Critical win today without a doubt. I have rarely known a tighter relegation scrap than this. Frome look to have just too much to do. But for the rest, there could be quite a few nerves dangling on the last day of the season.
As for the game, I thought that Hendon controlled the 2nd half extremely well but faded badly in the last ten minutes as Basingstoke raised their game as if waking from a slumber. Maybe Harriott’s departure after an apparent knock was a factor. Compared to last Saturday, this performance really gives me hope of escaping the dreaded drop.
A vital three points. Not pretty, could and perhaps should have been a bit more comfortable if we'd shown a more clinical edge in that second half, but three points was the order of the day and that's what we were given.
Hands up, I was questioning the line-up before the game. I hoped Shaq was carrying a knock and hadn't been dropped since he is our most lively and creative player as well as our best source of goals and, I was unconvinced by the goalkeeping selection. Jimmy was vindicated on both counts in the end.
Well done, lads. That felt like a big three points and takes a little pressure off our visit to Weymouth now.
I know there are no certainties in sport, but I for one am pleased that we still have to play Staines!
Hope that doesn't prove to be a case of "counting chickens."
Edited by SteveHFC at 05:06:56 on 11th March 2019
Despite the win and a climb of two places in the table we are in exactly the same position as before the weekend matches, ie only 3 points above the final relegation place.
It was a solid performance with loads of hard work but we have to finish teams off, for most of the second half Basingstoke were ripe for slaughter but we were unable to capitalise. Looking at their forum last night the supporters are worried that they are sleepwalking towards relegation. But still we were hanging on for the last 5-10 minutes. Matty Harriott was the lead man but I am impressed with Ryan Hope, he looks set for a higher standard than Step 3.
Just did a quick recount and in fact before Saturday we were only 2 points above the final relegation spot so it’s an improvement.
I think I prefer Bailey Brown at centre-back than in midfield, where I thought he clogged it up a bit on Saturday. Admittedly, that's based on seeing one centre-back performance v Weymouth.
We weren't awful on Saturday but I got the impression anyone just a bit better than Basingstoke, would have picked us off without too many problems.
I can see the relegation fight going to the wire and we need Shaquille H-P back soonest for his creativity/goals.
Should 50pts be the pre-requisite, surely that would be obtainable. Personally, I've not been impressed with this league and hence would embrace the notion of re-joining the Isthmian crowd. I know it's premature, but my recent thoughts have revolved around pre-season and beyond. Overall, I maintain our biggest problem has being able to subdue the majority of sides in this league, many of whom, to me look utterly identical. Going forward, games against Hartney, Dorchester and Swindon will all have on paper a similar profile. We've found life difficult to counter-act their short passing game in the midfield. My main concern from a personnel stand-point, is the adoption of Connor. I like the lad. The only team with two scorers riding high in the charts are ironically the Met. Connor has a strike-rate of 1 in 3. Toomey yet to make his mark. The contrast with Mazzone and Blackmore at the Met. Connor and Toomey, likewise when up-front alone. They look isolated. If you go two up-front, then the role of Shaq is brought into the equation. I think whilst the Met have it sussed, we look stuck between a rock and a hard place. If anything our goals are coming from midfielders. I think Weymouth gave us some insight with their adaptation down the flanks. I do think we could have defended that better, having had several warnings. Maybe, two up-front, with a Connor as a component or as a sub impact, longer-term out. I do think it's a difficult issue, and should he be on board next season, one that requires serious consideration. As for Saturday, go there and get stuck in. I would envisage their maybe areas to run into. An almost nothing to lose scenario. Go out there and cause some consternation.
Calcutt and shaq are different class to this league, tommey whilst giving 100% Evey game is not a no 9, to lightweight, we will never score goals with him up front. Charlie Smith is one top player as fullback and winger, one of the best crossers of the ball ,reminds me of Dave Thomas (QPR).