Tooting & Mitcham boss Roberto Forzoni has highlighted a problem in his young team after a bittersweet weekend began with FA Cup success but ended with league frustration.
The average age of the Terrors squad is about 21 and Forzoni says when his players come up against experienced campaigners they can be found wanting.
Against an equally young Crawley Down side, the Terrors ran out convincing 3-1 winners on Saturday to reach the first qualifying round of the FA Cup.
However, on Monday a stronger Faversham Town outfit took all three points from Imperial Fields after a 2-1 win in the Ryman League Division One South.
Forzoni said: “We need to learn how to cope with the quality that experience brings.
“If we don’t we may end up in the bottom half of the table come the end of the season.
“We’ve won our two away games but lost our two home games.
“I don’t know if I can read anything into that at this early stage but it could be that the lads are nervous in front of a larger home crowd – that is something we need to work on and experience will help.”
The Terrors will face Leatherhead in the next round of the FA Cup on September 8 after two goals from Lee Hall and a Solomon Karl Pinnock strike saw off Crawley Down. Hall was on the scoresheet again in the 2-1 defeat to Faversham.
Forzoni said: “We knew we had a chance against Crawley because they are a young side.
“We played well and could have scored more goals.
“Then to lose to Faversham was disappointing. We struggled with their route one style of play and their big strikers bullied us off the pitch. We need to come to terms with teams’ physical ways and not be out muscled any more.”
The Terrors travel to Horsham on Saturday.