"Southend game is a great chance to show what we are about," says Allarakhia
Updated: Sep 21
Tarryn Allarakhia is keen for yet another opportunity for the Stones to punch above their weight against a National League heavyweight when Southend United come to town on Saturday.
Stuart Maynard's side are unbeaten in seven matches and two of their best performances this season have come against Oldham Athletic and Torquay United, two sides with rich Football League history. Their most fluent attacking display of last season came at Meadow Lane against Notts County, another side heavily woven into the fabric of the EFL.
"I can't wait for this one," said midfielder Tarryn Allarakhia, Saturday's man of the match. "We love playing at home, we are confident as a team and we have really raised our game this season against the big boys. Southend are a big club and should bring plenty of fans, so it's another great chance for us to show what we are about as a team and a club."
Allarakhia, 24, was the star turn in a very accomplished team performance on Saturday as the Stones recovered from the setback of a very early goal to draw level through top-scorer Rhys Browne and then pepper the visitors' goal. Allarakhia could easily have had a hat-trick.
"We did all the hard work, but we just couldn't hit the back of the net," said the summer signing from Woking. "I think it's the best game we have played attacking wise and it's a real positive we dominated the game. The goal in the first minute didn't help, as it meant we were chasing the game straight away and rushing things. But we came in at half-time and the manager told us to be composed and that it (the goal) will come. As soon as Brownie came on and got the goal, we dominated and were all over them. I'm still shocked how we didn't hit the back of the net four or five times."
It says much about the progress of this side, and indeed the club, that the team have walked off from two home games in succession, against Woking and now Torquay, disappointed with a point.
"Every game we played this season we have been the more dominant side," said the midfield schemer. "We just need to more clinical in the final third. Once we get that, we'll fly. We've been very solid defensively, so solid. And not just the back five – the whole team. We are all helping each other as we've got a good core. Everyone is putting in a shift."
Assistant coach Matt Saunders thought Allarakhia showed exactly the sort of qualities they saw in him when pitching his name to the board in the summer.
"He's been excellent, our most consistent player," said Saunders. "He's unlucky he hasn't got his rewards. That's part of game he need to work on. We call him Robert Pires because he's got the flicks and the touches and all the ability in the world. He just needs to add goals to his game but we have to be patient with these lads. We've got the youngest squad in the division and to do what we are doing and then ask them to be demanding and clinical is a lot to ask from a young team. We've got 90 per cent of what we are asking for."
* Interview by William Bewsey
* Pictures by Mike Renny
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