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City 0 St.Albans 2

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Dave
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Colin Voutt
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Post by Luton Roman Sun Oct 24, 2021 11:24 am

Well, better than last week, James added a bit of passing know how in the midfield as we tried to play through the opposition, certainly first half we looked good, I don't think there was a single long hoof from the back looking for Cody. However, we did seem wedded to not playing long balls when, of course, the idea is to mix it up, there were times when balls into the channel for the forwards were on, but a lack of confidence is clearly evident in taking risks.

A good spell in the first half after we saw off early pressure almost created chances, almost meant we had a shot on goal, and we almost had a pen though from my look across the line Cody looked offside, though the lino didnt flag. One chance for the lethal Jeffers and we went in one down, probably against the run of play, though St.Albans did look good going forward and created wide positions which we rarely did, our play being very narrow, and not able to get Frear in on the left much, and nothing much happening on the right. That said, a word for Joe Raynes, rightly MOTM for me, strong in the tackle, tenacious, getting back to his best I felt, though not able to get forward due to the threat the opposition posed.

2nd half sadly not the same, we seem to get bogged down in passing around with no penetration in the final third at all. We had a couple of tame shots on goal, the crowd actually now counting these, and still no width. Mo came on with the game crying out for someone to drive forward, but he was playing way too deep, surely his obvious trickery needs to be displayed further forward to try and create something. Not the day for Fletcher, and Cody was living off scraps of service. One moment the crowd got noisy when a flashing shot from James was surely into the net past the diving keeper, but no. Another chance for Jeffers, another lethal finish and the game petered out with St.Albans playing it around and City resigned to another defeat. The excellent crowd did give generous applause and acknowledged that there was more discernible effort this week, but yet another game in which we shall never know whether the keeper can save any decent shots.

Where do we go from here? That's what JG gets paid to work out, clearly some personnel changes are happening, we can only keep faith that confidence can be restored, some injection of new, seasoned players at this level can change the fortunes. Seasoned City fans have been here before, things can change, lets keep believing.


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Post by BenE Sun Oct 24, 2021 12:23 pm

Very Good summary.
A prime example of one team playing with confidence and one not. Final balls frequently being overhit giving the strikers nothing to work with.
We certainly looked better in midfield with James allowing Smith to play further forward and Owers improves every game. And defensively, while there were mistakes, the back four looked more comfortable and Jack Batten was spraying the ball about impressively.
We just look toothless up front and as you say we need to mix it up a bit. Touray has been poor since his injury. He is the one player we have got that gives us something different but it is just not happening for him.
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Post by tovid Sun Oct 24, 2021 12:25 pm

Joe Raynes was well worth MOM. The state of the pitch on his side after the game reminded me of when Hoggy played.
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Post by tovid Sun Oct 24, 2021 1:21 pm

And from our vantage point it looked a stonewall penalty.
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Post by Colin Voutt Sun Oct 24, 2021 2:14 pm

tovid wrote:And from our vantage point it looked a stonewall penalty.

Agreed!

BUT their keeper would have been red-carded!!!!

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Post by LB Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:09 pm

Colin Voutt wrote:
tovid wrote:And from our vantage point it looked a stonewall penalty.

Agreed!

BUT their keeper would have been red-carded!!!!

Won't see many more clearcut penalties than that - according to Jerry's postmatch interview the referee admitted that he got it wrong! Pretty sure as laws are now, keeper would only have got a yellow.

As for the game, thought generally we played too deep and that meant that neither Fletcher nor Frear really got into the game properly. On the rare occasions Frear did get free on the left he showed again what a good crosser he is. Lloyd James in midfield certainly gave us the stability we have been lacking. We do need to do something about our free kicks and corners - too often we played them short rather than getting them into the box where anything can happen.

Agree with Luton Roman - a lot of us have been here before and we have to keep the faith that things will turn around before too long.

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Post by SASCHA Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:44 pm

No, no, no.
Totally baffled by Jerry Gills online interview after the game
If Jerry was happy with a performance like that then God help us
Disjointed and too much farting about


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Post by stillmanjunior Sun Oct 24, 2021 3:45 pm

tovid wrote:And from our vantage point it looked a stonewall penalty.

Yours and BenE’s?…
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Post by comrade powell Sun Oct 24, 2021 7:01 pm

Will be interesting to see the footage of the penalty appeal. Spoke to a St Albans official at ht who had seen what their bloke had filmed and claimed it was definitely not a foul. Still, the one we were given at Dorking was a laughable decision so I guess they even out over the season. And I think there was a lot more to get worked up about than one possible poor decision by the ref yesterday.
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Post by Dave Sun Oct 24, 2021 7:45 pm

Never a penalty.

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Post by Colin Voutt Sun Oct 24, 2021 10:35 pm

Dave wrote:Never a penalty.

Apparently, I am told, the ref apologised for making a mistake.

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Post by tovid Sun Oct 24, 2021 11:35 pm

stillmanjunior wrote:
tovid wrote:And from our vantage point it looked a stonewall penalty.

Yours and BenE’s?…

Phil Weaver and Hacksaw
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Post by LB Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:24 am

I had my eyes tested last week so perhaps I should get them done again if highlights prove it wasn’t a penalty! I was stood dead in line and I am pretty sure I saw Cody take the ball round the keeper who then brought him down.

Agree with Comrade Powell though that there bigger things to worry about.

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Post by City 'til we're relegated Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:28 pm

I am getting more and more worried. As has been said, I was surprised that JG was pleased with the performance at losing to St Albans. Whether refereeing decisions have gone for or against us, it is not a point to gain some comfort from. We are near the drop on merit. 1.1 goals scored on average per game and 2.2 conceded. We have nine points in our relegation battle and we should be glad that only one or two teams will go down this season.

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Post by comrade powell Mon Oct 25, 2021 1:32 pm

To get some perspective from Saturday's result take a look at the St Albans forum...

https://saintschat.proboards.com/thread/3826/bath-city-23-10-21

To summarise - they had played 120 minutes in their cup replay on Tuesday and had five regulars missing against us due to injuries. Several commented on how 'toothless' we were.
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Post by Luton Roman Mon Oct 25, 2021 1:47 pm

Looking at the footage on the St.Albans site it looks like Cody dived over the keeper expecting contact. Defending for the goals doesn't look any better !

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Post by PSJRoman Mon Oct 25, 2021 5:02 pm

When last season was brought to an abrupt end we were struggling in 18th place, the team wasn`t competitive enough and we needed to rebuild. It was mentioned somewhere that the problem was because of the late playoff games, and not knowing which division we would be playing in, so we didn`t have enough time to look for new players. The management stated that this season they wanted us back challenging at the top.

Well, after probably the longest close season ever, a fantastic Crowdfunding effort by the supporters (which added a fair amount to the playing budget) maybe even more cash from the sale of Donovan Wilson, where do we stand with the team? The team that started on Saturday contained seven players from last season plus two loanees. So basically just two new players, how is this going to move us towards the top of the table.

I was hoping after last season, to see a few more players with an "over my dead body" approach, but we seem to be just as vulnerable as before. Also there is a distinct lack of creativity up front. The last two matches we barely troubled the opposing keepers. Obviously I do not know how our players budget rates in comparison to other clubs, but we do seem to be less competitive on the pitch. I am afraid this season is looking like it`s going to be another tense struggle.


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Post by BenE Mon Oct 25, 2021 8:16 pm

Fletcher only played one game last season so I would count him and cooke and freer as new players. I think Jones was injured. But I think your main point is that we don't appear to have strengthened at all. And given results I don't think you could argue against that.
However I can see where Jerry is coming from. I was more encouraged by the midfield than I have been in previous games. I think we can build on that especially if Jones is RB and Joe Raynes comes into midfield.
What we need to do is become hard to beat and a solid midfield is crucial to that. Silly defensive mistakes aside I could see positives. Clean sheets will breed confidence.
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Post by City 'til we're relegated Tue Oct 26, 2021 11:22 am

I think that we are falling behind, and have been for many, many years. I have watched many smaller clubs rise up and surpass Bath City, often thanks to a wealthy person investing in the club. Promotion to the football league seemed such a big step but, and thanks to the two up/two down with League 2, now it has been shown by clubs who were lower or equal to us that it is achievable. Cheltenham, Yeovil, Stevenage, Forest Green Rovers, Crawley, Harrogate, to name some. Then there are the clubs who have risen to the league above us. Of course, there are a number of clubs who have moved in the opposite direction, such as York, Macclesfield, Northwich, Boston U etc. I remember in the Conference days crowds at TP in the 400s. What a joy to see crowd after crowd of over 1,000 this season. How can we turn this enormous success into success on the pitch? Sorry if this sounds a little disjointed but it is a mere frustrated rant.

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Post by LB Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:13 pm

City 'til we're relegated wrote:I think that we are falling behind, and have been for many, many years. I have watched many smaller clubs rise up and surpass Bath City, often thanks to a wealthy person investing in the club. Promotion to the football league seemed such a big step but, and thanks to the two up/two down with League 2, now it has been shown by clubs who were lower or equal to us that it is achievable. Cheltenham, Yeovil, Stevenage, Forest Green Rovers, Crawley, Harrogate, to name some. Then there are the clubs who have risen to the league above us. Of course, there are a number of clubs who have moved in the opposite direction, such as York, Macclesfield, Northwich, Boston U etc. I remember in the Conference days crowds at TP in the 400s. What a joy to see crowd after crowd of over 1,000 this season. How can we turn this enormous success into success on the pitch? Sorry if this sounds a little disjointed but it is a mere frustrated rant.

In some ways I think it is a question of ambition. I was really surprised how many people didn't want us to take part in the play offs because they were happier with us staying in National League South than having the chance of playing at the higher level. I know some of this related to the financial problems that were caused the last time we were promoted, but I think part of the problem then was that we almost got promoted by accident and weren't prepared for it. I think we have a better infrastructure at the club now and would be more prepared if it happened now.

As for getting into the Football League, I think FGR is probably an example of what we would want to avoid, although they and the likes of Crawley, Harrogate and Fleetwood have all shown that having a rich benefactor is the quick way to do it. Sutton have perhaps been the exception, but they had the income from their artificial pitch (before they were forced to dig it up). Anyway, it isn't really an issue for us, because I am pretty sure that at one of the Zoom meetings Nick Blofeld said that even with the redevelopment we would still only have a ground up to National League standard and that it would need further development to make it fit for the FL. And if we went for the artificial pitch as well...

Having said all that perhaps we will have to accept this as a bit of a consolidation season but with 30+ games to go who knows where we will finish come May.

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Post by comrade powell Tue Oct 26, 2021 12:40 pm

Good post, LB.

Re the play offs I assume you're referring to the 19/20 season when we faced Dorking. I obviously can't speak for everyone but I don't think I was the only supporter who was concerned about the immediate cost to the Club of playing in them and that was why I didn't support the decision at the Board meeting when our participation was rubberstamped. Of course the money was raised through the incredible crowd funder response but without that the following season's budget would presumably have been reduced.

Maybe there are some who feel more comfortable at this level than the one above - the Club suffered badly following our last visit.

Re the suitability of the ground for EFL post redevelopment - I can't remember either what was said by Nick or by others at the time. Hopefully there will be positive news on this front before too long and it would be worth asking again for confirmation.
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Post by LB Tue Oct 26, 2021 1:10 pm

comrade powell wrote:Good post, LB.

Re the play offs I assume you're referring to the 19/20 season when we faced Dorking. I obviously can't speak for everyone but I don't think I was the only supporter who was concerned about the immediate cost to the Club of playing in them and that was why I didn't support the decision at the Board meeting when our participation was rubberstamped. Of course the money was raised through the incredible crowd funder response but without that the following season's budget would presumably have been reduced.

Maybe there are some who feel more comfortable at this level than the one above - the Club suffered badly following our last visit.

Re the suitability of the ground for EFL post redevelopment - I can't remember either what was said by Nick or by others at the time. Hopefully there will be positive news on this front before too long and it would be worth asking again for confirmation.

At the beginning of last month there was an update email from the Supporters Society which detailed some of the things that had been discussed at their August meeting, including the redevelopment. I asked whether there was any news on the redevelopment and got the following reply from Paul Brotherton:

"I have been in touch with a couple of committee members who are more closely involved in the redevelopment and I know it is frustrating but there's been little to report in recent months. The club is apparently still in dialogue with Greenacre and are waiting to hear what their intentions are after BANES Council developed a planning strategy which made student accommodation at Twerton less likely. This affects the viability of the redevelopment proposal. A working group is looking at options in the event of a new scheme being needed and is exploring the best way forward."          

I know hindsight is a great thing, but I do wonder if we should have appealed the rejection of the original scheme, particularly in view of some that have succeeded since and the Hartwells one rejected on the same day as ours being allowed on appeal. I can't see would be in any worse a position.

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Post by BenE Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:53 pm

I think an appeal on our application would have been risky as it was quite clearly over-development. The best course would have been to reduce the height and re-submit but my guess is that this reduction in student accommodation wouldn't have generated the necessary funds to do the rest of the development.
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Post by BenE Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:07 pm

CTWR is sort of hinting at a lack of ambition.

I believe the ambition is to make the club self-sustainable. I was greatly encouraged by last year's accounts in this respect. Obviously terrific work is being done behind the scenes and the improvement in gates is part of it.

If we achieve that then a realistic tilt at the title becomes more practical. My suspicion, though I do not know the figures, is that our budget is at the lower end of the division. Obviously Jerry will aim to squeeze the most he can out of it, and the crowdfunding should have helped, but we are at a disadvantage.

Having said this we shouldn't just meekly accept performances like those against Banbury.
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Post by pete mac Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:25 am

It’s not all about the money……..good teams can be built on average budgets.

Right now we need to get in a mindset for a battle for points.

Would love to be proved wrong but I don’t see the ingredients for that.

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