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Grim Times

By: Paul Neal
Date: 17/10/2010

IT seems that Woods picked his squad by reference to perceived seniority. as opposed to picking the best players for each position. Thus Wood was played out of position on the left of midfield instead of Fuller; Leary got the final bench place instead of more forward-thinking players like Fuller or Corner.

Not surprisingly, Town made little progress down the left in the 1st half (mind you, the right and middle did produce similar results). The one real exception came when Bore appeared there, cut inside and hit a great shot against the bar. Whether it crossed the line should have been hypothetical as the rebound fell to Carlton, just a few yards from goal. Instead of rifling the ball into the net, he did a mincer of a shot past the keeper but not enough to beat a defender’s last ditch clearance against his own bar. A bad miss by Carlton - I'd like to think that Town would have gone onto win if we had scored that elusive first goal.

The Findus Stand were no doubt bemoaning Samuels’ 1st half contribution - stray passes and poor throw-ins aplenty. However, he was given very little to aim at - Bore in particular seemed incapable of making runs to help him out. I recall Kempson bellowing "movement" at his team mates as Samuels lined up another unproductive throw-in. There was sadly little responsibility being taken on the pitch despite the generous budget used to finance these players.

The Southport goal was wholly avoidable. Atko tried to shepherd out a through ball for a goal kick - he had lots of time to have put it out for a throw. At the last he realised that there was not enough momentum on the ball to get the goal kick - consequently he tamely put it behind for a corner. The corner was cleared but only to Blakeman about 25 yards and a fine left foot shot (seemingly unchallenged) rifled the ball into the Pontoon goal. I assume O’Donnell was unsighted. It proved too much for Connell as he and Kempson got into a heated exchange - I presume Connell was slating Kempson for not clearing the corner properly. We should be more concerned that yet again an opposition player is given a free shot from outside the box. Shame about Atko’s error as he had a solid game, unlike Kempson who made several errors.

In fairness to Woods he did change things at HT - Samuels off, Wood to RB and Hudson into a 3 man midfield. Peacock came on for the ineffective Carlton. Hudson had a decent 2nd half as Town showed some actual desire at last. Sadly it was still huffing and puffing with little end result. Bore seemed to be playing on the left but every time he got the ball, he cut inwards with little end product.

Peacock did get the ball in the net with a header from an excellent Wood cross. However, he had clearly used his hands to get leverage and it was no surprise to see a free kick awarded. A proper Town goal did not seem imminent so it came as a surprise when Connell found himself in space about 20 yards out, with the keeper off his line. The lob was invited and duly despatched in front of the Pontoon. That was as good as it got, as the winner never looked like coming. Cummins did force a save with about 6 mins to go but I don't recall any other saves.

It's going to be a long season. Winning the league is clearly not an option; a play-off place does not appear likely either, based on the season so far. It was turgid stuff - I can't blame people for not forking out £18 for such "entertainment". Woods's formation and personnel did not help but its time that the players took on responsibility in return for their generous wages by non-league standards.

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