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Post by Luton Roman on Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:06 pm

Disappointing defeat to a well organised and hard running Hungerford, they wont be easy to beat whereas we now have the 2nd worst defence and look vulnerable to balls over the top or in behind. Plenty of effort in the early part of the 2nd half and needed to score but we are not going to bully defenders in the box to make things happen. Even with possession in final third, the quality of crossing was very poor.

Hungerford front 2, big guy and little guy, had a bit about them that our guys dont I'm afraid. Wilson now seems to be waiting for something to happen rather than creating. 1 great turn and shot which the keeper saved, but Id be happier with tap ins, some physicality we need, perhaps hungry players from a lower level which many clubs seemed to benefit from, rather than loanees and 35+ brigade.

Still, Braintree lost cos we are still looking at escaping from the wrong end of the table. Need a big bounce back v. Chippenham to give us a points benefit over the week.

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Post by comrade powell on Mon Dec 28, 2020 5:38 pm

Hungerford definitely looked like they had benefited from their enforced break. New manager there seems to have worked wonders and has them very well set up especially away from home.

With the league programme decimated again I do wonder how long this can continue. Always felt it was going to be ambitious trying to fit in a full season and that looks less and less likely unless it is extended way into summer. What with the Trophy farce it is all starting to look pointless.
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Post by Midsomer-steve on Mon Dec 28, 2020 7:32 pm

Totally agree with you Martin. The continuing pandemic is now affecting football at all levels of the game, and now only Premier Clubs have the depth of players in their squads to remain unaffected - quantity-wise at least.

As much as it grieves me to say this though, I think that Bath City has an additional reason for 'drawing stumps' on the season:
We have witnessed enough City games already to get a fair idea of how we are likely to get on this season. A few matches ago it seemed as if we had turned a corner, after a disastrous start, but this optimism has proved to be wrong. On paper we have dropped numerous points against teams that we beat last year - and, so far, the away game against Dorking has been the only time that we have beaten a highly placed team. It would be kindest to say that whilst we have 'stood still' other teams have improved, but, even if that was true, it would not bode well for the rest of the season. Let me say, right now, that I have, and will always, respect our team management, and I am certain that they are doing their utmost to succeed with the players that they have got to work with this year, but, in saying this, it strengthens my belief that we have an almighty battle on our hands to survive in this League this season. Jerry has had to build a largely new squad, as we lost so many of a superb set of players from last season, and we can be sure that he and Jim have been working their socks off in trying to work another miracle within the limits of our budget again, but the time scale they had was too short.

I know that we have had more than our fair share of problems along the way, especially with injuries, but I feel that we should not use COVID, and the resultant congested season, as an excuse - the virus could even come to our rescue if the League, and Cup competitions are terminated as a result of it, as I am sure that none of want the season to stagger on to a conclusion any longer. It is not much fun to witness our team (on video streaming, or just by radio commentary) struggling the way they are most weeks, let alone risking the unthinkable (relegation), after enjoying the thrills of the last two seasons! Goodness knows what damage this season has done to fan bases in general, but ours in particular, already.

I am very sorry to feel so pessimistic, but things are just not happening for us, and, unlike some other Clubs, we do not have the cash to avoid a possible catastrophe, so, if it comes, lets welcome a premature end to this season, and look forwards to better times ahead.
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Post by stillmanjunior on Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:44 pm

I think the key difference today was after our excellent spell at the start of the second half, where we were created chances and should have taken at least one, we had no-one to come on in the final 15-20 minutes with a fresh injection of pace. We had to rely on the same personnel because we are so short of attacking options. Even someone like Callum Evans would have done if he was fit to whip in a few crosses.

But I don't know if it's worth strengthening when I can't see us playing many matches in the next few weeks at least, so it'll be funding another player when income is severely hampered.
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Post by tovid on Mon Dec 28, 2020 8:56 pm

I feel that what we are missing is Will Dean. He played in the gap between defence and attack that is so regularly exploited by the teams we play. Loose balls are picked up there by players with space and they cause us harm. Yes we gave it a crack second half but the damage was already done. Hungerford got pkayers behind the ball.
Having said this I feel we have not been getting the rub of the green all season. Sometimes you need that bit of luck and in the league at least we have not been getting it.
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Post by tovid on Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:08 pm

Is there any reason a league or cup campaign has to completed over a single year?
Why not just extend the competitions until they can be completed by everyone.
You can understand why everyone wanted to get back to normalcy as soon as possible but we aren't getting back to normal and no end is in sight.
Organisations are going to have to be really radical in their thinking of how to get out of this hole now.
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Post by pete mac on Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:22 pm

I think its worrying. 8 defeats in 12. Difficult times but for the first time I find myself questioning Jerry’s post match comments.

Hungerford were better and stronger than us. I must be watching a different game.

Vital we win Saturday or the ranks of the doubters will swell.

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Post by comrade powell on Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:27 pm

By extending one season you impact on the next. The one consolation if this season is put out of its misery is that presumably too few matches have been played for a repeat of the PPG carve up. Null and void it and perhaps replace it where possible with local competitions.
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Post by Steve Whites Missus on Mon Dec 28, 2020 9:34 pm

The majority of opposition seem to have scouted us well and know how to stifle our tactics. As someone commented a while ago, we seem a weaker side than from the Dorking playoff even though the plan was apparently to beef up.
Think with everything else going on it is only going to stutter for us all season.

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Post by tovid on Mon Dec 28, 2020 11:50 pm

comrade powell wrote:By extending one season you impact on the next.

If you know when the next season will be.
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Post by comrade powell on Tue Dec 29, 2020 9:58 am

That didn’t prevent the decisions made to complete last season. By the time the tv governed PL restarted in the summer the scientists were warning of a second wave. Its clubs can afford to ride the storm and no doubt the PL will again play on well into the summer and even autumn to honour its contracts with Sky etc. A six weeks break will give its exhausted players the window to play in the Euros. With the 2022 World Cup taking place in November/December you can see the FA’s thinking - the 21/22 season will be scheduled to finish in the early Autumn.

But we’re not concerned with the above. It’s time for non league football to stop trying to keep up with the billionaires and frankly with the NL and its out of touch administrators. With the possibility of a large proportion of the population being vaccinated in the coming months life should begin to return to normality. Season 21/22 looks more promising than this one did before it started and we will hopefully be able to plan for it confident of it being played in front of fans without clubs having to rely on government and lottery handouts divided up at the whims of the league committee.
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Post by LB on Tue Dec 29, 2020 5:57 pm

I assume that it is indicative of where the virus is most prevalent that the NLN had a largely full programme both on Saturday and yesterday with only a couple of postponements whereas NLS only managed two games on Saturday and three yesterday. There is apparently another review of the tiers tomorrow with a general feeling that most places will end up in 3 or 4 so that might well have a bearing on the future of this season.

As for yesterday, I think it was one of those where if we had scored one we would have got two, but the problem was getting the first one! We didn't play that badly really and didn't quite get the breaks a few times, but as has happened in the past our passing game gives the opposition the opportunity to regroup and get behind the ball.

Watching Wilson I wonder if he would benefit from playing alongside a Ryan Brunt type of centre forward as he clearly is very good at snapping up half chances. Although it probably goes against 'the Bath City way' I would have been very tempted to put Jack Batten up front for the last 20 minutes or so and try to get some high balls into him rather than persisting with a system that wasn't working.      

As Midsomer-steve said, I am sure Jerry and Jim are doing their best and they are no doubt as frustrated as the rest of us. Hard to see anything above mid-table realistically with the team as it is at the moment, but I am sure we are too good to have to worry about relegation.

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Post by threeday week on Wed Dec 30, 2020 1:25 pm

I am sure we are too good to have to worry about relegation.
Oh dear the kiss of death

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Post by pete mac on Wed Dec 30, 2020 2:58 pm

The table doesn’t lie. A lot of defeats.

We have to improve

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Post by comrade powell on Wed Dec 30, 2020 3:36 pm

Realistically there's little chance of the Southern and Isthmian Leagues being completed with no matches played since the first week of November. A quarter of the Southern have only played six matches, that's 32 to complete if there's a restart. One club in the Isthmian has played 5 out of 42!

So assuming the FA decree the same as in the spring, levels below us will be null and void and there will be no relegation from step 2 again. So that's a lot of meaningless NLS matches to play for half of the division.

And this afternoon's Government announcement means no return of fans to TP even if we get the green light from Banes.

The whole thing has become pointless.
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Post by yuffie on Wed Dec 30, 2020 5:32 pm

pete mac wrote:The table doesn’t lie. A lot of defeats.

We have to improve

We have. Whilst I accept we haven't come close to the performances of the last two seasons, I don't think anyone can honestly say we weren't much better in December compared to November.

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Post by pete mac on Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:52 am

Agreed but more work to do if we are to get clear of the bottom.

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Post by pete mac on Thu Dec 31, 2020 8:53 am

My original post should have said improve ‘further’

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Post by tovid on Mon Jan 04, 2021 1:18 pm

I forgot that I wanted to mention the save from Wilson in the second half. It was an absolute worldy. Donovan hit a peach of a shot yet the goalie pulled off a stunning save. It was all the more remarkable because he had been hobbling only seconds before.
He is a very good goalie and Hungerford will be hard to score against.
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