Discussion of all things related to the club and first team
Had a good run at the end of last season, before losing in the Play Offs to Dorking Wanderers, and despite losing their opening day game at home to Eastbourne Borough have won the next three without conceding a goal which included a 2-0 win at Weymouth, yesterday, but they have lost all five games so far.
We didn’t do enough to deserve the win today but gave it a good go. We clearly were struggling for bodies with only two fit subs, Babalola and Kurran-Browne came in for Wood and Barzey and Block shifted to CB and TMR to right back and Whittingham to midfield. First half was remarkable for its almost complete lack of goalmouth excitement. We were content to sit off Oxford and try and hit on the break much like we did at Tonbridge but not much came off for either side until Oxford were awarded a very dubious penalty as Donaldson appeared to win the ball cleanly. Oxford converted it in the second minute of added time. Second half we tried to get up the pitch more but a good Oxford side were an equal threat going forward.Both sides hit the woodwork, us from Inman’s header which hit the inside of the post and bounced off the defender on the line. TMR was pushed into midfield and we went three at the back, Wood on for an ineffective Babalola. But we couldn’t find the clear openings we had on Saturday and eventually Oxford nicked a second with a shot that seemed to go straight through Smith.
Just seen Gary’s comments and he seems pretty down on the performance and individuals. He is clearly frustrated. Just one thought. Most sides we have played have tried to press us higher up the pitch which often forces a long ball aimed at Wood or Babalola. Today we weren’t picking up enough of the second balls and so lost possession too quickly. Playing around the press is not easy so if we are going direct we need to get midfield up the pitch more quickly. Also we didn’t seem to press their back four as a unit. Fine tactic to drop off but no point one player trying to close down on his own with no support. Oxford were comfortable enough to play round us.
Interesting reports from Tony, who I usually agree with wholeheartedly. Today was the first game I've been to since the Cheshunt debacle so I can't really comment on how we've developed since but I thought we were lacking in both ideas and momentum as the game wore on today, apart from a 10 minute or so spell in the second half. We have some very skilful players on board but too many are easily out muscled. Shame.
Reading the reports plus Gary’s comments it would seem that the usual problems were again in evidence, too weak in defence with soft goals being conceded, little threat up front (cannot understand why Wood did not start) now the midfield was also overwhelmed. We continue to fall to the lower end of the table and our options from the current squad look very limited due in part to injuries and lack of quality alternatives. A poor result at Slough,who too are struggling and we might start to hear’ alarm bells’!
Don’t think we are that bad and Oxford are a decent side but today we only burst into life intermittently. We were better with TMR back in midfield. I heard that Hines pulled out of the squad quite late so guess he would have started at RB. Slightly concerned about the thin bench but at least Fernandes was named as a sub so maybe we’ll see him playing soon. But agree we need a result against Slough who took a heavy beating today.