Michael Duff praise for Ellis Chapman’s glittering performance
Michael Duff said Ellis Chapman’s full Cheltenham debut was “as good as you’ll get” after the Robins saw off spirited South Shields to book their place in round two of the FA Cup.
Former Lincoln midfielder Chapman was involved in all three of Cheltenham’s goals, two of which were scored by Alfie May.
Liam Sercombe added the third to see off the Northern Premier League Mariners, who gave an impressive account of themselves at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
Darius Osei’s strike cancelled out May’s early opener, but the Sky Bet League Two side were too strong in the end.
“I thought Ellis was excellent,” Duff said. “He gives us balance and there is no doubt he can play.
“He’s different to what we have and he just needs to learn the other side of the game in terms of being more combative at times.
“He looks older, but he is only 19 and as far as full debuts go that’s as good as you’ll get.”
South Shields threatened before half-time when the scores were level, but Duff was pleased with the way his side performed in the second period as they ran out comfortable winners in the end.
“I thought we were good and we created lots of chances, but the clinical side of it maybe not so much,” he said.
“We started well, went ahead and a bit of an Achilles heel at the minute, letting another team in soon after scoring.
“We had most of the play, but they had chances and we had chances and it was tougher than some of our league games this season.
“In the second half we started well, scored twice and then really stepped on, suffocated them and didn’t look in danger after that.”
South Shields were making their first appearance in the FA Cup proper for nearly 50 years and joint boss Graham Fenton was proud of their efforts against opposition from three levels up.
“It’s always tough when you come away from home against a team from three leagues higher and they are a good team as well,” he said.
“They play football the right way, as I believe we do and big moments didn’t quite go our way today.
“We had a couple of really good clear-cut chances first half and if we’d put them away the game may well have been different.
“There is no doubt they dominated possession and they are a good side.
“It was good to reply quickly after falling behind, but unfortunately we couldn’t bury those other chances. We are proud of the lads, who have had a really good run up to this point.
“It gives us that hunger to go on and do it more often.”