BINFIELD FC once again showed they are a team on the rise when holding runaway Hellenic League leaders Highworth to a 1-1 draw on Saturday, writes Dave Wright.

“The lads raised the bar again,” beamed manager Roger Herridge.

“I said the other day we want to finish in the top six and, from what we saw at Highworth, I think we have proved we are capable of achieving that.”

The Moles went a goal down on the sloping pitch at The Elms and it needed a couple of outstanding saves by Henry Craven to prevent the hosts from increasing the lead.

But they enjoyed an excellent second half, equalised through Brad Pagliaroli and missed a great chance to take all three points off a side that had lost only one of their previous 22 league games.

“We fully deserved a point,” said Herridge.

“Before the game I would have taken that, but at the end of the day I think we may have deserved more.

“I thought we were excellent to a man. We were disciplined and organised without the ball, and always a threat with it against top opposition.

“We had a good team out today with some good technical players.”

Once again, Binfield were missing a number of regulars and Herridge admitted: “In certain areas we haven’t that strength in depth that other teams have got.

“We’re a bit short at centre back and in the centre of midfield and that meant we had some round pegs playing in square holes, so all credit to the players for coping with it.”

The Moles manager is continuing his bid to strengthen his squad with Flackwell Heath’s attacking midfielder, Usman Lalustani, on his want list.

“We are trying to get the balance of the side right,” added Herridge. “We live within our means, so young players get a good chance with us.”

One such player currently benefitting with the Moles is Carlo Santoro, who impressed last Saturday.

“He has had to be patient, he is a young lad who was at Reading’s academy,” commented the manager.

“Carlo has got all the tricks of the trade and is hoping to play at a higher level, but now he’s learning to play non-league football and he has done that over the last few weeks.

“He was a real threat today.”

Herridge also paid tribute to Moles skipper James Knight, saying: “The great thing about him, is he leads by example.

“Sometimes, he may look around him and think to himself ‘blimey, who am I playing with this week?’ - as we are always having to make changes.

“He puts everything into his game for the whole 90 minutes, you couldn’t ask for any more from a captain.”