop-start campaign.
The first of those fixtures comes tonight when they welcome title-chasing Wantage Town to Hill Farm Lane (7.45pm).
“Look at the league table, it’s mad,” said Herridge.
“Some of the teams we’ve got eight games in hand on. If we win 75% of our games in hand then all of a sudden we’re probably in the top six.
“It’s an interesting league. We’ve got Wantage on Monday night and we really, really need to win that game.
“There’s a little bit of pressure on us to win that in terms of where we want to be. We’ve just got to win the games we play.
“We’ll get better the more we’re playing I feel, a little bit of momentum, that little bit of extra sharpness that you need when you’re playing a couple of times a week.
“If we do play all these games this month, we’ll have a better indication of where we sit in terms of aspirations.”
He added: “There’s certainly no side in the league that we fear.
“We’ve played Brackley and beat them. They’ve got the points in the bag up there at the minute. Wantage and Bishop’s Cleeve have had a few strange results.
“People can moan and say it’s not got the quality in it this year because Bracknell, Highworth and Thatcham are out of it and a lot of real quality players have stepped up a level, but it’s as competitive a step five league as you’re going to get.
“I think the side that wins it could end up losing seven or eight games.
“If you can put a run together like we did last year, it could be very interesting indeed.”