Written by kirsikka
It was the worst of halves, it was the best of halves. Ok, maybe not quite that dramatic but we were poor for the first 45 but the better team for the second. Plus, sneaking that winner means I’m not stuck in a bleak house tonight.
AFC Bournemouth manager Jason Tindall swapped to his other favoured formation and it does look like we’re going to be switching mainly between the two depending on the opposition. It made sense to try and attack more in this match which makes the first half performance baffling.
It seems like a half time rocket in the dressing room did the job again as they came out a different side in the second half and dominated most of the play. So we have to acknowledge Tindall seems to have the ability to motivate a performance out of them when they are misfiring.
When Danjuma scored in the 81st minute with our 11th shot on goal, it was only the second effort on target with the other being a long-range shot straight at the keeper. The stats were similar against Watford, 14 attempts but only 3 on target. This is something we need to address as if we don’t work the opposition keepers more then we’re going to struggle.
I don’t know what to say about the Adam Smith situation. There were times when he looked alright but once again there were times when his lack of a left foot completely sucked the attacking impetus from a break. I hope Rico is rotated back into the position for Saturday. Maybe give AS a chance on the right and Stacey a match off to get some well-earned rest?
One thing is for sure. If we do have any transfer funds available then we should have the whole scouting team out looking for a left-footed Stacey to bring in come January. It’s what Tindall’s favoured formations demand but we don’t have one in the squad and it’s a genuine problem.
Man of the match against Bristol City
An excellent full stretch diving save to tip one around the corner in the first half. Unless something monumental happens, I can’t see him being dislodged this season now.
I wasn’t sure if the last match was a sign of rustiness or lack of effort but this time he started to look more like his old self. Still, a way to go but the effort was definitely there. Good to see he’s on board, if not yet firing on all cylinders.
Imperious at the back. An absolute rock. Mepham and Kelly both had good and bad moments but SC was a line of purely positive ticks tonight. A captains performance.
Overall Grade: B-
It’s a hard one to summarise in that there weren’t too many outstanding or terrible performances. It some good and some bad from the majority of the team. However, they picked up three points.
It may be I’m too harsh in including a – but the first half was extremely worrisome and the lack of genuine threat on goal for most of the match also something we need to address.
Having said that, eight games in and we’re unbeaten and second in the table. If you’d have offered me that when JT was appointed I’d have ripped your arm off. Fair play, he’s getting results. I’d still love to see a complete performance against a decent team but then when are football fans ever satisfied?
One tactic (I think it was an intentional tactic?) I thought interesting about Brizzle City was the way they intermittently changed how they handled our possession. They went through phases of sitting off us and allowing us to have the ball in our own half, sitting deeper themselves like Coventry did all game. Then suddenly they’d decide to press us high for a phase like most sides have done.
I guess they were trying to test how we coped with their changes in approach. And for the most part, we seemed to take it in our stride.
The area we did struggle in was the congested central midfield where it was usually their 3 on our 2. The only tweak I’d have made was encouraging us to go a little more direct to stretch the pitch a bit more. Every game we seem to throw in the occasional direct ball, maybe 1-2 per half, and it almost always causes chaos. We’re not a John Beck side and nor should we be, but let’s throw a few more direct balls in there. – Join the conversation, click here.