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City v. Stortford

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Post by Luton Roman on Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:50 pm

Kington and Artus on bench, no Pratt, suspended? Keary for Bowman. No Trego anywhere.

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Post by Luton Roman on Tue Mar 17, 2015 9:05 pm

0-1 51m

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Post by Ashley on Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:23 pm

Dear oh dear.
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Post by BenE on Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:34 pm

Well we carried on where we left off on Saturday. Clueless.

No one who started the game came out with any credit and much of that must be down to the bizarre tactics employed by the management. On Saturday we played 3 at the back with Walsh bizarrely on the left tonight we had Ball at left back and strangely Gallinagh at right back.

Meanwhile we appeared to experiment with three in midfield and 3 up top consisting of Hemmings Watkin and McCootie. We found out long ago that Chas's best position is a long way from striker. In fact he is a sh*t striker. Their back 4 could not have had an easier game all season. They even had one centre back sent off and it made no difference.

Meanwhile the midfield was completely overrun. There was no width and very little pace.

unfortunately our management duo seemed content to let this drivel continue for seventy uninspiring minutes. They had zero sympathy or indeed any thought for the 300 fee paying customers.

It says everything you need to know that Ross Stearn was man of the match.

Adie and Archie need to buck their bl**dy ideas up if they are going to pull htis team out of a slump.

If they are going to experiment - as they did with formations in th elast two games why not give the youth players a run out with the big boys. Add a bit of pep to proceedings.

Oh how long ago the Farnborough game seems. Especially for McCootie who frankly looks out of his depth (not that his team mates are particularly inspiring). Can he be reinvigorated this Saturday?
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Post by Marc Monitor on Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:41 pm

Well, we are now just watching the slow fizzling out of our season. As it goes, I think we played better tonight than on Saturday but nothing was coming off and, while Saturday was frustrating, the result tonight seemed somewhat inevitable. Again, having a man advantage did us the square root of bugger all good.

Of course, we could point the finger to Stearn coming on too late, Saturday's man of the match, Dan Bowman, being kept on the bench, Diallo still getting match fitness back or Pratt being suspended but, to be fair to the management on this occasion, it must be difficult to lift the team at this stage with nothing really to play for.

Having said that, all of us who are proper supporters must turn our attention to off-field issues with the community buy-out as this will, in the long term, be much more important than what happens in the next 8 games.
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Post by stillmanjunior on Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:45 pm

Oh well, win on Saturday and we are safe from relegation. And at least we don't have a game next Tuesday. Bliss.
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Post by Marc Monitor on Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:51 pm

Bloody hell, I thought we were safe from relegation already.
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Post by LB on Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:50 pm

On the way back from North Ferriby I suggested to a few people that perhaps Lee Howells and Adie Britton had taken City as far as they could and the time might have come for them to make way for new blood. The five games since then have done nothing to change that view.

Although we were all devastated by events at North Ferriby, if we are honest the tie was lost in the first half of the game at Twerton, where rather than take the game to them we let them come at us, which had the effect that it usually does.

It is sad fact that after a record breaking run in the Trophy, two other records could be broken this season. I think it is more than possible that one of the remaining midweek games (probably Hayes & Yeading) could see the lowest ever league gate (currently standing at 279) and that this could be the first season when the average league attendance is less than 500. By my reckoning to avoid the latter the gates for the remaining 4 league games need to total 1920, and with 2 of those games on a Tuesday I think that is unlikely.

If we are going to persuade 2800 people to part with £500 each to make the community club dream a reality then we need to offer them something more than is being provided at the moment.

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Post by Steve Whites Missus on Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:50 am

On the way back from North Ferriby I suggested to a few people that perhaps Lee Howells and Adie Britton had taken City as far as they could and the time might have come for them to make way for new blood. The five games since then have done nothing to change that view.

Has there been an improvement from start of season to end of season? I still see the same mistakes being made and the lack of plan b (unless you call hoofing it out of defence direct to the opposition)

Much that I like Watkins I would also like to see him have the killer edge. For all his running we don't seem to profit from it enough. The combination of him and Diablo is great, but too often produces flowery non-goal football.

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Post by BenE on Wed Mar 18, 2015 8:40 am

On the subject of management I note that Archie's words re Jason's kicking have also markedly not had the desired effect.

But at least putting Walsh up front with Artus at centre half looked like a goer. Not.
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Post by stillmanjunior on Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:30 am

Steve Whites Missus wrote:Has there been an improvement from start of season to end of season?  I still see the same mistakes being made and the lack of plan b (unless you call hoofing it out of defence direct to the opposition)

We had one spell where we were pressing forward but couldn't find a way through, so the ball was worked back a bit and we completed 7/8 passes about 40 yards out, looking to spread the play. People groaned.
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Post by stillmanjunior on Wed Mar 18, 2015 9:36 am

BenE wrote:Especially for McCootie who frankly looks out of his depth (not that his team mates are particularly inspiring). Can he be reinvigorated this Saturday?

Blimey, he was God's gift a couple of weeks ago, now suddenly he's back to being out of his depth. 90 minutes is a long time in football. Oh well, we're playing Farnborough on Saturday, if they play like they did the other week I'm sure he'll be back to being the next Paul Randall.

My only bugbear with McCootie is the amount of yellow cards he picks up. So many needless fouls, there was one point where he just ploughed through a defender instead of thinking of a way to get around him, thus giving away a cheap free-kick instead of forcing a throw-in/corner/mistake. He does it about three times a game and I can't think of a time where a referee hasn't given him the benefit of the doubt. Nor should they.

Last two games have been dire in one of the dullest leagues you can ever imagine, but aside from these I can't think of many where I've left a game thinking "that was horrendous". It used to be a lot more frequent.
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Post by yuffie on Wed Mar 18, 2015 10:37 am

I can't honestly get too worked up about games now, win, lose or draw. I feared that the side would struggle to lift themselves after Ferriby and that has proved to be the case.

The team was understandably shuffled around last night and it was a better effort than the Concord game, particularly after Stearn was brought on. I thought Watkins looked short of match sharpness and as for Ball playing on the left and Gallinagh on the right, the former has tended to play on the left when not in the middle and the latter has said he prefers playing on the right, so I don't seem much controversial in that.

I get the feeling with McCootie, because of his style, if he's not scoring he will get singled out for criticism. But 12 goals in 22 starts and 9 sub apps suggest to me that he is perfectly capable of playing at this level and hope he is retained in the summer (bigger picture allowing).

We've shown in the Trophy and in patches in the league that we're not a bad side, and picking holes in performances, line-ups, tactics now just seems to be moaning for its own sake.

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Post by comrade powell on Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:33 pm

I honestly thought our performance last night was better than those of the last 2 Saturdays (the 1st of which we won 3-0!). We lost to Bish through yet another goal which should have been prevented. If the cross had been handled and Stearn's great attempt gone in, we would be debating our chances of reaching the play offs. Yes, they are well beyond us now and thoughts should turn to next season's squad and, even more crucially, whether one will even be needed.
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Post by Colin Voutt on Wed Mar 18, 2015 1:41 pm

This is from the Stortford site:

"It was a bitter-sweet night for Bailey-Dennis who was sent off after a harsh second booking in the 6nd minute, but a fine defensive performance saw the Blues hold on for all three points."

They certainly defended well, with numbers, and we had little answer.

B-D's yellow was never harsh, and could have been a straight red.

"Football is a funny old game."

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Post by BenE on Wed Mar 18, 2015 2:19 pm

Stortford did what they had to do to get a result. We didn't and we made them look half decent.

I can accept that the team is going to be flat after Ferriby but 5 games afterwards is really stretching it and to be honest it is getting worse not better. I think there is a responsibility to the paying customers to pick themselves up and stop feeling sorry for themselves (if we are offering excuses). If this is all I can expect for the rest of the season where is the incentive to waste my time?

Moreover if it continues for much longer who the hell is going to want to invest in Bath City 2015 Ltd?
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Post by Roman Mike on Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:29 pm

I'm afraid I don't subscribe to this post Ferriby slump assertion. It may be heretical but all it demonstrates to me is what I suspected all along, we don't actually have any real leaders - on the pitch or in the dug out. Good leaders turn adversity to their advantage with a 'siege mentality' to name but one approach. Anyone with an ounce of character would have come out of that week with a mentality of salvaging the season. 12 games left / 10 points off the play offs / 3 games in hand. Instead we get 4 / 15 points and some of the most inept performances I have seen for a while. The most frustrating part for me is that we know these are good players. I have seen it with my own eyes. That is never enough. We need that killer instinct and ruthlessness. O and a leader.
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Post by Roman Mike on Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:29 pm

I'm afraid I don't subscribe to this post Ferriby slump assertion.  It may be heretical but all it demonstrates to me is what I suspected all along, we don't actually have any real leaders - on the pitch or in the dug out. Good leaders turn adversity to their advantage with a 'siege mentality' to name but one approach.  Anyone with an ounce of character would have come out of that week with a mentality of salvaging the season. 12 games left / 10 points off the play offs / 3 games in hand.  Instead we get 4 / 15 points and some of the most inept performances I have seen for a while.  The most frustrating part for me is that we know these are good players.  I have seen it with my own eyes.  That is never enough.  We need that killer instinct and ruthlessness.  O and a leader.
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Post by Jon_BOA on Wed Mar 18, 2015 4:42 pm

The above is to my eyes complete and utter tripe. I came away from Ferriby deflated and was grateful that we didn't have any immediate home games, as it gave me a chance to step away for a bit and not watch City, clearly a loss like that would affect the players more, so I'm not surprised they have dropped their standard.
There is also the fact, that a part time squad then has been playing Saturday-Tuesday since the start of February, and then after the trophy game were due to play another 4 games in two weeks.

There was absolutely no chance we were going to make the play offs, so I am not surprised we have tailed off. What has frustrated me is how we haven't mixed the team up, given that he's barely started all year Stearn could have played from the start in more of these games, and I'm sure there are a few more who didn't play full games in the weeks leading upto the semi who could have been put in.

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Post by Roman Mike on Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:05 pm

Jon_BOA wrote:The above is to my eyes complete and utter tripe. I came away from Ferriby deflated and was grateful that we didn't have any immediate home games, as it gave me a chance to step away for a bit and not watch City, clearly a loss like that would affect the players more, so I'm not surprised they have dropped their standard.
There is also the fact, that a part time squad then has been playing Saturday-Tuesday since the start of February, and then after the trophy game were due to play another 4 games in two weeks.

There was absolutely no chance we were going to make the play offs, so I am not surprised we have tailed off. What has frustrated me is how we haven't mixed the team up, given that he's barely started all year Stearn could have played from the start in more of these games, and I'm sure there are a few more who didn't play full games in the weeks leading upto the semi who could have been put in.

So Jon, do you think we do have or indeed need leaders?
Are you happy to accept the apparent complete lack of ambition since 'that day?
For my part, I can understand a dip but not a complete capitulation -which is my main point.

If that is the 'plan' then I think a leader(?) would be clear on that and prepare for next season by experimenting. Although, I'd question the value of that in a league in which you can't necessarily assume players will be around next season. Its not clear to me if we are experimenting or not. Though last night seemed to be exactly that. Doing it this way with no transparency means this forum fills up with 'they don't know what they are doing' comments.
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Post by yuffie on Wed Mar 18, 2015 5:11 pm

Whilst our record since Ferriby is hardly great (results and performances) to call it a complete capitulation is not really the case.

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Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:02 pm

Now that the success of the Trophy is a distant memory, the future of Adie and Lee is ripe for being up for discussion.

They haven't picked the squad up since North Ferriby (although that would be difficult for many managers). Up until then, we were within reachable distance of the play-offs after a very poor start so credit where credit is due there. Also, of course, they way we played in many games on the Trophy run - Wealdstone and Rovers in particular - was excellent. The team is set out to play fine and, at times, brilliant football.

On the other hand, as has been said, there isn't a plan B other than hoofing it and we haven't  got the players for that. Also, I am dubious about their signings recently. They dodged a bullet with Chas as he has been a revelation since he moved back in front of the defence. To be fair, someone made the decision to try him back there so well done to them for that. There seems little doubt that he was bought as a striker though as we have had to get McCootie to take his place. McCootie flattered to deceive after his hat-trick but has been gradually improving. Part of this is certainly his more recent willingness to chase down balls. This may be because the hamstring issues that he has been suffering from have been easing up. There is an argument that we shouldn't have signed someone with such issues but I am not sure how good the medical examinations are at this level. I have got no real idea how Diallo really is as we haven't seen him enough due to the suspensions but he does seem lively emough. Like, to a certain and more recent extent, Pratt, Watkins just seems off-form and hasn't scored enough this season. I really like him as a player and some of his assists have been brilliant but I would like to see him score more.  Then there is the Stearn question.....

As far as whether Howells and Britton have run their course with us then yes, they probably have. Without a fair wind, they aren't going to establish us as a club that is constantly in contention for promotion or even the play-offs. However, presently, it would probably be a bit of a disaster for us to go up with the costs of being in the Premier.

I would say that, with the next season being - hopefully - a season where the community ownership beds in, it is probably a good idea to have them in place for a consolidation season. Not least as they are free. Once everything is in place behind the scenes, we should look to getting in new blood - both on the playing front and the management front.

I tell you what, I would prefer them to some managers we have had facing us this season not least that dickhead last night who lambasted his own player for not diving in the penalty area.
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Post by Jon_BOA on Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:10 pm

Roman Mike wrote:So Jon, do you think we do have or indeed need leaders?
Are you happy to accept the apparent complete lack of ambition since 'that day?
For my part, I can understand a dip but not a complete capitulation -which is my main point.  

If that is the 'plan' then I think a leader(?) would be clear on that and prepare for next season by experimenting.  Although, I'd question the value of that in a league in which you can't necessarily assume players will be around next season.  Its not clear to me if we are experimenting or not.  Though last night seemed to be exactly that.  Doing it this way with no transparency means this forum fills up with 'they don't know what they are doing' comments.

a) Do we have leaders in the sense of a Holland, Coupe, Harris/Jim in his playing days, then no probably not. Not sure who could be brought in to be that on the playing front, but then I'm sure there must be.
b) I don't think it's a lack of ambition, against Weston we were winning and doing ok, until the sending off. The last two games have just been dire football games, but given how crap Man United have been playing with their £150m spending it's something that can happen to any side Without Walsh's sending off and the last minute Concord goal we could have had 9 points from the 5 games and we'd be having a different conversation (I accept that is a bit of a if my aunt was my uncle argument!)
c) Would agree that sometimes the lack of clarity definitely leads to a lot of speculation.

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Post by Marc Monitor on Wed Mar 18, 2015 7:14 pm

By the way, while the Trophy run did the club a great deal of good as far as attendances and profile go and this would have helped any investors, a late-season tail off isn't going to scupper the plans. If the business plan depended on a Wembley appearance and the last two months of the season, it would be a pretty bad proposal.

Anyone investing in the club is going to be aware of what it has achieved and probably what it will achieve in the next couple of years. These are going to be local investors mainly who know that they are investing in a local club playing in the 6th tier. If they wanted to invest in success on the field, they would make wiser decisions. In fact, if they wanted guaranteed success, they wouldn't go anywhere near any football club.

While the hardcore 500 supporters may feel despondent about this period, you would be surprised how little it bothers people who are interested in popping along to see their local club, possibly with their kids. Same with investors. They are going to want to invest in a local club, for altruistic reasons, for community reasons, possibly a bit of marketing reasons. They aren't really going to investing due to the style of football nor, in reality, the results.
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Post by BenE on Thu Mar 19, 2015 8:39 am

...but what about crowds?
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