Tyler is a keeper! Herridge happy as new signing D’Cruz marks Binfield FC debut in style

Goalkeeper turned striker Tyler D'Cruz marked his Binfield FC debut in style (Pic: Colin Byers)
Goalkeeper turned striker Tyler D'Cruz marked his Binfield FC debut in style (Pic: Colin Byers)

GOALKEEPER turned striker Tyler D’Cruz marked his debut in style with a brilliant goal to help Binfield come from behind to beat Abingdon United 3-2 on Tuesday night.

The Moles, who came into the game on the back of a heavy 4-1 defeat to Highworth Town at the weekend, got off to the worst possible start falling behind to a Ryan Jackson goal in the opening minute.

Josh Howell equalised before the break but missed chances proved costly as Jackson again put the hosts in front.

And that is how it stayed until eight minutes from time when teenage substitute D’Cruz fired a superb lob over the keeper before Michael Walton popped up in stoppage time to steal all three points.

And manager Roger Herridge admits his side were fortunate to grab the victory.

“I thought we dominated the first half, got the equaliser and then a couple of chances went begging,” he told The Wokingham Paper.

“Both Josh Howell and Liam Ferdinand put the ball over the bar from about five foot out and, on the balance of play, we probably should’ve been three or four one up by half time.

“I think my warning at half time was the only thing we’re missing really is an end product but what worried me was they would get a chance and end up beating us 2-1.

“They got that chance, we made a mistake, they had a threat up top with a lot of pace and he’s got in behind and finished really well.

“With 15 minutes to go I couldn’t see us coming back and as it happens we got a good equaliser and there’s not better way to win a game than in the dying seconds.”

But the contest could have been so different had it not been for a Monday afternoon phone call.

With both Brad Brown and Jemel Johnson unavailable due to work commitments,

Binfield boss Roger Herridge admits playing D'Cruz could've backfired
Binfield boss Roger Herridge admits playing D’Cruz could’ve backfired

manager Herridge admits he rushed through a deal to snap up D’Cruz without ever seeing him in action, adding him to the squad for the midweek trip to help cover a shortage of attacking options.

“Tyler contacted a few local clubs so I got a call from our secretary to say that we had this lad on the phone,” the manager explained.

“We got talking and I said ‘let’s get you to training on Thursday night’, but JJ unfortunately became unavailable and Brad Brown was working in Scotland.

“So I thought crikey, this lad’s a forward, I’ve only got Liam (Ferdinand), who I wasn’t sure could give me 90 minutes based on his current fitness, so I thought nothing ventured nothing gained, let’s sign him on.

He continued: “We signed him on at about 7 o’clock on Monday night and I picked him up and took him with us. I’d never seen him play.

“I did a very quick Google search on him and could see he’d spent a little bit of time at Brentford and also played in the Middlesex County side Under-18s who got to the FA County Youth Cup final last year and I thought we might have a find here.”

But the story of a promising young forward trying to seek a club, quickly took an unexpected twist upon further inspection of his previous experience just hours before the Abingdon game.

Herridge continued: “I looked a little bit deeper into it and everything I’d seen the day before was exactly right apart from, according to Brentford, and when I looked deeply into these match reports he wasn’t a centre forward, he was a goalkeeper!

“I spoke to my management team when I got to Abingdon and said I’ve got to tell you something, it might make me look a little bit stupid but it’s quite funny.

“I said, let’s have a look at him in the warm-up and he looked pretty keen. He’s a big, tall lad and he looked quite mobile so with 15 minutes to go, we’re 2-1 down, I thought I could look a bit stupid here if we get beat 2-1 and I send on a wannabe striker who’s a goalkeeper but as it is sometimes maybe you have to be a lucky manager.

“I threw him on and we went from our 4-2-3-1 to a 4-4-2 and he went up front alongside Ferdy and put himself around a bit.

“He clattered the goalkeeper and got booked and then he’s run onto a great flick from Liam Ferdinand and finished like a proper centre forward would.

“And he knew how to celebrate as well so is he a centre forward or a goalkeeper? I don’t know! Let’s see what happens over the next few weeks.”

Binfield face a home double header this week with title chasing Thatcham Town coming to Hill Farm Lane on Saturday before hosting Woodley United in the Reading Senior Cup on Monday night.

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