Harleston Town boss Adam Gusterson plots a change in approach after exiting the Norfolk Senior Cup to Diss Town
Harleston Town boss Adam Gusterson has conceded that Saturday’s Norfolk Senior Cup exit at the hands of Diss Town could force him into a tactical rethink.
After losing to Swaffham Town on the opening day of the season, Gusterson’s charges swept aside most of what was put before them, winning 16 and drawing one of their next 17 games.
However, Swaffham completed the double over them on November 10 in a 4-3 win for the Pedlars, followed by Diss’ 3-2 triumph at the weekend.
It is the first time Harleston have lost two games in a row in more than three years, leaving Gusterson to admit his team may have to rein things in a little bit going forward.
“We have not lost two on the spin as a group so this is going to be a test for us,” he said.
“We have looked very vulnerable on the break recently and it is not the first time we have shipped a few goals, so it is something we need to look at.
“So far we have looked to attack from the off and it has worked, but it does leave us open to the counter-attack.
“Perhaps we need to give our full-backs a bit more protection and become a tougher side to breakdown.
“It is something we need to be mindful of. Teams are setting up to catch us on the break and right now it is working for them too easily.”
Young goalkeeper Brandon Ling featured heavily in two of the three goals that were conceded at the weekend.
The 17-year-old failed to hold the ball on both occasions, with Virgilio Leitao pouncing to score, though Gusterson felt his man had been fouled the second time.
Nevertheless, the manager has given his backing to the youngster.
“You have two choices with youngsters. Either you do not play them, or you accept the mistakes,” he added.
“I always like to give youngsters a chance. Brandon is devastated, but he is already a good goalkeeper and he is going to be a very good goalkeeper.
“I thought the second one was a foul, but we did not get it and you just have to move on.”
Harleston bounced back on Wednesday in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, as they beat Needham Market Reserves 5-2 on the road at Bloomfields.
The table-toppers play host to basement side Felixstowe & Walton United Reserves tomorrow (1.30pm).