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Ironman

LUTON TOWN v EXETER CITY - Match Thread

46 posts in this topic

Right here we go again, another one in the "it'll be a really good one to win" category, must win, still not in my view, but we need to rediscover our cutting edge that's for sure.

I thought v Carlisle we were by far the better team,but then again how much did their goalie have to do, very little tbh.  We got ourselves in some brilliant positions but the end game decision making was poor to say the least.

See you at the bar, as per usual.

Keep The Faith!

Cheers

Ironman

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6 hours ago, albhatter said:

Whats the condition of the pitch--anyone?

 

It's better than the team alb and if anyone wants any positives...we looked really good in the warm-up.

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that was the week that was . . . it's over let it go

Played reasonably well, created more chances than the opposition and finished up with 2 points out of 9 and we are still in with a shout. Doesn't anybody but Doncaster want promotion?

It's all getting a bit tense now and you can sense it in the crowd. Think it takes the edge off the enjoyment and with at least 50 percent favouring pessimism, then criticism of players is very audible. 

We were in some respects fortunate today, Exeter played football and had no monsters up front to terrorise our defence. And talking of defence, Macey is beginning to look the part, his handling has improved and he has torn up the roots that initially anchored him to the goal line. Obviously still a project in progress, but encouraging , all the same. The two full backs, well the one on the left was just about adequate, the one on the right, did what was expected, poor crossing, near fatal defensive blunders but to be fair, I've seen him play worse. Incidentally I voted for his goal as 'goal of the season' in the Trust's Members poll!

As mentioned the centre backs were fortunate with who opposed them. What can you say about Cook, well what can you say? Gambin showed flair but any sign of an end result was lacking. Incidentally Lee came on with 10 minutes to go, why? it baffled me.

For me Pelly was MoM by a country mile, Hylton showed again why he is 'Player of the Season', no need to count the votes. Marriott was justifiably annoyed when he was substituted. Palmer showed more than enough to justify a start. Vassell was quiet with no service and finally Smudger was not as effective as we expect and was outpaced on occasions. 

Newport midweek, Surely even with the injuries we currently are carrying, 3 points are a certainty, if only.

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Well, its four months since we had our double outing to Exeter in November to play a side languishing at the base of league two. The two games were themselves very forgettable affairs but at least my football education was supplemented by Paul Hart informing us in a post-match interview, who the most skilful player at the club was. Since that time Exeter have gone on a magnificent run on their shoestring resources and climbed the table to sit in the play-off places: quite some achievement for such a financially strapped outfit and well done to them. So once again we found ourselves up against playoff contenders. In fact, the last six games have been Doncaster, Plymouth, Yeovil, Stevenage, Carlisle and Exeter. Yes, we managed to comfortably thump Yeovil but from the other five games against top 7 clubs we only managed four points; ok, granted we only lost one of that series but it’s hardly promotion form. 

A reasonable but not exceptional game from two playoff candidates neither of which to my mind look capable of standing up to the likes of highly motivated hungry Stevenage in the playoffs should either of these two sides take part in that competition. I just wish I knew how Darren Sarll manages to lift a bunch of mediocre players to such levels; I am just a little envious I guess.

I have produced some match notes on: http://whittlerhatter.weebly.com

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12 hours ago, lizard said:

that was the week that was . . . it's over let it go

Played reasonably well, created more chances than the opposition and finished up with 2 points out of 9 and we are still in with a shout. Doesn't anybody but Doncaster want promotion?

It's all getting a bit tense now and you can sense it in the crowd. Think it takes the edge off the enjoyment and with at least 50 percent favouring pessimism, then criticism of players is very audible. 

We were in some respects fortunate today, Exeter played football and had no monsters up front to terrorise our defence. And talking of defence, Macey is beginning to look the part, his handling has improved and he has torn up the roots that initially anchored him to the goal line. Obviously still a project in progress, but encouraging , all the same. The two full backs, well the one on the left was just about adequate, the one on the right, did what was expected, poor crossing, near fatal defensive blunders but to be fair, I've seen him play worse. Incidentally I voted for his goal as 'goal of the season' in the Trust's Members poll!

As mentioned the centre backs were fortunate with who opposed them. What can you say about Cook, well what can you say? Gambin showed flair but any sign of an end result was lacking. Incidentally Lee came on with 10 minutes to go, why? it baffled me.

For me Pelly was MoM by a country mile, Hylton showed again why he is 'Player of the Season', no need to count the votes. Marriott was justifiably annoyed when he was substituted. Palmer showed more than enough to justify a start. Vassell was quiet with no service and finally Smudger was not as effective as we expect and was outpaced on occasions. 

Newport midweek, Surely even with the injuries we currently are carrying, 3 points are a certainty, if only.

Having just seen the opening goal from yesterday, you would think that a number of Exeter fans would concur with that opinion.

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17 minutes ago, ODTT said:

Having just seen the opening goal from yesterday, you would think that a number of Exeter fans would concur with that opinion.

Even making allowance for your limited exposure to matchday via youtube it is hard to justify that comment. Fishing again, what did greenwomen say about fish?

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1 minute ago, lizard said:

Even making allowance for your limited exposure to matchday via youtube it is hard to justify that comment. Fishing again, what did greenwomen say about fish?

Not sure what you mean, I saw the goals on Sky Sports website?

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15 hours ago, lizard said:

For me Pelly was MoM by a country mile, Hylton showed again why he is 'Player of the Season', no need to count the votes. Marriott was justifiably annoyed when he was substituted. Palmer showed more than enough to justify a start. Vassell was quiet with no service and finally Smudger was not as effective as we expect and was outpaced on occasions. 

I couldn't agree more!  Avery frustrating afternoon all round.

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3 hours ago, Wimbohatter said:

Since that time Exeter have gone on a magnificent run on their shoestring resources and climbed the table to sit in the play-off places: quite some achievement for such a financially strapped outfit and well done to them.

I think this is the essence of the reason so many of us are frustrated.  NJ has a large squad; many he brought in and therefore, in theory, good resources.  Surely it's easier to manage with good resources than few?  So why not the results?

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My thoughts on Ollie Lee (I was there yesterday, having been away in Scotland and missed the Stevenage game - fortunately) are: he came on and proceeded promptly to surrender possession, watched while Exeter players passed the ball around him, bellowed and gesticulated at team -mates to mark or tackle someone while he did neither, and generally contributed little to the cause. How does he achieve selection (especially when NJ indicated that he wasn't part of his plans for the future). The clue may be in Hart's pronouncement that Lee is the best footballer at the club - presumably Hart has a say in team selection. But if it's Lee's sterling work in training which impresses NJ then both Gray and D'Ath must be terrible at Ely Way if they can't even get into the 18. Banton was spotted on the bench, a rare sighting - I thought he was out on loan somewhere. But the other Ollie (Palmer) was a revelation in his cameo near the end. Surely this guy deserves more than 10 or 15 minutes on the pitch. But I say again, these draws are killing our ambitions and to be honest, are we really good enough to go up a division?

My most memorable moment all afternoon? A red kite drifted lazily over the Oak road end, a magnificent bird.

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Bitterly disappointed yesterday, I'm still not convinced by Macey, one good first half save (isn't that's his job) then for the rest of the game he wasn't really troubled and therefore wasn't given the opportunity to show how average he really is.

Jack at LB, was solid, got forward and put in some well timed tackles, SOD, well he wasn't as bad (yesterday) as a lot would have you believe, in fact in the first half he put two excellent crosses into the box, one in particular which JM got on the end of and their keeper made a great finger tip save.

I thought Pelly was our best player, how he didn't get the sponsors mom was strange as the chosen one (Sheehan) along with Rea to me, just went through the motions yesterday (neither good nor bad) .

Nothing was happening for Gambin, and as bad as Smudger was yesterday I thought Cook was abysmal, the defining moment being when he was put clear and what should have been a simple cross into the box somehow didn't hit the floor until someone in the David Preece stand caught the ball and threw it back.

Marriott didn't do himself any favours and could well find himself benched again on Tuesday night, Hylton tried, took his goal well (I'd love to see his disallowed goal again - it looked ok to me).

All in all, it was a thoroughly disappointing afternoons entertainment - and then I went home and England added more salt to my already open wounds.

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Posted (edited)

42 minutes ago, LTFCMick said:

I'm still not convinced by Macey, one good first half save (isn't that's his job) then for the rest of the game he wasn't really troubled and therefore wasn't given the opportunity to show how average he really is.

I thought Pelly was our best player, how he didn't get the sponsors mom was strange as the chosen one (Sheehan) along with Rea to me, just went through the motions yesterday (neither good nor bad) .

Cook was abysmal, the defining moment being when he was put clear and what should have been a simple cross into the box somehow didn't hit the floor until someone in the David Preece stand caught the ball and threw it back.

Marriott didn't do himself any favours and could well find himself benched again on Tuesday night, Hylton tried, took his goal well (I'd love to see his disallowed goal again - it looked ok to me).

 

paragraph 1: I think many will also be unconvinced as yet. However do you accept that there has been progress since his first stuttering appearances? Also not mentioned in any report, did you notice that amazing throw he made, not seen one like that since Ron Baynham.

paragraph 2: You wouldn't expect me to disagree with this. I put skill and entertainment above all else.

paragraph 3: Think Cook has reaffirmed, yet again, that Managers make mistakes.

paragraph 4: I would imagine that Marriott's kick at the bench probably made the coffee cups rattle in Box 18. So bench for Tuesday a strong probability.

Edited by lizard
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With regards to Macey I took a friend yesterday who had never seen him play before, and who had no prior baggage as to how he had played in other games. He thought Macey was rather good and so did I to be fair. We were sitting right behind his goal first half so had a great view of his performance. 

There is some talk on Outlaws that Walton was at the match yesterday, I wonder whether he was just catching up with old mates or if there is some ulteria motive?

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5 minutes ago, shatter2 said:

With regards to Macey I took a friend yesterday who had never seen him play before, and who had no prior baggage as to how he had played in other games. He thought Macey was rather good and so did I to be fair. We were sitting right behind his goal first half so had a great view of his performance. 

There is some talk on Outlaws that Walton was at the match yesterday, I wonder whether he was just catching up with old mates or if there is some ulteria motive?

Most likely doing some scouting for Brighton.

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52 minutes ago, shatter2 said:

With regards to Macey I took a friend yesterday who had never seen him play before, and who had no prior baggage as to how he had played in other games. He thought Macey was rather good and so did I to be fair. We were sitting right behind his goal first half so had a great view of his performance. 

There is some talk on Outlaws that Walton was at the match yesterday, I wonder whether he was just catching up with old mates or if there is some ulteria motive?

 
 

I think Macey could turn into a decent keeper given a little time and good coaching particularly in terms of collecting crosses under pressure. I have said before on other threads that I can’t see him being up to premiership/champions league requirements for Arsenal and would not be surprised to see him made available at the end of this season when his contract runs out. Given that scenario, I would be happy to have him at Luton. Walton would be good but I assume he is part of Brighton’s future and even if available would be way out of our budget.

Whoever is our main keeper nest season just one request Nathan, please not a loan keeper. I rather fancy that had Walton not been recalled by Brighton we would be at least three points better off than we currently are.

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2 hours ago, LTFCMick said:

Bitterly disappointed yesterday, I'm still not convinced by Macey, one good first half save (isn't that's his job) then for the rest of the game he wasn't really troubled and therefore wasn't given the opportunity to show how average he really is.

Jack at LB, was solid, got forward and put in some well timed tackles, SOD, well he wasn't as bad (yesterday) as a lot would have you believe, in fact in the first half he put two excellent crosses into the box, one in particular which JM got on the end of and their keeper made a great finger tip save.

I thought Pelly was our best player, how he didn't get the sponsors mom was strange as the chosen one (Sheehan) along with Rea to me, just went through the motions yesterday (neither good nor bad) .

Nothing was happening for Gambin, and as bad as Smudger was yesterday I thought Cook was abysmal, the defining moment being when he was put clear and what should have been a simple cross into the box somehow didn't hit the floor until someone in the David Preece stand caught the ball and threw it back.

Marriott didn't do himself any favours and could well find himself benched again on Tuesday night, Hylton tried, took his goal well (I'd love to see his disallowed goal again - it looked ok to me).

All in all, it was a thoroughly disappointing afternoons entertainment - and then I went home and England added more salt to my already open wounds.

Bit harsh on Macey there, Mick!  Macey is a work in progress and has shown huge improvements since he arrived, although quite what that says about Arsenal's coaching or NJ's judgement (although to be fair he was painted into a dark corner by B&HA's very late recall of Walton) is another matter.  Bearing in mind that we know for certain the only other GK we have access to from now until the end of the season is Stuart Moore, I know who I would prefer!  Unless they both mysteriously contract synchronised food poisoning ;), then re-signing Walton is a no-no.

Being dumped into important L2 matches from development games must come as something of a shock to Macey's system - yes, it's sink or swim but the level of competitiveness and the importance of results would be relatively new to the lad.  Warnock railed Warren Joyce after he was sacked by Wigan last week stating that there is a vast difference between academy football and that in the FL.  In fact that topic came up in a conversation I had with a freelance scout before the Exeter game that NJ was in the same position at B&HA as Joyce was at Old Trafford and he made it very clear that it isn't at all easy to make such a transition - older players cannot be re-moulded into something they're not and the pressure of being able to develop and/or nurture one or two youngsters so that they (may) get to first team level in the future is completely different to the need to gain results and points week-in, week-out.  Bearing in mind the gulfs in class, physicality, expectation and pressure, Macey is on a hiding to nothing if and when he makes mistakes ... and they will happen.

 

SOD - yup, he did put in a couple of decent crosses but two from umpteen opportunities simply isn't good enough IMO.  NJ mentioned about our poor ability to convert crosses into chances in his post-match interview.  Even if we haven't got the height to compete for every single cross, if they are that good then there's always a chance of picking up second balls (although this does rely on Cook being alert ... hmmm!) but we never see those chances as the crosses are usually cleared with ease (either hitting the first defender or clearing the penalty area).  Compare those to some of the curling, tempting crosses that Exeter slung into our box in the second half and you can see how easy it is for opposition defenders to repel our attacks and quickly break away.

Was it the fluorescent shirts that made SOD find their players so frequently with his throw-ins?  Mind you, that's when he managed a legal throw-in!  Yesterday's comedy gold moment was his foul throw - talk about relieving the pressure on their defence. 

 

Cook - Mick thought he was abysmal: if he HAD been abysmal then it would have been a bloody improvement upon his actual 'performance'.  It's not as though he or anyone else can claim it was just a bad day at the office - the half decent performances are the oddities.  I'm actually staring to feel embarrassed for the guy now as it's patently clear that he won't get heavily involved in any midfield dogfights, has little or no pace and is continually on the periphery of the action - so much so that it seems he makes himself unavailable for 'out' balls from the back or from fellow midfielders.  Sorry, but the word "passenger" springs to mind.  More irritating still, IMO, is that there is sweet FA chance of him not being selected despite his poor form for the rest of the season.

 

One thing about NJ's comment regarding Exeter making more of their bye-line crosses - they had four, five or six players regularly storming into our penalty area when the crosser was about to play the ball.  Our midfield barely reach the opposition penalty area during a breakaway, let alone storm into it, so there is far less chance for the crosser to find one of his own team-mates - possibly why our forwards have become greedier over the last couple of months.  Without a midfield to play the ball around/through, our GK and CB's have started hitting long-balls but, unless Palmer starts, it becomes predictable and a meat-and-drink fest for the opposition's CBs.  If we do not change this before any PO matches (if, of course, we get there!) then we could be embarrassed as, with the possible exception of Carlisle (who are plumetting out of the PO places anyway), I cannot think of any midfield from the top eight or nine who we would compete with for physicality, pace and fitness ATM.  Pelly is the only one who can claim to equal most of the opposition midfielders but, other than him, none of the others 'like a tackle'.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

45 minutes ago, ProudHattersince74 said:

Bit harsh on Macey there, Mick!  Macey is a work in progress and has shown huge improvements since he arrived, although quite what that says about Arsenal's coaching or NJ's judgement (although to be fair he was painted into a dark corner by B&HA's very late recall of Walton) is another matter.  Bearing in mind that we know for certain the only other GK we have access to from now until the end of the season is Stuart Moore, I know who I would prefer!  Unless they both mysteriously contract synchronised food poisoning ;), then re-signing Walton is a no-no.

Being dumped into important L2 matches from development games must come as something of a shock to Macey's system - yes, it's sink or swim but the level of competitiveness and the importance of results would be relatively new to the lad.  Warnock railed Warren Joyce after he was sacked by Wigan last week stating that there is a vast difference between academy football and that in the FL.  In fact that topic came up in a conversation I had with a freelance scout before the Exeter game that NJ was in the same position at B&HA as Joyce was at Old Trafford and he made it very clear that it isn't at all easy to make such a transition - older players cannot be re-moulded into something they're not and the pressure of being able to develop and/or nurture one or two youngsters so that they (may) get to first team level in the future is completely different to the need to gain results and points week-in, week-out.  Bearing in mind the gulfs in class, physicality, expectation and pressure, Macey is on a hiding to nothing if and when he makes mistakes ... and they will happen.

 

SOD - yup, he did put in a couple of decent crosses but two from umpteen opportunities simply isn't good enough IMO.  NJ mentioned about our poor ability to convert crosses into chances in his post-match interview.  Even if we haven't got the height to compete for every single cross, if they are that good then there's always a chance of picking up second balls (although this does rely on Cook being alert ... hmmm!) but we never see those chances as the crosses are usually cleared with ease (either hitting the first defender or clearing the penalty area).  Compare those to some of the curling, tempting crosses that Exeter slung into our box in the second half and you can see how easy it is for opposition defenders to repel our attacks and quickly break away.

Was it the fluorescent shirts that made SOD find their players so frequently with his throw-ins?  Mind you, that's when he managed a legal throw-in!  Yesterday's comedy gold moment was his foul throw - talk about relieving the pressure on their defence. 

 

Cook - Mick thought he was abysmal: if he HAD been abysmal then it would have been a bloody improvement upon his actual 'performance'.  It's not as though he or anyone else can claim it was just a bad day at the office - the half decent performances are the oddities.  I'm actually staring to feel embarrassed for the guy now as it's patently clear that he won't get heavily involved in any midfield dogfights, has little or no pace and is continually on the periphery of the action - so much so that it seems he makes himself unavailable for 'out' balls from the back or from fellow midfielders.  Sorry, but the word "passenger" springs to mind.  More irritating still, IMO, is that there is sweet FA chance of him not being selected despite his poor form for the rest of the season.

 

One thing about NJ's comment regarding Exeter making more of their bye-line crosses - they had four, five or six players regularly storming into our penalty area when the crosser was about to play the ball.  Our midfield barely reach the opposition penalty area during a breakaway, let alone storm into it, so there is far less chance for the crosser to find one of his own team-mates - possibly why our forwards have become greedier over the last couple of months.  Without a midfield to play the ball around/through, our GK and CB's have started hitting long-balls but, unless Palmer starts, it becomes predictable and a meat-and-drink fest for the opposition's CBs.  If we do not change this before any PO matches (if, of course, we get there!) then we could be embarrassed as, with the possible exception of Carlisle (who are plumetting out of the PO places anyway), I cannot think of any midfield from the top eight or nine who we would compete with for physicality, pace and fitness ATM.  Pelly is the only one who can claim to equal most of the opposition midfielders but, other than him, none of the others 'like a tackle'.

 

 

Incredible, basically you agree with most of what I said then? well, this has now made my day and if Wimbo could also heap some praise - I'll consider that a gold medal posting and celebrate with a lovely can of ice cold Fosters!

Edited by LTFCMick
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1 hour ago, Wimbohatter said:

I think Macey could turn into a decent keeper given a little time and good coaching particularly in terms of collecting crosses under pressure. I have said before on other threads that I can’t see him being up to premiership/champions league requirements for Arsenal and would not be surprised to see him made available at the end of this season when his contract runs out. Given that scenario, I would be happy to have him at Luton. Walton would be good but I assume he is part of Brighton’s future and even if available would be way out of our budget.

Whoever is our main keeper nest season just one request Nathan, please not a loan keeper. I rather fancy that had Walton not been recalled by Brighton we would be at least three points better off than we currently are.

I doubt many would see Arsenal being up to Champion League requirements in the foreseeable future! I read somewhere that Macey had a years extension to his Arsenal contract through to June 2018. Not a hope in hell of Walton signing for us.

I would be more than happy with a loan keeper of Walton's ability next season...

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4 hours ago, LTFCMick said:

Bitterly disappointed yesterday, I'm still not convinced by Macey, one good first half save (isn't that's his job) then for the rest of the game he wasn't really troubled and therefore wasn't given the opportunity to show how average he really is.

Jack at LB, was solid, got forward and put in some well timed tackles, SOD, well he wasn't as bad (yesterday) as a lot would have you believe, in fact in the first half he put two excellent crosses into the box, one in particular which JM got on the end of and their keeper made a great finger tip save.

I thought Pelly was our best player, how he didn't get the sponsors mom was strange as the chosen one (Sheehan) along with Rea to me, just went through the motions yesterday (neither good nor bad) .

Nothing was happening for Gambin, and as bad as Smudger was yesterday I thought Cook was abysmal, the defining moment being when he was put clear and what should have been a simple cross into the box somehow didn't hit the floor until someone in the David Preece stand caught the ball and threw it back.

Marriott didn't do himself any favours and could well find himself benched again on Tuesday night, Hylton tried, took his goal well (I'd love to see his disallowed goal again - it looked ok to me).

All in all, it was a thoroughly disappointing afternoons entertainment - and then I went home and England added more salt to my already open wounds.

5

Do you know Mick I really forgot about Cooks terrible cross; just can't see how he is one of the automatic choices given his form.

Anyway, I think you qualify for that gold medal and can of super cold Fosters.

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2 minutes ago, ODTT said:

I doubt many would see Arsenal being up to Champion League requirements in the foreseeable future! I read somewhere that Macey had a years extension to his Arsenal contract through to June 2018. Not a hope in hell of Walton signing for us.

I would be more than happy with a loan keeper of Walton's ability next season...

Walton certainly had ability, some however would say it was not initially evident. He was a youngster not familiar with the competitive play in League 2. Macey is the same, is getting better all the time with coaching and experience and could finish up being a fine signing. It is recognised that like fine wine, goalkeepers improve with age. I would hazard a guess that Banks, Shilton and Jennings were not great as 19 year olds and from first-hand experience  can tell you that the Great Ron Baynham also went through a development stage.

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11 minutes ago, ODTT said:

I doubt many would see Arsenal being up to Champion League requirements in the foreseeable future! I read somewhere that Macey had a years extension to his Arsenal contract through to June 2018. Not a hope in hell of Walton signing for us.

I would be more than happy with a loan keeper of Walton's ability next season...

 

Yes, you are right, Macey contracted until 2018. If a season-long loan meant exactly that i.e. with no recall, then I would be happy for another loan keeper if that was seen by NJ as the best way forward otherwise you really need some strong risk mitigation plan like having a No2 keeper that you would quite happily turn to. I accept that things could not have been more difficult for NJ with the recall of Walton so very late in the window, that was tough luck.

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The whole spotlight on goalkeepers has fundamentally come about from Tyler and Justham leaving in close proximity which is an unusual circumstance for any club. Won't be a discussion point this time next season.

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1 hour ago, ProudHattersince74 said:

Our midfield barely reach the opposition penalty area during a breakaway, let alone storm into it

Wasn't there yesterday, but you make a key point based on the last few games I've seen. There isn't either the appetite, understanding or fitness levels to drive home those advantages, principally because there are so few options for a breaking player to find a colleague.

Thanks to all for your thoughts and views on the game, always great to get a fuller picture than just the result or in my case, sporadic 3CR commentary - which does seem to have improved? It's hard to conclude that we constitute a major play off threat based on recent, and yesterday's, performance - assuming we finish 7th or above?

 

 

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I 've just read your excellent report Wimbo. I've said my piece earlier on Lee but as those who've read my previous offerings will know, I've never been a fan of Cook, NJ's Mr Undroppable. Can I join your solitary fan club of Macey, Wimbo? I haven't seen Macey for a few games and the signs are there that he's becoming more confident - after all, he has the physical attributes - now he has to make full use of them. I too think that Rea looks more comfortable at CB than DMF. As to our old 'friend' Mr Kettle - he can certainly use his whistle. It's just a pity he was so quick to do so when at least twice, had he played the advantage, he might, I repeat might, have done us a real favour. Who knows? We might, I repeat might, have opened the scoring instead of playing the inevitable catch-up.

I was talking to Simon Pitts post-game and I suggested that we should call our team the Nearly Men.

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