The conditions ensured that we were hardly going to get an open and flowing game yesterday. A set piece was always the most likely route to victory. In addition, the inclusion of Willmott and Day, who did OK, but unbalanced the back four, plus York’s use of wingbacks, pushed Murray and Trainer into more defensive roles leaving Guy and Constable unsupported.
Given the situation I was lamenting our lack of strength in depth – our inability to bring anyone on from the bench who could change a game. I was thinking that we needed a Julian Allsop or Paul Moody to batter our way to victory. Then Phil Trainer flicked a ball over their back four to Yemi who drew the foul and won the game.
The concern still stands – when we’re good we’re possibly as good as almost anyone in what is a pretty average league. I’m still not sure of our ability to ground out enough points to make a true impact on the league.
To the credit of most fans, there was patience around the ground – an acceptance of the conditions and that a sound thrashing was never on the cards. All apart from the bloke next to me who insists on reacting to every mistake with the perpetual outrage of a Daily Express reader.
Now onto Forest Green and the Setanta Shield – there will be many who will call for us to rest players because it’s a distraction. This is a mindset born in the Premiership – where deep squads and the dominance of ‘the big four’ allow teams to select their competitions and play different teams accordingly.
For me, no team can turn on and off their form, especially not at Conference level. Like the win against Yeading and Hayes last week, it’s important that we keep winning games regardless of the tournament or opponents. One of the lessons we appear to be learning is that games are there to be won and lost, we have no rights at this level.