Back to winning ways – just.

Before the game I had the feeling this had all the makings of one of those boring December 0-0 draws with two teams both struggling for results and who both because of this would probably cancel each other out by going defensive with their line ups. I need not have worried because one of the two teams as it turned out were a lot worse than the other with a goalkeeper who made ours look like Gordon Banks! The main talking point before the game was the change in goalkeepers which probably was the only real surprise assuming Lines was injured. The side showed 3 other changes with Boateng and Colkett replacing Lines and Leadbitter and Taylor making a welcome return up front. In a true summing up of the game we should have hit 6 or 7 and how they managed to score twice is beyond me – well not really as our recent defending is hardly anything to write home about and despite being in total control of the game early on it was no real surprise when the visitors went ahead totally against the run of play. Two goals, one right on the stroke of half time turned the game in our favour and IMO there were only two things that could stop us winning..our defence or the weather. One particular challenge close to half time at the Blackthorn end of the pitch sent a spray of water off the pitch that as more like a tidal wave and made me realise that the pitch was in fact a lot worse than it appeared.

Thankfully the game did reach its conclusion and a 4-2 victory was well deserved but in all honesty it was more due to the weaknesses of the opposition than a revitalised team performance as I am sure against better opposition we would have again struggled.

Puddy 6
Not sure if his recall was a good decision and this will only be found out in the coming weeks because he had very little to do apart from pick the ball out of the net twice and for those who love to criticise whoever is in goal for us then just look at the opposing keeper and think ourselves lucky!

J Clarke 6.5
Did pretty well in the conditions without being totally convincing,

Lockyer 6
His error that lead to the first goal with a poor defensive header but overall an OK game but far off his form of last season. Probably very lucky to keep his place at the moment but DC; whilst unlikely to drop him anyway; has little in the way of options in the centre of defence at the present time. It seemed to me that in the first half he was very much involved in what was the worst part of the pitch for water and not the sort of surface to be playing on to regain your confidence.

Hartley 6.5 Our second top scorer and I recall that this was one of the reasons he was brought in. I believe that was about his sixth goal this season and if he does become a regular after the January window then he could be the first centre half to reach ten goals in many a year. Personally I felt he had a reasonable game taking into account the weather conditions.

Brown 5.5
Lee is struggling a bit at the moment and was probably better attacking yesterday than his defending where for me he just didn’t get tight enough to his opponent but thankfully Bury were not very good.

Boateng 8.5
This is the player we thought we had signed and a player who would be one of the first on my teamsheet . I very much hope that he has not become too disillusioned with his lack of appearances because he has so much ability and really could set our midfield alight with the right selections alongside of him. Stood out yesterday with his mere physical presence and wonderful close ball skills that I think are a joy to watch.

O Clarke 6
Had an OK game . Good strike for the third goal and his first this season but just not in the game enough for me.

Sinclair 6
Kept harassing the opposition and as usual covered every inch of the pitch.

Colkett 6
Like Ollie Clarke for me he went missing too often but some silky skills and has a good passing range but sometimes overdoes it.

Taylor 6
Scored a goal and one or two good moments of play but not Matty at his best by a long way.
Could easily have been a costly miss when clean through in the first half.

Gaffney 7.5
Tremendous workrate and many peoples Man of the Match but for me he spends too much time running the lines and not enough time in the centre forward position but my main reason for not giving him Man of the Match were the two misses that could have been so costly after he had gone past the keeper.. That said some of his flick ons and skill on the ball was a joy to watch

Subs

Mansell 6
Good to see him return to the side but was only a short appearance and impossible to judge if he is good enough to get a regular place back. I very much hope he is at least given a chance to at least be a regular bench player.

James 6
Tried hard and possibly should have done better with a chip that for once ended up in the keepers hands after initial good work. It’s strange but I would still like to see a bit more of him as I think he might have something but his limited appearances has made it difficult to judge.

Leadbitter 6
Strange substitution against such limited opponents but probably brought on to keep the result we ha. The usual mixed success rate with crosses.

Ref 7
One of the best of the season. Fussy but fair.

Bury 2
The worst side this season and in many ways the worst side I have seen in a long time . The fact they scored twice sums up the team we are at present and when looking at their team the song “It might as well rain until September” comes to mind as this is a team who won every game in September but since have suffered 13 defeats and 2 long runs of defeats only separated by two draws. Must say how far has Tom Pope gone downhill as he is one of the players I would have liked us to sign in the summer but maybe he may still be worth taking a punt on as it is difficult to shine in what was a very poor side. Luckily for Bury relegation is not decided in December but in all honesty they look like a team that are heading for the drop as I would not think they are going to be able to do much about anything in the January window.

DC After last week it is hard to disagree with the changes and my only feeling is that if the January window had opened after last weeks game there would have been a lot more changes. Good to see Boateng back and hard to criticise the selection without knowing who, if anybody, was injured and who was left out.

Crowd 6 A bit quiet but 7,843 was a good turnout for a game two weeks before Christmas in atrocious conditions and considering recent results. In previous seasons I would have said that yesterdays game would have done well to get 6000 so happy times.

So we move on to a game against bottom of the league Shrewsbury but any possible complacency will be avoided following their victory at Millwall yesterday and so I expect a very difficult fixture but one which we are capable of getting another three points before Christmas. UTG

One Response to “Back to winning ways – just.

  • Lines was not injured. Clarkes interview before the match confirmed his relegation on that basis. I’m a Lines fan but I assume in DC we must trust bearing in mind the success over the last 2 years

    Mike

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