FAIRFIELD Villa vice-chairman Paul Oakes has praised the ‘huge’ managerial decision made by boss Wayne Davis to not start leading scorer Connor Collins following the club’s 6-3 victory at Sutton United.
Prior to Saturday’s Midland League Division Two clash, Collins and teammate Alex Dugmore were stuck in traffic but were expected to arrive at Hollyfield Road for 1.30pm.
But with only 30 minutes to go until kick-off, Davis made the big decision to remove Collins, who has scored 20 goals in 25 appearances for Villa, and Dugmore from the starting XI.
And that move looked to have backfired as United strolled into a 2-0 lead before Ellis Blakemore pulled one back.
The introductions of Collins and Dugmore then turned the game as the former levelled before Stuart Hall nosed Villa in front after diverting James Ward’s fierce shot.
Collins and Blakemore then completed their braces to put Villa 5-2 up before United added a third late on but there was still time for Dugmore to make it 6-3 to the visitors.
Oakes said: “Wayne made a tough decision on Saturday to leave out Connor who has been in fantastic form but you have to give credit where it’s due as bringing him on from the bench turned the game for us.
“After getting beat 5-0 by Paget Rangers in our last game in the Smedley Crooke Cup, we thought it was going to be another bad day when we fell 2-0 down.
“However the lads showed great character to turn it round and we probably deserved to win by more as we had a few cleared off the line and Dan Wilkes hit the post.”
Villa have a break from league action on Saturday as they entertain Continental Star in the quarter-finals of the Presidents Cup (1.30pm KO) with the winners facing Coton Green in the semis.
Joe Brookes (knee) and Ryan Molesworth (away) are the only absentees for the clash which Oakes believes could be a potential banana skin.
“I am confident we can progress as long as the players don’t think they can turn up and just win a game of football,” he added.
“Star are not a bunch of mugs. There are some good players in their squad so we know it’s going to be a tough game therefore we have to approach it in the right manner.
“We have won the Presidents Cup twice and reached a few finals so it would be nice to have it back in the trophy cabinet but we will take it one game at a time.”