MATCH REPORT: After a bad start, we didn’t deserve that.

Well it was a long trip as expected and looking at the overall picture this morning I have to say I was disappointed but not dismayed. For those who didn’t go some of the football we played was first class ,attacking wise two goals and in all honesty could have scored six with just a little bit of luck, defensive I would say very poor in most aspects of that side of the game. Midfield has been criticised but if your back four play so deep and don’t mark then there are too many players in the midfield area and I would describe this as our main fault along with the fact we are playing without a real defensive midfielder anyway. I must admit I was very surprised that we didn’t start this game with wing backs and three in midfield because looking at high lights of Carlisle there was no real surprise in their tactics but looking at the changes made by DC during the game it has to be said that after the substitutions we were much the better side and anyone who was there would have admired the way we actually played the game because IMO our actual downfall was the fact we were going all out to win the game and Carlisle really were always trying just to hold on to what they had and very lucky to do it.At the end of the day it was the woodwork and 2 or 3 great saves by their keeper which stopped us getting a deserved three points but the very least we deserved was a draw. I must say that I prefer us to be going for a win rather than settling for a point because lets be honest a draw was not really much use to either side in the circumstances.

Mildenhall 6 IMO not at fault for any of the goals and not badly positioned for any. The first was a case of a player given far too long to work out what to do, very similar to Newport,central defence too deep and too many players for midfield to mark,central defence waited for player to approach and made no effort to go to meet him-no matter what position Mildy took up the player had time to pick his spot and it was an excellent finish. Second goal again a good defence would have moved up so the flick on was offside but McCrystal; as he was on Friday; as well was very poor in the air. It was a defenders ball and Mildy again had no chance. Third goal very similar to first in that although it was a midfielder who scored it ,in the position he was in and with the number of players around he should have been marked by a defender. Again,Mildy in the only place he could have been in and it was an excellent finish. His general goalkeeping and distribution was good.

J Clarke 7 A lot of his play was good but let down by his final pass which on three or four occasions ruined his excellent work. I was impressed by how he chases and closes down his opponent and how when in possession he brought the ball out. take away the poor passing and I would have given him an 8 yesterday.

McCrystal 4 The weak link of the side yesterday. Second to the ball on far too many occasions and for me would have been one of the players substituted early on. In a lot of ways this was very similar to Fridays game with the only difference being that Carlisle took their chance early on where Carlisle missed. For me his defending on all three goals could be questioned but the second directly down to him because it was a ball he should have won. His use of the ball is never very good but this can be accepted when he is performing defensively at his very best but if the defending falls below standard then really he can be a liability. We definitely missed Tom Lockyer and it is so annoying that the FA put us in this position.

Parkes 7 This would have been an 8 but he must take some blame on the winning goal and for the general defending of the side. This was his best game for ages as regards bringing the ball out of defence and he could have come away with two goals. A towering header missed the post by inches and a long run which any forward would have been proud of saw a last minute challenge prevent a certain goal. I thought christ that was Tom Parkes!! Overall I just wish he could be a bit more physical in the aerial battles defensively because any high ball into the area seems to cause us problems.

Lee Brown 6.5 Defensively I thought Lee got caught too far forward too many times yesterday. Yes, he is good when he attacks but in an away game where we lack a defensive midfielder and playing Lawrence in front of him I think he should be concentrating a bit more on his defensive duties You could almost say that we were caught going all out attack by their winning goal because it was scored by their midfield player being in an attackers position and both Parkes and Brown should have been organised enough to make sure their positioning was right or if not McCrystal should have been across quicker. Lee did create a couple of chances with his attacking runs.

Bodin 8 Good all round game. Scored another “strikers” goal and again his silky skills really make him trouble for the opposition. It isn’t always going to come off but you have to accept this with a creative player and he could have had another goal in a hard working and skilful performance.

O Clarke Not on long enough to mark but would say that the time he was on the field he had a cracking shot which went just over but otherwise was AWOL. To be fair he can have no complaints about the substitution although it did surprise me because I assumed that DC would bring on the extra midfielder rather than bring one off. It was a very brave decision in the circumstances .

Lines 5.5 Disappointing performance mainly because other than a couple of runs he did not seem to be on his game and certainly didn’t run the game like at Newport. Our problem in this area is not entirely Chris’s fault because we do lack without Lee Mansell or Stuart Sinclair playing the tigerish tackling and slightly deeper playing midfielder. I feel when Lines is in this role it takes away from his performance which should be a more attacking aspect but yesterday he seemed to be playing too many sideways or backwards passes rather than putting his foot on the ball. Booking looked harsh in the context that the Carlisle player did a similar thing 5 minutes later and didn’t get booked.

Montano Not on long enough to mark but can consider himself very unlucky to be substituted as he had done little wrong, had just put one good shot in which the keeper saved and you could see he was not happy with the decision and could understand how he felt. Personally I would have replaced Ollie Clarke and Mark McCrystal but that is neither here or there because we did play a lot better after the substitutions so in that respect DC got the decisions correct.

Gaffney 6.5 Held the ball well on a number of occasions and linked play well however he should have put us ahead at an important time just before half time when clean through on goal and the ironic thing is that it was almost an identical chance to Carlisle’s winner. They took their chance,we didn’t and on the day that really summed up the game. Personally I would like to see Rory in a more central position ,more of the time. He has good feet for a big man but I really think at the moment he badly needs a goal to boost his confidence so lets hope that comes sooner rather than later. He was tiring second half which was not surprising because he did put a lot of effort and running in and that is the only reason I can think that DC replaced him with Leadbitter.

Taylor 8 A good all round performance and goal number 23 in what has been a fantastic first season at this level. With a bit of luck he could have had at least another goal but 1 goal and a good footballing performance with his running,holding of the ball and clever flicks is more than good enough. I am sure that Matty can play at least one division higher and I very much hope that this is with us next season.His goal was top quality controlling the ball and turning a defender inside out before hitting a low shot inside the near post past an unsighted keeper.

Subs

Easter 8.5 MOM Thought he was a revelation in the hole when he came on and dictated large periods of play. He was unlucky when hitting the post in the second half and helped in the first goal. He takes up excellent positions and came close to getting a shot away on several occasions. Can he play as an out and out midfield player I am not sure but he certainly has the class to do so as he has fantastic ball retention but IMO has lost that final burst of pace to hold down a regular main striker role. What he does do so well is hold the ball and pick out clever passes and there were times in the second half where he, Matty Taylor and Liam Lawrence looked a class above this level. If we could come up with a way of getting these three in and Montano and Bodin then I certainly think it would be good to watch but probably it would be a case of going all out to score more than the opposition.

Lawrence 6.5 I felt he gave a good performance always prompting. Many will say that he is struggling to complete any defensive duties but I would say that it is important that Lee Brown restricts the number of marauding runs he goes on because you need more defensive work from him. Lawrence certainly still has the skill and vision as does Easter and some of the flicks,short passing and skill were great to watch. What did surprise me due to his reputation was that Lee Brown took the final free kick on the edge of the box where it was crying out for a chip over the wall whereas Brown went for sheer power and hit the wall. We certainly created a lot of good quality moves which involved Lawrence.

Leadbitter Not long enough to mark and for me a strange substitution at the time it was made because Easter was playing well deeper and still getting into the penalty area and Gaffney was making space. I thought if Gaffney came off then Fallon would have come on but the fact he didn’t come on makes me think that DC does not think he is good enough and then I would question what is the point of having him! Leadbitter can consider himself very unlucky to have lost his place in the starting Line up and in hindsight (a wonderful thing to have) this could have been a mistake.

Referee 5 Very average game marred by poor decisions but probably if you look at his entire performance it could be described by Simon Cowell as “distinctly average “.

Crowd 10 650 on a Bank Holiday weekend to the remote Carlisle is a great turn out. We saw an entertaining game and gave a tremendous backing and you just wouldn’t have known we were outnumbered.

Carlisle 6 Started off well and their midfield dominated early-they had in Kennedy something we didn’t which was a player whose very presence gave them an outlet as he was always available and doing the simple things well. They were strong physically but in all honesty looked very beatable and the second half was pretty well all one way traffic and they scored the winner totally on the break of a long period of Rovers dominance when there only looked one winner.

DC It is easy to question Team Selection in a defeat but I would rather look at this as a pair of games where beyond Darrell’s control we were forced to play without our best defender and two attacking options on the bench and yet he was brave enough to set out with a formation to attack Carlisle where away from home he generally sets us up far more defensively. The double substitution was a great piece of Management IMO because had we stuck with things as they were I had the feeling that a drubbing was on the cards. I give full credit also to the fact that at 2-2 DC went all out to win the game rather than sit back for a draw and I would put it down to pure bad luck that it didn’t come off because second half it looked like there was only one winner as we dominated much of that second 45 minutes and could easily have scored 4 or 5 goals. In fact in the last 5 minutes the home keeper made two great saves to stop a deserved equaliser. I wlll never moan at a Manager who goes all out to win a game and DC deserves great credit for this. We lost the battle yesterday but we CAN still win the war. Seven Cup Finals to go and it may not be a bad thing that the pressure to hold on to a position is in other teams hands. Finally 6 wins and 1 defeat in seven games deserves Manager of the Month but does DC really want what that generally brings with it!!

So we move on to the next project with a bit more pressure on the result due to this defeat but still what must be considered a very winnable home game against Crawley. Let’s hope that Matty Harrold doesn’t come to haunt us. Thinking of team selection I think yesterdays performance has made overall selection of a team harder as Easter and Lawrence both did enough to suggest that they could start and for me Parkes did enough to hold on to his place but we also have Lockyer as a definite starter. Of course in midfield we just don’t know whether Mansell or Sinclair are anywhere near returning so DC has a big advantage over anybody else as to a possible team. I think McBurnie must be near a start and maybe it is time to give Gaffney a rest but I think Darrell will give him another chance and hope that he scores a goal soon.

This is going to be an interesting end to the Season and we must now use this defeat as a positive and by that strange comment I mean that when you win a number of games on the trot you just know that the run will end sometime. There is never a better time than Saturday to go on another run!!! UTG

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