Poor Performance but the right Result

Never in my lifetime did I foresee that we would be taken over by a multi rich Jordanian owner and it is very hard to not walk around with a broad smile following Fridays events. I personally felt that it made yesterdays game that much more difficult with far more concentration by us fans being put on the owners rather than the team and the weather really favouring a bullying team like Morcombe. I thought the owner and Chairman conducted themselves excellently and i now have a great deal more respect for Nick Higgs because he has done what he said he would do. Yes there have been more bad times than good under his Leadership but none can stress just how important his backing has been moneywise in the very difficult period the club face. People have asked me if I think the change is for the good- of course it is-it is a no brainer that the old Board did not have the financial clout to take the club forward and that we would continue to lose as much as a million a year,maybe more. How long would it be before the Board would have had to admit defeat and put the Club into Administration? I really don’t think that we could survive the next five years so whatever this has to be a winner. Everything the Owner and Chairman have said so far has been good but of course at this time that is to be expected. Nick always said that he would sell out but only to the right buyer. Is there any reason not to think that he has done exactly that? For me the words so far from Wael have been a breath of fresh air and the most important that he backs the Manager 120% no 10,000 per cent.

We all know that the only thing that can take this club forward is a new Stadium and it looks like now it will definitely be delivered. My other concern has been answered in that the Owner is a Football Fan and understands the game. In these days that is more important than anything and so I say a big thankyou to the Old Board including the Dunfords who have seen us through probably the most difficult period in our history and a very big welcome to Mr Wael Al-Qadi and the new Chairman Mr Steve Hamer. May their ownership of our club deliver every one of our dreams.

So it was on to yesterdays game with certain trepidation that all the good news could see us fail to produce a good performance but most importantly a good result. At half time my worst fears were evident 1-0 down to a poor team but really no signs where a goal would come from and make no mistake a third defeat on the trot would have had a very detrimental effect on our play off hopes. It was a game of two halves;the first very poor and really all that can be said about the second half was that it was an improvement but most importantly we won the three points.

Mildenhall 7 Continued his new found confidence and form and is performing like the keeper we had two years ago. Put in a very good performance in terrible weather conditions that were a goalkeepers nightmare. Thankfully the error came from Morecombe’s highly respected keeper. Mildy controlled his area well and showed good distribution ov erall. Add to this two quality stops in the second half and our goslkeeping position is sorted for the rest of this season barring injury or drastic loss of form.

James Clarke 4.5 IMO he looked a bit off the pace but didn’t do a lot wrong other than some sloppy passing. His substitution was tactical as the system employed was clearly not working as we struggled to get a foothold into the game simial to the last two games where I felt substitutions should have been made a lot earlier. Credit to DC for msking the change around the half hour mark although even after the change we struggled to get going as a team.

Lockyer 7.5 MOM Captain for the day in the absence in the squad of Mansell and led the team by example. I feel if the lad could pass a ball to the standard of his many assets then we really would struggle to keep him however passing is an essential part of a defenders game especially as you go up the Leagues and i have the feeling this will hold him back which in many ways is good for us!! His passing in the first half was pretty bleak as it was for his colleagues in defence and his wing backs. However what Tom did was to come out of his personal battles well on top and had the confidence to bring the ball out well and his passing was much better in the second half. What does worry me is that often he is the spare player to receive the ball back and get us going but this was not happening and I would much prefer to see Tom bringing the defensive line out much quicker and com quality oozes from the lad.

Parkes 4 Not really at the races for me and having looked at the penalty decisdion again I think the referee was 100% correct as Tom was very flat footed and moved the arm to the ball rather than the other way round so no complaints as I thought at the game it looked a very harsh decision but it was right in front of the referee. Passing in general in the first half was poor but in their defence the weather and wind was particularly attrocious but nothing can really defend how often Tom either hoofed the ball far too far or passed straight to the opposition. With Tom being the player who you expect to bring the ball out this relies heavily on his ability to pass the ball accurately but his constant hoofing IMO gave our midfield players no chance to get involved enough and our two strikers were fighting a lost cause.

Leadbitter 6 I was not as impressed by his overall performance as much as other people around me as he struggled to beat his full back and far too often in the first half he either crossed poorly or passed the ball back and IMO it was a very mixed performance from him and the first half was for him like most other players one that rarely reached their full capabilities.He improved in the second half and played a big part in both goals with crosses,the first that brought a mistake from the very highly rated Morecombe keeper who punched the cross straight to Gaffney who finished superbly and the second caused problems that led to Lawrence clearly being fouled in the penalty area but the referee was having none of it. Luckily the ball ended up with Brown putting over pretty well his only quality cross and Bodin heading in.

Brown 5.5 Similar to Leadbitter in that many of his crosses were poor and he held onto the ball far too long which really slows our play down too often. Our play for me on that side is now becoming far too predictable and I have to say that I am not a great fan of playing wingbacks in home matches. For me it is very much a successful formation for away games and DC really should be looking for at least one winger to inject a bit of pace down the flanks. Hve to say though that Lee’s cross for the second goal was superb and laid it on the plate for either Bodin or Gaffney.

Lines 6.5 For me Chris Lines really came into the game in the second half and suddenly him and Lawrence started to dominate the midfield and I found it strange that Chris Lines was replaced at the very time when his performance was really influencing the game. I think people must take into account that this midfield is very much in it’s infancy and none of them were helped by the way they were missed out by our defenders when we had the wind in our favour in the first half. We really need our back line to move up quicker and compress the game because it seems that we are very much in a defensive formation where our 5 across the midfield prioritise their defensive duties and have to watch the ball being poorly distributed by the defence to an outnumbered Gaffney and Taylor.

Lawrence 5 Awful in the first half as the game passed him and Lines by and i really felt sorry for them having to watch a constanr flow or poor hoofing from the back. I really feel that Lawrence needs the ball at his feet with movement around him and that he will improve as he was much better in the second half particularly when Easter and Bodin appeared because it is clear that they are all capable of holding onto the ball and playing neat passing between them. IMO Lawrence should have won us a penalty in the move involved in the second goal butluckilly it went to Brown whoi delivered a great cross for the winner. I would certainly persevere with lines and Lawrence but perhaps the time is right to play Mansell behind them.

Sinclair 6 Human dynamo as always but not sure that he actually got anywhere a lot of the time. For me he was a yard off the pace in the first half and too often was just chasing around with no real end product. When the player was sent off it surely would go down as a personal assault and in a very similar vein to Mike Tyson in the Boxing ring biting his opponents ear!! In the first half our entire midfield were much too deep to be involved in any attacking play and it was very similat to the games against Portsmouth and Accrington with the only difference being that Morecombe were nowhere near as good-Thankfully. I do wonder if Sinclair needs to be rested next week and the stability given by Mansell being restored to play behind Lines and Lawrence. This is a tough decision because Sinclairs effort is phenominal and his work rate second to none but there is something missing in our side. Foir me second half both Lines and Lawrence improved and showed what they are capable of with swift interception of passes.

Taylor 4 I can understand why DC reinstated our top scorer as nobody else has actually improved the line up when selected but the truth is that Matty is having one of those dry periods as regards goalscoring and at the moment it is hard to see where the next goal is coming from but one thing you do know is that Matty will have another period where he is scoring for fun. The worrying thing is that previously when he is not scoring his movement and involvement makes him worth a place but at the moment his overall game is suffering too and really yesterday he was pretty poor from start to finish. Of course he was not helped by the awful service that he received in the first half as he is not built to win lots of aerial passes and not good ones at that.

Gaffney 6 Worked hard but for me spent too much time in the Channels and not enough time leading the attack but it may well be that the goal he scored will be one oif his most important as he has struggled to score since joining us permanently so maybe this goal will be a weight off his shoulders. Many thought he had scored the second too but he was just beaten to the cross by Bodin. He is certainly a battler and gives everything for the cause however he must watch the number of occasions he gets caught offside.

Substitutes

Bodin 6.5 Brought skill and creativity to the game and the ability to snatch the odd goal. i really don’t think he has the pace to be a winger but surely he could be given a chance up front.
Easter 6 Same as Bodin and definitely influenced the game in that suddenly Lawrence and Lines had players on the same wavelength with a bit of creativity that we had been sadly lacking. Suddenly we started playing short sharp passing and took the game to the opposition.
Ollie Clarke Not enough game time to mark.

DC 7. For me this was the third game on the trot that DC was outthought by the opposition Manager but thankfully this time he managed to change it around and the result was a lot more important than the performance. Personally I will never be happy with a wingback system in home matches and it was very strange that Darrell should not play that system in two difficult away games but then employ it for a home game. As has been pretty common this season the first half performance has not been a lot and yesterday was no exception. I really do think that the defence should be further up the field so as we can match the opposition all over the pitch. I saw numerous occasions in the first half where we had five players in the penalty area marking 1 player and leaving us outnumbered from the penalty area to the opposition half. I fail to undertsand why Gaffney spends so much time down the channels when we hoof the ball forward . Anyway well done to DC for changing things. The only thing that worried me was his interview after the game where IMO he came across quite negative t0owards the take over which is strange when the owner had given him full backing. That does worry me. Why did he expect to be told of the changes prior to Friday. it waqs obviously important to keep it under cover until the 1-30 Press Conference and the more people that know the more likely they are to let something slip. I very much hope there is no friction with the Manager as he is the best we have had for many years.

Crowd 7 Noisy and excited but for me a thousand below what i was expecting but there again after two consequtive defeats and the awful weather together with only 92 followers for the opposition what can we expect.

Morcombe 4 A poor bullying side thay you don’t want to face in such windy conditions.

New owners 10. Gave us everything we wanted to hear and now the journey begins. May it be a long fruitful relationship.

So we move on to a very important and difficult game next week. We will need a much improved performance to get a result and ideally i would like to see maybe two loanees in this week- a pacy winger and a goalscorer. UTG

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