Sutton Athletic are a good side and I must say play the best football I’ve seen in a while at this level, says FC Elmstead boss Ennio Gonnella

Friday 30th August 2019

FC ELMSTEAD manager Ennio Gonnella says he is delighted with the team spirit within his camp.


FC Elmstead are in third-place in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table, having beaten Kennington (2-1) and Snodland Town (1-0), before drawing 2-2 at Sporting Club Thamesmead and drawing 2-2 at home to landlords Sutton Athletic on Bank Holiday Monday.

“Bank Holiday Monday’s game could have gone both ways,” admitted Gonnella.

“They had chances as did we to claim three points but down too great saves from the Hyde brothers!  

“Sutton Athletic are a good side and I must say play the best football I’ve seen in a while at this level, so it was nice to be involved in a game which both managers appreciated a certain style.  

“We had three key players missing that day for one reason or another so it was a difficult approach to the game.  However, our boys did the club and themselves proud with great work rate, some good football at times in difficult hot conditions.  On reflection I believe a draw was fair.”

FC Elmstead travel to Surrey to play Egham Town in The Buildbase FA Vase First Qualifying Round without any injuries within their camp.

Egham play one level higher than Gonnella’s men and sit in sixteenth-place in the Combined Counties League Premier Division table, having collected one win from their opening four league outings.

“It’s always nice to be a part of any FA competition and one that myself and the club are looking forward to being involved in,” said Gonnella, on the eve of the game.

“The three players missing from Monday’s game all return to strengthen the squad, Marcus Cassius, Alimm Sesay and Russell Thompson-Carter were missed.  

“Egham have not had the best of starts in their league and a newly appointed manager can always read dangerous for us.  They will want to impress their new manager and obviously new players coming in meaning we do not know too much about them.

“However, we come into this game full of confidence following a great start to our campaign.  

“I have nothing but belief in our club and team and I believe the set-up Fabio Rossi and Paul Brook have given us has played a part into such a great start for us.  

“The players’ we have are an asset to manage/coach and a group of lads I look forward to seeing week in week out.  When you have that kind of relationship it can only read success whatever your clubs targets are.  

“We are a tight bunch and they are very talented. In previous years the mentality at this level can bring a player down, especially the players dropping levels and hard work beats talent.  I have been a victim of this lots of times.  

“Our success so far has been our application to a game, respecting the level we play at and taking it a game at a time.

“I’m not getting ahead myself! if I’m able to talk to you in February, March 2020 and we’re in a similar league position, then we will start dreaming but for now we respect our league position but a very, very long way to go yet.”  

Egham Town  v  FC Elmstead
The Buildbase FA Vase First Qualifying Round
Saturday 31 August 2019
Kick Off 3:00pm
at The Runnymede Stadium, Wards Place, Egham, Surrey TW20 8XD