Really pleased with this afternoon's result and performance.
Understandably, the pitch was pretty heavy and uneven which made any flowing football pretty difficult. After escaping a potential red card early on for what looked from the stand like a pretty clear-cut professional foul, it was good to see Casey meet a corner to give us the lead, it was also great to see Aaron Morgan cap a very lively first half with a goal too for the third.
The highlight was undoubtedly Kezie's goal. The feint with his back to goal to send the centre half (don't know if it was Page) back down the tunnel before turning and arcing a left footer beyond the keeper - a candidate for goal of the season.
3 up at half time, I thought the plan to sit deep after the break and make sure that we didn't make mistakes was the right one. Sure, we conceded a lot of territory and possession to the Ks, but I didn't really think that we were ever particularly stretched - even with ten men. With a three goal cushion, it's down to our opponents to ask the questions and I didn't feel as though we were in danger of letting the lead slip.
Goode and Brathwaite were excellent, as were Kev and Leo in front of them. Never lost their shape and made things difficult for the visitors. No complaints about the red card for Seeby, you raise your hands and you run the risk.
After Enfield Town, so good to see us bounce back with a good performance. Whilst progression Monday evening would be great in the League Cup, continuing in the same vein in Sussex Saturday is very much the priority for me.
We won that before kick-off
The gaffer nailed the formation and subsequent selection making the first third an exercise in precision.
Taggs probably his most effective, Seebs looked vibrant.
I would extraporlate on one point. For me that first half hour demonstrated the look of a side of actually looked for me personally, a team above their present status. We showed the hallmark of a team on the cusp of greater things. That is a massive compliment. Weather that can be orchestrated for a full ninety or consistently is another debate. I thought through our set-up we demonstrated signs of a significant improvement on last seasons equivilent. That's credit to the management. I thought today we were actually, more than anything quite clever. That's compelling because it shows we have true depth.
The lad McCann looks interesting. He's young, show's nice touches. I see the lad in the way the fresh-faced Maclarens were back in their youth. We have our own production line. They havn't turned out that badly.
I would have like to see the new lad on the flanks in the second half as an outlet to relieve the pressure.
Credit to the management today, I thought they nailed it!
Re: We won that before kick-off
The first half very open and that suited us. Murphy and Taggart were able to exploit the acres of space down Kingstonian's weak right flank. Morgan and Ibe played as narrow,battering ram forwards who held the ball up really well and allowed us to commit numbers forward in support. All three goals were well taken but Kingstonian's defending (especially for the Maclaren goal..) was especially bad.
But the second half went as predicted. We sat back from the 1st minute and allowed Kingstonian to gain a foothold and then some momentum. Once the initiative was lost, Morgan was sacrificed for a midfielder. In fairness, Max McCann did well and looks promising but there was no attacking outlet. The sending off of Seeby merely confirmed that the whole second half was to be played in our half.
But under sustained pressure, our two central defenders held firm. They won countless headers and got in vital blocks. Our two make-shift full-backs were positionally sound and very game but struggled to clear their lines (both appeared to be playing on their weaker side). McNamara's handling was excellent and fielded a fair number of efforts that were straight at him. Kingstonian also had a multitude of shots off target.
So...a vital three points. The attitude of the players was never in question, Morgan seized his rare opportunity with both hands, the centre-backs were commanding, Murphy was bright until Seeby went off, Ibe scored a brilliant goal and MacNamara continues to impress. Just wish we'd have a bit more belief once we get our noses in front. Their left-back had a throw near to his own box in the 2nd half but we were still defending 10-15 yards outside our own box. Get up on the half-way line and box them in a bit.
Anyway...well done and on to tomorrow night. Smith should be fresh to play but we could do with some options at full-back.
Re: We won that before kick-off
Another significant event prior to kick-off was winning the toss in my opinion. Electing to ask Kingstonian to defend against a very low, blinding sun for the duration of the first half did help Hendon. The first and third goals both came from the worst possible angle for the Kingstonian rearguard. Ibe's brilliant goal was remarkably similar to Lee Tomlin's spectacular near goal in Middlesborough's win over Manchester City in the FA Cup, surely one of the goals of the season.