Saturday, 19 November 2011

JOB DONE: But Little Panache

This was always likely to be tough, and the 3 points represent mission accomplished, especially as all the other contenders came up trumps.
However, it was not convincing against a hard working, physical but mid table side. I overheard someone say that 'you won't get them tougher then thatg': well I reckon we probably will, at the end of the day they were a hard side but only really mid table.
We were well let off in the first half when our defence was split wide open only for a well placed shot to rebound out off a post. Then towards the end of the first half Brentford missed a sitter of a header that should have gone in but skirted around the left hand post.
In the end BWP came to the rescue with a typical poacher's goal, latching on to a good cross along the ground from Green faster than any of the defenders.
You cannot take anything away from the effort of the side today in securing the points. However, there was little craft on show and,. like against Wycombe and Sheffield United we could easily have come out with nothing are being broadly played off the park in the first half of each game.
As my fellow season ticket holder said, it was unconvincing for a side in our lofty position but they must be doing something right to continue getting the results. I agree, though in those three games alone we have also been happy to take the luck (or the "run of the ball") whichever way you look at it.
Don't get me wrong,  I'll gladly accept and congratulate the side if they get another 3 points (or even 1)  against Huddersfield. However, having said that it really would be great and be more satisfying to come away from a game having comprehensively outplayed the opposition with a bit of style.
At the end of this game,  it seemed to me that only Hamer, Morrision and to an extent BWP came out with flying colours or ven stood out above the crowd. The latter should have picked up another goal which went wide but generally persevered well throughout the game, with little support.
Jan C had another game like Wycombe where astonishingly he won few balls in the air (was that because he was playing good back four players? or did he just have a slightly off game). Irrespective of that, he gave 100% and more and was on the end of some pretty rough treatment throughout the game.
Whether our performance was badly impacted by the pitch was not good. It seemed to me to have been watered heavily and suggest that we do not like such a surface, so let's hope it's not repeated too many times.
Our first half performances in all three of these great victories suggests to me that if we play a really good side (if there is one) we may be taken apart. Let's hope that is not Huddersfield.
If ever there was an incentive to get out of this division it is Brentford and Stevenage. They seem like nice little friendly clubs (Brentford not the force thet were 40-50 years ago) but the grounds are depressingly small, scruffy and bordering on the unsafe in the case of Brentford (I wonder if Health and Safety get around there much?)

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Caution Yes: But Let's Not Go Over The Top!

I trust that CP will think long and hard before picking too weak a side.I'm in favour of resting key players, though not to the extent that we risk an embarrassing defeat in front of the TV audiences.
You can bet your life that Halifax are up for it, and that there will be small, if any, reference in the commentary to our weakened side if Halifax take the game by the scruff of the neck. An embarrassing defeat would certainly set the cause back, plus any prospect of progressing further to a mouth watering 3rd round tie that could be good for morale and the bank balance.
That having been said, the game provides the opportunity to test Alonso: is he eventually going to be a serious contender for a place; if not then why did we sign him?
I would also give Evine a chance, but perhaps not at left back, he appears to have more attacking than defending skills.
I am not too sure that a pairing of Benson and Hayes will bother a side even at this level.
If we are taking along Jan C for part of a game I would favour starting with our strongest line up available on the day and making substitutions when, hopefully, we have built up a lead and some breathing space.
I can never understand adopting the opposite strategy and having to stage a desperate last 20 minutes to comeback from a potential defeat having given the other side the momentum due to a weakened selection. Jan C put the fear up most defences with his strength and Ariel power; let's have it for the first 60 minutes and give a substitute forward at least a half hour in the second half run-in.  At that point, we could also give Bover some rein to test him out in the most suitable position.