I thought we had gotten rid of it. Not quite. Our undoing. Several out and so not quite on our A-game - does flag up one or two qualms. Personally will cut the lads some slack. Their hard work warrants that. Penetration down the middle rectified, resolved and undone.
Folkestone have Anna Pavlova upfront - Dying swan and all that. Penalty my Snow White Ass. Tchaikovsky, Swan Lake, better flourish than at test match batsman. He wandered for ten yards, arms flapping.
Absent defending on third. We did that at the K's early last season and again same time this season, and again today. Similar goals conceded. Ollie clearly physically not yet there. Niko can light the touch paper. We deserve some respect for our second half opening. Goalie again top draw, Arthur solid. Some fans despondent because of similar outcomes. I think we have a point to prove. There's underlying strength.
We can take the initiative.
I think sometimes we forget how young our squad is, despite their undoubted quality - I know I do. Average age of our starting line-up yesterday was 22 - with just Michael Corcoran (29) aged over 24, but they are only going to learn from days like yesterday.
No complaints about effort or attitude - just as had been the case in our other two league defeats this season. For me we just need to be a bit more clinical in front of goal, and try not to panic at the back. As Rob has implied above, we've got something to build on.
Hopefully we can put things right on Tuesday against Staines.
I think that is a great point with regards to our age and development and we should only get better. To be fair to Folkestone they were useful. As for the games we've lost, I think it's fair to say we could have conceivably won them all. It's a snatching defeat from the jaws of victory scenario. I'm in the glass half full camp.
We've been starved of entertainment, now it's come, no-one more than I have probably gotten a tad carried away - we maybe all looking for problems where few exist.
None of which detracts from the fact we have a great set of lads.
I'll admit to coming away from this one particularly frustrated, more so than Tonbridge and Brightlingsea - although Steve does make a very valid point, the XI out there yesterday were impressively young and some of the attacking play was outstanding at times. I thought Zak excelled just behind Niko, and the two wide boys caused plenty of problems for the Folkestone defence.
My view of the penalty wasn't the best, but even someone on their forum has described the award as generous and with that coming so soon after going 2-0 up, was a pivotal moment in the game. That said, we had the chances to have won the game comfortably but didn't quite show the efficiency in front of goal that we needed to in the end.
It was my first visit to the ground in Folkestone. Convenient, a lovely traditional set-up in a quite beautiful setting with the hills in the background - and unfailingly welcoming hosts as well. That's the sort of place I love to go on away days.
Paying the penalty
Whilst still humming Swan Lake, on the way home, (Madness Dance Craze version), it gave rise to some thoughts. Time for some more statistical drivel.
In our division to date 12 pens have been converted upto the final ten minutes. Surprisingly, 7 out of those 12, a high percentage have all been awarded around the 60-70 minute mark. Just has surprisingly, half of those successful have resulted in the opposition scoring within the following ten minutes.
It does suggest heightened activity condensed into this time-frame. This of course coincides with the plethora of substitutions that usually take place around these events. Something for the managers to chew on.
Merstham have conceded three times within ten minutes of scoring in this ten minute period.
Penalties scored outside of this short period have a far less conclusive impact.
Maybe changes made have an equal detrimental outcome on the desired effect for half the teams to concede so quickly may suggest something - or maybe it's just some more drivel!