So, the September madness is over. This was supposed to be the month in which we would excel. The depth of our squad, though lacking in some pace and creativity, would carry us through the crowded calendar like no other. It didn’t really work out like that, did it?
Fittingly, only in the last game of the month were we able to assemble a bench that resembled a squad deep in quality. Oh irony, how you play with us.
Despite accusations of cheating, their penalty looked stick on to me. Corcoran was turned, again, lashed out a desperate leg, again, and the man went tumbling. For our goal, the foul on Yemi wasn’t a penalty as the Oxford Mail stand wailed. He was fouled at speed and rolled into the box. The free kick was the correct decision. For Quinn’s disallowed goal the keeper wasn’t cheating when Duffy was penalised for his challenge. One of the plagues of modern football is that the goalkeeper always gets the benefit of the doubt in these situations. The rule should be changed so that if, as Duffy did, the striker keeps his eye on the ball, then he should be allowed to make the challenge.
All these incidents generated the predictable claims of the referee being from the Sunday league (appropriate, in this case), and this tedious ‘wanker’ chant that reared its ugly head against Salisbury. Abuse and passion is all part of the fun of attending a game, but we do seem to be losing a sense of objectivity.
It was good to see the return of Chris Willmott, who, looked like a proper defender. He marshalled a much higher line than Quinn. This compressed midfield meaning we looked more comfortable defending. Again, individual decision-making killed us. Corcoran thought he’d heard a shout from Turley. Experience would have given him the conviction to play safe; when you’ve got Turley bellowing in your ear you’ve got push back and take control. Corcoran, who has looked jittery all season, appears to be lacking confidence and Turley probably isn’t helping. An experienced back-line of Quinn, Willmott and Gilchrist, will make a big difference. If they can stay fit, of course.