At least, that’s the impression I got from our goal-less draw against t’Stanley on SaturdayAmazingly, I managed to get two submissions. The first one from Tudor is a short one though…
cheating whiners whine
even more when half time blows
well boo fucking hoo
And a piece from STTA, who gave the game a longer writeup than perhaps it deserved.
Those of us in Northampton on Tuesday night were treated to an exellent advert for league 2 football, those of us unfortunate to be at Kingsmeadow yesterday could be forgiven for thinking we’d made a wrong turn and ended up at a Ryman South game.
Whatever the plan was for our pitch this season it hasn’t worked. Some people think we’ve changed tactics and gone a bit more direct, I don’t think we had a choice, trying to play football on the KM pitch lately is similar to trying to play snooker in a sand pit.
On 16 minutes Lyle Taylor had our first chance, controlled a ball over the top beautifully but his attempted chip was easily saved. I can’t think of another occasion we threatened the Accy goal in the opening half but I may well have dropped off such was the borefest on offer.
Their main threat came from set pieces, which we seemed happy to give away anywhere around our box. One such free kick brought the best out of Rooooooooos, diving at full stretch to keep out Sean McConville’s effort.
Accrington did finally get the ball in our net just as Trevor Kettle blew for half-time. Billy Kee turned Ryan Sweeney in the box (that’s starting to sound familiar) and fired a shot goalwards, as it left his boot Trevor blows to signal half-time. God bless his incompetence.
The Accrington bench went mental, several of them surrounding the ref to offer an opinion on Trev’s time-keeping. We’d have been equally livid had it happened down the other end but it didn’t so hard luck Stanley, now move along please.
The second half started with as little football on offer as the first. George Francomb was clattered 10 minutes in and was subsequently replaced by Sean Rigg. On 70 minutes we brought on Bulman and Bayo to replace Elliot and Barcham, our left winger having had his quietest game in weeks.
The introduction of Bayo enabled us to operate a bit further up the pitch. We looked our most dangerous in the last 20 minutes and had a couple of good chances. First a free kick was swung in, Lyle wrestled his marker to the ground which disrupted the keeper and Connor Smith was unlucky to see his follow up shot come back off the post.
Our second chance to win the game saw Lyle put through on goal, he lobbed an advancing Etheridge only for the keeper to handle outside the box and deny us a winning goal we scarcely deserved. Etheridge was correctly red carded and will miss their home game against Pompey on Tuesday night.
The free-kick on the edge of the box came to nothing and shortly afterwards Mr. Kettle put everyone out their misery and blew for full-time.
So, a point gained, 2 dropped… or just 2 hours of our lives we’ll never get back? I don’t think either side deserved a point so the fact we got 1 is probably good news. We were far from our best, the pitch was a bog and in truth the opposition were as good as us at dealing with it, arguably a bit better.
Plus points: a clean sheet, Kelle Roos, moving back into a play-off spot.
Minus points: the pitch, 81 away fans, not won in 3, a day where it all felt a bit non-league. We really miss Bully (unfortunate when he’s the one player most in need of a rest).
The referee’s a…: no harm done to Trevor’s reputation for being the worst ref in the league. There must be a serious shortage of men in black for him to still be getting work on a Saturday afternoon.
Them: a very professional away performance. Didn’t see any of the good football they are rumoured to play, but maybe one of the requirements for that is a football pitch to play on.
The pitch: have I mentioned how bad it was? Awful, absolutely awful.
Where now for us? Well yes The Memorial ground on Tuesday.
As was pointed out Saturday evening 7 of our remaining 12 games are away from home and that should give us a bit of extra confidence that we can make the play-off spots.
We remain unbeaten on the road since October and clearly play better without the expectations of being the home team. I’m expecting another solid display from us in Bristol and at least a point.
Cue 3-0 loss in Brizzle tomorrow, then.
This sounded like one of those ultra-shit games that we used to get in the Bad Old Days™ of watching AFCW. You know, the ones we used to have up to December 2015.
When the club’s Twatter feed made our first proper effort late on feel as big as Nancy Reagan dying, you can guess how bad it was.
Given how L2 is panning out, it should be no surprise that we’re actually in the playoff positions again. Luck was certainly on our side over the weekend, with the disallowed goal (and you can imagine the wailing if it was us who was denied) and other results going our way.
And if we are to extend our season beyond Newport, we’ll need a fair bit of that.
We got lucky against Carlisle, and for all the good reports after Northampton – if the Cobblers had their shooting boots on last Tuesday they would have won.
No pun intended, either.
Yes, I know that we should have got a point at least against Oxford, but we are never going to beat them anyway. The inevitable crap performance due should have been then.
What is clear is that it’s a bit of a test for everyone involved in the playing side right now. Our expectations have skyrocketed in just the space of a couple of months, no doubt amongst the players too.
This however is when the pressure properly starts. There was little of that on us post-New Year, but now there is. It’s not called the business end of the season for nothing.
We’re now expected to go to Morecambe on Saturday and win. We’re now expected to do likewise to York and Hartlepool. Bottom feeders they may all be, but we all know how well we do against them.
Look at how this brand new lean, mean, fighting machine called AFCW still fucked it up against Yeovil not so many moons ago.
We do need to start winning again, because losses of form right now can be pretty damaging – we’ve now failed to win in our last three games (even if they were against three of the top four).
Failing to win at the Memorial tomorrow will definitely not end our season, but it might start putting a seed of doubt within our squad.
And that does happen to teams who have stonking great runs of form, only to find when the momentum finally slows down it can’t get it back.
To keep up the level of performance we’ve had since New Year is pretty difficult for most teams, especially when we rely on Taylor and Elliott perhaps just a little too much.
We’re due a sticky patch anyway, but there’s also a possibility that we peaked too soon. Especially when the (physical and mental) fatigue sets in, when the pressure to perform starts, and when there are so many other clubs fighting for playoff positions.
Time will tell. I stick by my prediction that we’ll know whether we’re a genuine playoff contender after Dagenham on the 19th April. With the way this season is panning out for all teams, that’s not a bad marker.
There’s still an awful lot of football to be played. And judging by the reaction after Saturday, a lot of awful football as well…