Question of the WeekHow important is data in League 2 football?
|Not good enough|
U for Unsatisfactory
By: Andrew Doherty
Date: 24/10/2023 (Last updated: 25/10/2023)
I DON'T think many people were expecting a positive result at Stockport on Saturday and we didn't get one, but what it does mean is that we find ourselves in 20th place and staring down the barrel of relegation if we're not careful.
Much emphasis is placed on the cohesion of "the group" and it does seem that we're misfiring, with poor goals being conceded and confidence drained away from some of our players. The supporters of this evening's opponents Colchester are probably as frustrated as we are, with results fluctuating between a 3 – 0 away win at Gillingham and a 0 – 5 loss at lowly Forest Green Rovers a couple of weeks ago. That prompted a change of manager. With Colchester in 23rd place and four points behind us with a game in hand, this game was more important than might have been expected when the fixtures first came out.
Town's line-up this evening was: Eastwood – Efete, Mullarkey, Rodgers, Maher, Efete – Holohan, Conteh, Eisa – Rose, Wilson. 5,010 spectators were here. Colchester, known as the Us, wore yellow and blue and kicked off with Town heading towards the Osmond as usual for the first half. Colchester had an attack and cross on 3 minutes which Mullarkey did well to head clear. Town had a nice attack and an appeal for a penalty. On 6 minutes Greenidge played a routine pass back to keeper Goodman who misread the bounce, headed the ball upwards and fell back with the ball into the net. Town 1, Colchester 0. Town players celebrated even though they had nothing to do with it. Four minutes later Read spotted a huge gap and placed the ball from his own half to Taylor who evaded Rodgers and slammed the ball home from an angle. 1 - 1. Holohan had a low shot saved and pushed onto the post by Goodman following a pass from Eisa, but Colchester looked more dangerous. Holohan made a bad error which luckily Maher did well to recover before Efete got smacked in the face by a ferocious and goal-bound shot from Fevrier. Cooper dragged a shot wide on 27 minutes with no Town defender shadowing. Town were struggling, finding themselves out of position and unable to put two passes together. Colchester's pace was causing problems down both sides. Maher cut out a cross to concede a corner on 33 minutes. Read delivered an inswinger from the right. Eastwood came out, flapped and missed the ball altogether, allowing Mitchell to bundle the ball into the net. Town 1, Colchester 2. It was another shocking goal to concede. Andrews replaced the injured Holohan on 35 minutes and got booked within two minutes for dragging back the lightening Fevrier. Colchester were playing brightly. Town were all at sea. Town had an attempt at an attack on 43 minutes when Eisa picked up the ball and supplied Wilson who was unable to control the pass. 6 minutes were added. 47 minutes had gone. Conteh did well in midfield and found Amos but the cross found a defender. Colchester broke quickly and once again Cooper found himself free and blasted his shot. Eastwood was in the way but it was another close shave where Town had never got going against the superior Us. It was Town who looked to be side in the relegation zone. So at half time, it was Town 1, Colchester 2.
Green replaced Mullarkey at halftime as Town looked to erase the ghastliness of the first 45 minutes. Town showed more endeavour in the first five minutes than they managed in the whole of the first half. First Eisa had a shot after a good build-up. Then as the ball was cleared Amis crossed for Rose to head back. Town won a corner. Following the corner Amos cross for Wilson to flick on. As Town pressed, Conteh took the ball inside the box on the left but was squeezed out so passed the ball behind Wilson who turned brilliantly and fired a low left-footed shot into the net. Town 2, Colchester 2. On 54 minutes Rose had a shot saved. Eisa was following up but the ball slid inches wide before he could get there. Town had a let-off on 56 minutes when a poor clearance by Rodgers led to a Colchester assault. Fevrier sliced his shot wide. Following a foul in the right-hand corner there was a scramble in the Colchester box. The ball was played upfield where Eisa did well to retrieve the ball and find Wilson whose shot was fierce but wide. This was much better. from Town. On 64 minutes Andrews lost possession in midfield. Read picked up, ran on and shot, hitting a deflected shot past Eastwood. Town 2, Colchester 3. A minute later Egbert was booked for fouling Eisa on the edge of the box. Two corners followed but Colchester broke. Conteh was on hand to stop Taylor scoring for Colchester. Conteh again stopped a Colchester attack and Town broke quickly but Amos sliced his shot wide after being teed up by Rose. On 76 minutes Colchester left Town standing with a break. Taylor dashed up the right and crossed for Tovide who could not control a difficult volley which went over. Eisa had a decent shot for Town on 81 minutes after shrugging off a defender. Town were trying hard but there were no clear-cut chances. A poor Eastwood clearance led to a Colchester free kick on 8 minutes, easing the pressure, but Town battled back upfield. Conteh was penalised for pushing the defender. Colchester looked to spend the time playing forward. Town were being given the opportunity to break but the quality was poor. It was getting desperate. Gnahoua replaced Conteh on 88 minutes. Four minutes added. Eisa did well to win the ball on the left and crossed but Rose missed it and the ball bounced off Wilson's legs. It was a familiar tale of Town floundering around without being able to link up. So it ended: Grimsby Town 2, Colchester United 3.
Conceding three soft goals isn't going to win games. Town lack discipline and confidence. We sit in a skill-free, tactical void. The 148 U's supporters went home happy. For us Town supporters, this was unsatisfactory.
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