Good Point, Well Made
Before the Burgess Hill game last weekend, if I'd been offered four points from the three games against them, Farnborough and Bognor, I would have taken it. After yesterday's hard-working performance, that is exactly what we got.
Bognor are a good footballing side, always have been under Killpatrick and Howell, yet it was ourselves battling against the wind that started better. We got the early goal when it looked like their keeper dived past Finnbar's shot and very nearly a second when Short had an effort blocked for a corner.
The visitors then began to assert their passing on us, but to our credit, the boys kept their shape and stuck manfully to their duties. The two centre backs were excellent, Diedhiou in particular outstanding. It was at times a little more last ditch than perhaps you might like, but better that than flaking out entirely.
It's a shame we couldn't hold on, the build-up and finish for Bognor's goal were excellent, it's a shame we weren't able to defend the cross from the left better.
Awful conditions to play football in, the wind was an absolute shocker. On balance, taking all of that into account a good and deserved point against a good side.
Just a quick aside, I thought the referee was excellent yesterday - dealt with potential flashpoints without any histrionics. The incident where there number 6 threw Olly into touch was as bad, if not worse than the incidents for Murphy and Diedhiou's red cards this season. Yet I think the official got the decision about right.
Anyway, well done boys. Two unbeaten at home now and a difficult one on Monday against Grays. Get something from that and who knows...
Re: Good Point, Well Made
I recall a post match interview with Alan Dowson at Vale Farm where he bemoaned he learned nothing.
I thought yesterday was significant in the fact we learned a lot. I was exceptionally pleased with regards to the balance of the side. As for indviduals in terms of personnel lets not carried away it is very much a transformational phase.
Big Dave has been strong and I believe Ollie has played exceptionally well of late. Tingey looked reasonable and Crackers looked more comfortable in the O'Leary mould. That for me yesterday was the template. Obviously we need a partnership up-front and so it now comes down to personnel.
I have a problem with our second half performances - following an initial 20 min spell we lose momentum and we generally conced goals around the hour mark and then resort to chasing the game and getting hit on the counter. The utilisation of subs as a preemtive strike is a must as we are a tad telegraphed.
I think we were aided by the fact Bognor seemed to have similar characteristics to ours. Playing the ball to the defence and re-building down the flanks. The lacked dominance in the middle and up-front.
Different teams with different styles offer unique challenges - none more so than Grays. Interesting test Monday night. With Kezie presumed out, creativity and goals remain in short supply.
I don't think the league is strong this year - but the lad's work-rate is top draw.
Good luck Monday chaps - stick at it - we are on the right track.