Summer? What summer? Actually, it felt like autumn with the rain coming back from Histon.
Before 911’s Wycombe report below, a few brief thoughts about one of our opponents next season. They looked decent enough, seemed quite a good unit (they kept most of their starting XI for most of the game, unlike us and West Brom), and Danny Naisbitt saved two penalties.
However, I don’t believe we’re worse than them.
In fact, I feel confident enough with sticking with my mid-table prediction. The likes of Luton and Oxford should be too strong for us next season. They ought to be anyway, with the money they’ve spent. But Histon have done all right, although their lack of in-depth may work against them. Yet I can’t see us being involved in a relegation fight next season.
Seriously, I mean that. And yes, Football Gods, I don’t want you to be arsey over that.
One other thing that did grab me was their ground. Now, Histon isn’t bigger than KM at all, it’s considered one of the worse grounds of the division. Yet it was certainly no mankier than many of the similar venues we’ve visited in the RP and CS days. I think we’re about to step into a better league in more ways than one.
Anyway, enough of that. I may add some thoughts with a fresher head, but in the meantime here’s what happened today….
Well that felt quite good, being back at the marginally refurbished home of football. A full car park (actually there was an athletics meet on next door so it was full by 2.00 pm anyway),Â Terrys badges out in force, slightly dodgy music from the compere and an air of expectation from a reasonable sized crowd. Even the Aussies batting did not dampen pre season spirits.
Firstly the improvementsÂ – Kingston Road end was well received and certainly the WW drummer used the extra step. Secondly the pitch again showing improvements from last season (which was the best it had been anyway) , hardly anything cut up and the pitch repair crew at half time did not really have much to do despite the rain.
OK, it was only a friendly so some of the tackles and lunges were only half hearted but we need a good playing surface if the TB policy of playing it on the deck will work. Remember last yearÂ – we played it on the deck till November then reverted to the longer/higher option and returned to the passing formula around Easter when the grass began to grow.
The new fans brick wall. Seemed to have a lot of viewers at the end of the game.Â Certainly your hack for todays encounter was satisfied with his Â£40 investment. A very respectable Â£2 programme for a pre season game even if it does cover todays gameÂ as well as Brighton in 10 days time.
So to the action.Â Well, the oppo had the great (great? You sure? – SW19) Carl Cort on wearing number 22 suggesting he is about 4th in their batting order as striker . Micheal Dubberry at 16 playing shows us that we are now up a big level from last term . BSP is certainly going to be a lot faster than BSS and we will come unstuck in the middle unless we step up a notch . When the game kicked off it was still noticeable how much taller /stronger their team looked than oursÂ – maybe thatâ€™s being a bit unfair on us but we have never looked a physically big team.
The game itself was nothing special. We started with a string of regulars and a couple of debutants. Nothing really to say about the well written about regulars but of the debut boys they fell into 2 campsÂ – those that caught the eye and those that well â€¦â€¦â€¦ need to do a bit more next time out.
Ones that caught the eye were Kelvin Bossman â€“ played up front with Main in the second half and was quicker than a Roddick first serve , Derek Duncan â€“ played at left back and looked like he will push Hussey for a place against Luton, Peter Rapson â€“ played up front with dededede Danny K in the first half and was lively without actually delivering. Wellard , perhaps it was his height but he seemed composedÂ – time will tell if he has what it takes. Lorriane ( not really a new boy ) composed and noisy which was pleasing.
Of the 2 keepers, Seb Brown in the first half almost got off to a comedy start with a complete cock up but settled later and produced a couple of good saves, whilst the second half keeper Kieron Thomson ( think that was his name ) did not have much to doÂ – was stitched up for the goal and perhaps could have come off his line quicker as Harrold ran from virtually the half way line.
Plus points: Solid team performance and actually we passed it around okÂ and perhaps should have had a pen when Main was taken out. Midfield beginning to work togetherÂ – certainly the extra height that Wellard brings will help ( but he needs to cutÂ that ridiculous 3 tone hairstyle â€“ not sure you could even call it hairstyle )Â Judge and Lorraine working together in a no nonsense manner. In swinging cornersÂ from Duncan. The right flank delivered a few crosses and good movement
Minus points: Defending corners, â€œ donâ€™t panic captain manwaring â€œ what is it that we always struggleÂ – perhaps itâ€™s the height thing or alternatively the fear of seasons pastÂ – dunno but if we can get it right then it takes away a load of pressure that everyone feels when we concede a corner. Nothing really down the left on the attack side.
The referees a â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦ : Did fine and even tho it was a pre season kick about only moment he had to think about was the Main pen claim and he was well positioned to be fair.
Them: Bigger and stronger than usÂ Â – won most of the aerial battles all afternoonÂ – something we need to sort. Never really looked like scoring and Carl Corts air shot in the first half brought back memories of days gone by. Travelling army of about 45 with one drumÂ – split between about 20 behind the dug out and about 25 at the Kingston road end â€“ never really liked the split quarters shirts they wearÂ – very reminiscent of 1980s hockey shirts.
Threes a crowd: 1018 paying guests thereÂ – good crowd for a July fixtureÂ – had we been in BSS this term it would have been 600 -700 probably.
Point to ponder: Watch out this season for our keepers wearing the red jersey rather than that Man city blue number or the dull green shirt. A letter from todays journo to TB may have influenced policy on this subject ( just think of Chelski and their keepers shirts and add a bit of science ).
Anything else? The race between Danny Kedwell and Sam Hatton to look like Wayne Rooney ( or Shrek ) reckon both in the shake for the lookie likie competition.
In a nutshell: Good to be back and raring to go.