LEE CLARK hailed the debut display of Simon Eastwood – but said there was no excuse for a goalkeeper getting cramp!
The 19-year-old, in for shoulder injury victim Alex Smithies, needed treatment from physio Dave Buckby after going down in the 59th minute of Saturday’s League I season-ending 1-1 draw at Leyton Orient.
It caused a moment of concern, because with Town’s other keeper, Matt Glennon, still on the road to recovery after knee surgery, Clark had only outfield players on the bench.
“How a goalkeeper can get cramp I’ll never know, and I think Eastie will have to put up with a bit of ribbing from the rest of the lads!” said Clark, whose side finished ninth in the table after the stalemate in front of 5,371 (1,191 Town fans) in East London.
“Alex has had a bit of shoulder trouble in recent weeks, and he aggravated the problem when he fell awkwardly during training on Friday.
“But I had no qualms about putting Simon in, because he shows me every day in training what a capable young goalkeeper he is.
“There was no point in risking Alex and it was a good opportunity for Simon to show us what he’s about, which he did.
“The only thing which spoiled the day for him was their goal and we should be disappointed as a team.
“We made a series of mistakes – not dealing with the ball properly when we had it, messing about in the middle of the pitch and failing to track their runner, and it was an easy tap-in.
“We were fine in the first half, and we could and should have been further ahead because our passing and movement was good and we created some good opportunities.
“But we were patchy in the second half, and that was frustrating.”
While Andy Booth made his final appearance, so did Danny Cadamarteri, with Clark adding: “He was outstanding, and it’s just as shame he couldn’t score as well as Boothy.”