Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Nathan Jones hails ‘wonderful’ Alfie May after match-winning double

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Mar 2024

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Charlton manager Nathan Jones said he was pleased to have League One top scorer Alfie May spearheading his attack as the striker’s 19th and 20th league goals of the season earned a 3-2 win over Carlisle.

Charlton did not have it all their own way, going behind to a 20th-minute volley from Luke Armstrong, but goals either side of half-time from May and Daniel Kanu helped to resume normal service.

Taylor Charters equalised with a 63rd-minute penalty after Armstrong was fouled by Macaulay Gillesphey but 15 minutes from time May pounced on a Sam Lavelle back-pass to claim the points.

“He’s a wonderful player,” Jones said of his striker, who arrived for his own media duties with a bottle of champagne.

“He’s a clever player, he’s a great lad and he’s brilliant around the place. He thinks about his game, he thinks about his movement and he doesn’t just go and play off the cuff.

“He’s scored goals wherever he’s been, he’s come here and he’s been scoring goals. His dip coincided with a dip in the team’s form, which can happen, but all you have to do is keep giving these players confidence and keep talking to them and Alfie’s responded fantastically well.”

The result moves Charlton 10 points clear of relegation but Jones insisted he remains focused on his team playing well.

“It wasn’t [about] survival, it was about getting performances,” he said. “Yes, we want to make sure that we don’t get sucked into any kind of relegation thing but we want to finish as high as we possibly can because we want to build.

“We’re not just planning for now, we want to build for the future as well.”

Carlisle boss Paul Simpson felt his team merited a much-needed point.

“The players have worked extremely hard today and probably deserved something out of it but unfortunately we go away with nothing again, which is the story of our season,” he said.

“For long periods I thought we looked decent. I thought our shape was good. I thought the plan that we had was good.”

“I’m pleased with some individual performances. Harry [Lewis]. Dylan McGeouch got on the ball and passed the ball well for us. Harrison [Neal] had another good game. Good for Luke to get a goal.”

Unfortunately for Simpson, individual errors cost the Cumbrians. “We’ve just given really poor goals away today,” he said.

“We just haven’t reacted well enough for the second goal. It’s a throw-in and we’ve not squeezed high enough up the pitch to make us nice and compact.”

“The third goal is a mistake and it’s just one of those things. We’ve got to clear our lines in that position.”

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