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Post by Luton Roman Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:15 pm

Hmmm. That they were still pressing for the second in the last couple of minutes and only took the ball to the corner in the final stages of injury time showed how comfortable and confident the visitors were. Very comprehensive 1-0 win for them and a woefully weak performance from City. Once again coming off second in a physical battle, this lower league team lasted the course compared to Supermarine and honestly could have had 4 or 5. Got to question Mehew's attitude, a foul waiting to happen, he is letting the side down.

We created little but passed a lot, often dominating the middle third (!). They got the ball and within a couple of passes were within our box. We worked the ball through their lines but seldom got to the byline, when we had a good move in 1st half resulted in a Richards header which was a nice height for the keeper who will have had few easier afternoons. Once again physically weak in hold up play and getting possession where it counted. Sorry for Conway, loan warrior with little support, limited creativity behind him, and hasnt got the physical presence to buy time.

Commentator called it when he questioned City's desire to get back in the game. Loanees have done well for us in winning City teams in last couple of years, but are they prepared to battle for the cause in the upcoming run of games?

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Post by kermit Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:34 pm

After watching that I hope the league is declared null and void and I can do something worthwhile on a Saturday afternoon and Tuesday night for the next few months.
Best team won, and deserved to win by a higher margin.
No desire from our team at all as far as I could see.
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Post by comrade powell Sat Jan 16, 2021 5:48 pm

Feel very deflated after that. Like Kermy I want this nonsensical season to be scrapped asap and I saw nothing this afternoon to change my mind. We've had bad luck with Covid cases but aren't the only club who have had a stop start season. And we certainly can't use that excuse today against a team who have hardly trained let alone played in recent months.

Well done to any Peterborough fans reading this thread - your team did you proud and showed what is possible with a commitment to attack. Good luck in the next round...
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Post by Steve Whites Missus Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:05 pm

What a shambles. City had no change of pace, or pace. Poor passing and just a general lack of desire.
Most passionate moment resulted in Jerry getting a yellow card.

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Post by pete mac Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:32 pm

Gerry’s post is spot on.

I hope Jerry reads it.

He needs a fundamental rethink - he said he’d do it in the Summer!

I really would like to know what his plan is. This is not working and we die hards are losing faith.

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Post by the demon headmaster Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:35 pm

Thing is, with these players I don't see how you can change it. Our two best signings weren't playing (again!), Freddie Hinds looked to have the pace we desperately need, but disappeared as quickly as he returned, and we let go players who worried defences with their direct running (Watto and Stearn). The side is now so weak we must be under relegation threat. And for a game plan that is based on passing, we aren't very good at that either.

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Post by daven Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:59 pm

Very disappointing! They wanted it, and were first to the ball and quicker.

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Post by LB Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:18 pm

I thought the game was summed up in the last minute when the ball broke back to Evans. He had time to put it into the box where it could have gone anywhere but instead lashed it into the Bath end.

I am sure I wasn't the only person who looked at the players we had assembled at the start of the season and thought we would struggle to make an impact, but I didn't think we would do as poorly as we have. It is a lot to ask of young players like Owers to come straight in when the side is struggling.

Will be interesting to see if Step 3 does 'null and void' again (the league management committees seem quite keen even if the clubs aren't so sure) because perhaps some players from that level might become available. It should also do away with the risk of relegation! As for our season being scrapped, I think the teams at the top end of the table who have played 16 or 17 games are likely to have a different view.    

In his pre-match interview Jerry talked about a possible new signing before Tuesday, and we are going to need something against Havant to prevent another 90 minutes of misery especially as Frankie's injury looked quite serious.

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Post by pete mac Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:21 pm

Some trepidation about Tuesday night but hopefully the players we have will give it a go. Not getting much enjoyment from this though.

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Post by Luton Roman Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:25 pm

Havant aside, the following games v improving Braintree and under new management Welling look hugely significant.

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Post by comrade powell Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:30 pm

LB, you’re right about the views of the top half clubs but it will be the votes of the step one clubs which decide things as always in this league. And of course the top half there will want to continue along the path to their promised land.

To be optimistic I think there’s no chance whatsoever of there being relegation to step 3 so we can look forward to around 20 meaningless matches. Such a pity that a Trophy run which was there for the taking has disappeared.
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Post by kermit Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:33 pm

We don't seem to have any 'steel' in the team. A few players with flair yes, but IMHO we need a Nicky Brooks, John Hollaway, Adie Harris type of player in the team.
Very despondent tonight.
My alcohol intake is rising as a result........just remind me, is it 14 units a night or 14 units a week!
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Post by Steve Whites Missus Sat Jan 16, 2021 7:57 pm

kermit wrote:
My alcohol intake is rising as a result........just remind me, is it 14 units a night or 14 units a week!

It is one unit per player we have played this season per night....

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Post by tovid Sat Jan 16, 2021 8:29 pm

On the face of it we were done by a lower league side that has hardly played. But those players were of a much higher standard than that. They were strong quick and skillfull. I think there is money in their club we do not have.
Having said that I said earlier in the season that we were not playing as a team and today was yet another example of that. As others have said part of that is that it isn't a team. There isn't a variety of skills. It is all much of a muchness, apart from Donovan. There is no one with any trickery at all who can unlock a defence. Yet again we come out of a game where the opposition has defended comfortably against us.
I have never accepted that one up top is an acceptable formation at this level especially at home but with poor Tommy Conway up on his own it is a non starter.
Of course there is the problem that some players are not up to their usual standard. Jack Batten had a horrible first half which followed on from his patchy performance at Chippenham while we played better without Mayhew than with him which no doubt contributed to Frankie's injury.
Finally I have to say that this season is exposing our reliance on loan players. We have our own signings not being able to get on the pitch and yet a succession of loanees have come, uninspired, and gone. And this contributes to not developing a team spirit. We are threatened with yet more signings. Can we hope it is someone with a bit of pace?
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Post by pete mac Sun Jan 17, 2021 10:41 am

Finally we understand we are in a relegation battle and now poorly equipped to fight it -

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Post by tovid Sun Jan 17, 2021 11:43 am

kermit wrote:We don't seem to have any 'steel' in the team. A few players with flair yes, but IMHO we need a Nicky Brooks, John Hollaway, Adie Harris type of player in the team.

Agree whole-heartedly. We were much better with Will Dean.You need an anchor to allow others to play.
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Post by comrade powell Mon Jan 18, 2021 2:01 pm

comrade powell wrote:Good luck in the next round...

Oxford away. Very winnable if they play like they did on Saturday.
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Post by stillmanjunior Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:03 pm

I'd say nigh-on every season in the past 20 we've gone into it with a small squad of say 19 players. Maybe the exception being our first year in the Conference. It's very rare that a player isn't in the 16 and you think "wow, we're doing well if they're not on the bench." You only need a couple of injuries/absence and it proves how threadbare it is. The number of enforced absences this season has been astonishing and to have another three come off injured at the weekend is worrying.

Going into a game with no available full-backs meant the defence picked itself, and we had to rely on a half-fit Callum Evans to play 45. For the umpteenth time this season we were crying for some pace to make the opposition panic in the last 20 and for the umpteenth time we didn't have those players to call upon. I look at our line-ups most games and conclude that the starting XI looks good enough, but there's no backup if things go wrong. We're bringing on players who can do a job but not change a game, our subs are largely enforced upon us. This smaller squad is largely down to funding - we can't afford to have 25 capable players on our books and attacking ones are harder to bring in. I spoke to Jerry in the week and he said other lower clubs aren't willing to negotiate for us signing them on dual reg/permanent so we're stuck with short-term loans which I expect are a lot cheaper. I know people want a settled squad and continuity, I do too, but look elsewhere in this league and so many are in the same boat as us. We're at Braintree next week and they've used just shy of 50 players in under 20 matches. Welling nearly 40. They're obviously finding it easy to bring players in but seemingly it's just try and hope that they stumble across a winning formula. A few are saying 'we need this sort of player' and perhaps they're right but there's nothing to say there hasn't been attempts to sign them. You can't force players to sign or force clubs to release our targets.

If it becomes patently clear that there won't be relegation I would hope we just bring in players who can at least compete with most at this level. It might mean we struggle against teams like Dartford or Havant on Tuesday, but I don't want us breaking the bank to finish 10th instead of 20th when in formality the implications are the same. It'll dent pride a bit and I know the players and management don't want us to finish so low, but in the long-term it could give us a better chance next season when it'll become clearer if some clubs have simply gambled on getting promoted this year. All I said at the start of the season was I want us to be in existence at the end of it. It means my expectations are lower. I'd still expect better performances than some we've produced at home - Hungerford was fine but Saturday was on par with Havant/Hemel/Dulwich - but I can cope. It's obvious we were spoilt the last couple of years and with so many of those players now at a much higher level it shows we did some shrewd business.

In terms of the game - in brief, we deserved to lose and I thought Mehew's red was probably right, unlike his farcical one at Dorking. His second challenge wasn't great. Yes, the location didn't help being right in front of their dugout, but I felt the ref was always going to give the second yellow regardless. Because of no crowds it is becoming obvious this season that benches are quite vocal with officials. From what I could tell Jerry was hardly worse than theirs on Saturday but he's the one with the red card. I think referees need to clamp down on it early in games, with both teams. Steve King and Marc White are notoriously the worst - just tell them in no uncertain terms early on that it won't be tolerated instead of letting it drag on and it becomes a shouting competition. Hopefully the weather doesn't intervene so we can get one of Wilson's games out the way tomorrow but he'll be missed on Saturday along with several others. There are still 28 matches left so there's no need to declare this as a relegation crisis just yet.
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Post by comrade powell Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:58 pm

You talk a lot of sense there, Junior. It can only be a matter of time now before the season is called off for the levels below us and therefore relegation will be taken out of the equation. Because we're tied into this elite mentality we will soldier on until at least late May, with perhaps the possibility of crowds of some size present for the last few weeks. But by then the interest will be long gone as we're playing matches which will only have meaning for those near the top. And after Weymouth's experience this season those who fail to go up will probably have dodged a bullet.  

What I found really frustrating about Saturday was that it was an opportunity to lift everyone connected with the Club. We have all been disappointed by this season - not being able to attend matches, poor results etc

Yes Peterborough were a good team but three home draws, with two against lower level opponents, was just what was needed to have a long run in the competition. Apart from that one a few years ago when we came so close to reaching the final, our record in the Trophy is appalling (as it is in the Cup for over thirty years). I know there are some who don't consider it important but it can really raise a club's profile and has decent prize money for a club like ours. I wonder what Bob Chester's reaction was to Saturday's defeat - the bloke spends all his waking hours trying to bring money into the Club - the amount Peterborough went home with equates to many weeks of his efforts.

So we're playing for pride now. I'm sure the players know that Saturday was unacceptable and hopefully we'll get a reaction tomorrow. Who better than Havant to bounce back against with a resounding win!
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Post by LB Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:37 pm

What Mark says about what might happen if it is confirmed that there will be no relegation very much echoes what I have been thinking recently.

To get to the playoffs from where we are at the moment would be a considerable effort and it might be that this season will become a rebuilding one for us and a lot of clubs apart from the ones obviously hellbent on promotion. As Mark says, it might not be what management or any of us want, but we might have to accept that is one of those seasons where we don’t have the success we have recently, and spend the money instead on being stronger next season whenever that might start.

I know it has been said a lot, but in view of what has happened over the last 10 months or so I think being safe and well and having football to watch, albeit not in the flesh, is something we can all be grateful for.

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Post by stillmanjunior Tue Jan 19, 2021 9:59 am

Tonight for me is more about performance. If we give it a good go and ultimately come up short I’ll be ok with that, I don’t want another surrender like the cup game v them. I know Havant have had lack of game time too but their squad is miles better than ours because they can afford it to be. But we went to Dorking and won so no reason why we can’t upset the odds again.

I forgot to state that at least we have backup for the most important position on the pitch. We are lucky to have two extremely capable goalkeepers and I doubt many other clubs in our league have that luxury.
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Post by Luton Roman Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:22 pm

stillmanjunior wrote:Tonight for me is more about performance. If we give it a good go and ultimately come up short I’ll be ok with that, I don’t want another surrender like the cup game v them. I know Havant have had lack of game time too but their squad is miles better than ours because they can afford it to be. But we went to Dorking and won so no reason why we can’t upset the odds again.

I forgot to state that at least we have backup for the most important position on the pitch. We are lucky to have two extremely capable goalkeepers and I doubt many other clubs in our league have that luxury.

For once I agree that it is about performance, and indeed attitude this evening. Usually its all about results for me, means to an end, etc, but if we can improve this evening to give us some ambition v Braintree and Welling that will suffice. Team wise, hope Pope gets a start, as well as providing useful divine intervention, felt he at least had some intent when he came on v. Peterborough. Yet to hear of the promised signing? Big bruising centre forward? or spindly youth? (acknowledgement Demon Headmaster)

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Post by LB Tue Jan 19, 2021 4:25 pm

It was interesting to read the comments of the Havant manager after their game on Saturday. They had had a similar break from playing and training to us because of the virus, and a number of players who had tested positive, and sounds as if their performance wasn’t too different to ours.

I think our performance tonight will probably depend on what players are available after the injuries on Saturday, but hopefully Freddie Grant should be back after isolation.

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Post by tovid Tue Jan 19, 2021 5:29 pm

stillmanjunior wrote:I forgot to state that at least we have backup for the most important position on the pitch. We are lucky to have two extremely capable goalkeepers and I doubt many other clubs in our league have that luxury.

Possibly given the general thinness of the squad it is a luxury we can't really afford. (although I think Clarkey done himself in the warmup).
It means you always have one player on the bench who is never getting on the pitch.

But agree generally that in the position we are - it is a performance we need. Havant completely dominated in the cup and we will really need to put in a shift just to keep on a par.
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Post by comrade powell Tue Jan 19, 2021 6:02 pm

I’ve been very impressed with Will Henry and think he has earnt an extended run in the team.

My feeling about tonight is similar to when we visited Hungerford in March - I’ll be surprised if this isn’t the last match. So let’s go out with a bang...
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