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This topic contains 1,168 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  Windlesham Don 2 hours, 28 minutes ago.

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  • #12363

    onyadon
    Keymaster

    The Lounge

    I’ve decided to spruce up the web-site a wee bit (even with our new logo – any comments?). Another new feature is the single thread forum, so you can jump on and have your say, ask a question or just read what is being said. As I always say the forum is only as strong as what you make of it, so I would urge you to contribute and regularly to keep it all worthwhile. BTW, if you want to check something in the old forum it is now archived and the link is below… Okay let’s hear from you …

    Looking for the old forum? You can view the read-only archived version here.

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by  Adam Dodds.
Viewing 6 replies - 775 through 780 (of 1,168 total)
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  • #13097

    Colum
    Participant

    I’d take issue with the thought that NA’s substitutions cost us the game. It was clear to me from the hour mark onwards that the frenetic pace of the game was starting to take its toll on players. LTB in particular was struggling, after yet another mammoth effort. We needed to change things, and NA brought on direct replacements. OK I admit that Barnett is not Elliott, and Whelpdale is not LTB, but those are the players we had on the bench. Barnett could have saved us a point with that header deep into injury time, and to criticise him for missing it is harsh.

    #13096

    Colum
    Participant

    Before you get too despondent about our first defeat since early September, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Slowly exhale whilst remembering where we’ve come from, and how long it has taken us to get there. Then remember that for most of the yesterday’s game we gave a team that will be there or there abouts at the end of the season a real good run for their money.

    The game was a beauty for any neutral, and it wasn’t half bad for the partisan either. Right from the kickoff Bradford set out their stall. Here we had two teams with a big lump up front, two pacey wide men off him, an incredibly hard running midfield and a solid defence. Both teams pressed hard, harried opponents, yet got the ball down and played it when they could.

    Sometimes two evenly matched teams cancel each other out. Yesterday that wasn’t the case. The stats don’t lie. Five goals, and five shots on target all game. Both teams could, and perhaps should, have scored more.

    On the penalties, ours was a stone wall foul. It followed brilliant work by Barcham who broke away down the pitch on hos own. Just as support arrived, he laid if off to the onrushing Reeves who knocked it past the incoming defender. Contact may have been minimal, but contact there was. It was nothing more than we deserved. Theirs happened at the other end, so I didn’t get a good look at it. It seemed harsh on Shea who had another excellent game. He came quick off the line when he had to, and he caught pretty much everything that came near him.

    Tom Elliott won the MOTM award, but to be honest any one of the starting eleven could have won it. Tom’s goal was pretty special, and both he and LTB linked up well. Special mention has to go to all the forward line for their defensive work. The number of times we saw one or other back defending and then busting a gut to break forward, was a joy to behold.

    I could go on about the rest of the team. John Meades had another outstanding game. Young Will Nightingale had a good game. If their were issues it was with some of the older rearguard. Barry Fuller can get caught out occasionally, but you can’t deny his work ethic. Robbo also has the odd mistake in him. Both can still do a job for us, but you wonder for how much longer.

    So we look forward to another trip to Bury and hopefully a FA Cup run. Confidence is high, and I’d have preferred to lose yesterday than next week. Yes we lost, but it could so easily have gone the other way. We’ve got a team and manager that has a real chance at another playoff position. Even if we don’t achieve that aim, I’ll have to pinch myself that we are where we are. It is times like this that fans look back on. Remember when we topped the Premier League. Remember that 1988 defeat of Liverpool? Remember that Danny Kedwell penalty against Luton in the Play Off Final? Remember Wembley last May? Too right I do, and those sweet memories will go with me to my grave.

    #13095

    Windlesham Don
    Participant

    Sing – I’m not sure your glass is full enough to be considered half empty! ;o)

    Personally I rarely leave a defeat in anything but a foul mood, but yesterday I was calm and could reflect on an excellent game of football between two good sides. I missed the defeat against Sheffield United, but other than that the Bantams were comfortably the best side I have seen this term, full of energy and no little skill. I certainly feel they will be challenging for an automatic place if they continue like that for the rest of the season.

    We were also excellent however, and matched them for all but the last 15 minutes of a pulsating encounter.

    I will not go through a blow by blow account of the game as this has been summarised in fine fashion by Singapore. However, I will make a couple of observations.

    After we took the lead, we sadly succumbed to Bradford’s attacking substitutions. We started to defend too deep and Bradford were quick to accept our invitation to attack us. For me, our problem was the absence through injury/illness of Dom Poleon and Dean Parrett. Francomb filled in well, but he is not really a ‘dig in’ type central player. If Parrett had been in the centre then we may have controlled the middle of the park better, allowing us to bring on the promising Tom Beere in a better game situation.

    Tyrone Barnett has received some stick for his performance, but I feel he is an easy target. When he came on we were already defending too deep and he did not have the support of LTB and Barch around him, as they had dropped back to defend (and were also rapidly losing energy). Tom had had this support for the early part of the game. Ty also did not have the speed of Poleon to use for knock downs and to help him defend from the front – he was basically isolated and always going to struggle.

    I would have loved to have seen us with a full squad yesterday, Parrett starting and Poleon on for the last 20, as I feel the outcome may have been different.

    Having defended Barnett I sadly cannot do the same for Whelpdale. To me he has not looked fit for the entire season and yesterday once again he looked lost when he came on and struggled to get into the game. If he is struggling with long term injury then I wish the club would let us know this, as we would have more sympathy for his performances, which are at odds with the rest of the squad.

    I’m on holiday for a couple of weeks and so sadly will be missing the next three Saturdays. I hope I can return to a few more points and a 2nd round FA Cup tie!

    COYD!!

    #13093

    Singapore Don
    Participant

    PS Will Nightingale had another solid game in central defence. Very calm and assured. Bodes well. My one other obsevation, and I’m afraid a negative one, is the sloppy and very costly wayward pass of Lyle Taylor in midfield that gifted them their first goal after just two minutes. A number of players have been guilty in recent games of giving away the ball to the opposition by underhitting or misdirecting passes to team mates playing out of defence or in midfield. We’ve got away with it against lesser teams, but were punished yesterday. It gave us an even higher mountain to climb so early on, but at least we showed a fighting spirit to get back in to the game and actually get in front. Shame we couldn’t hold out for something from the game. Lesson learned, I hope.

    #13092

    Singapore Don
    Participant

    I hoped I’d feel less despondent this morning, but I don’t. A defeat is a defeat, and it always hurts, however well we’ve played. To have lost in the 92nd minute, our fifth added time defeat this season, makes it all the more painful. Yes it was a fantastically entertaining, end to end, gripping game of football, but we lost – and that is always painful.

    It was all the more painful because the result was so thoroughly undeserved. We played very, very well, probably the best we’ve played at Kingsmeadow this season. And that was no mean feat against a team that’s only lost one in sixteen and is touted as a near on certainty for promotion. For pretty well the whole game we matched them all over the pitch, and didn’t look out of our depth at all. Far from it, we looked strong, creative, skilful – we played some excellent football. But the tide turned in Bradford’s favour after the substitutions, very good ones by McCall for City, not such good ones for us by Ardley. And it meant that for the last fifteen minutes Bradford really brought the game to us and made our lives difficult. Not enough to deserve the win, but they certainly merited a draw.

    So what are the main points from the post mortem? Tom Elliott was once again, to coin an Ardley phrase, “immense”. He has grown in to being a superb, powerful striker this season, and – along with a certain left back, of which more in a minute – he’s our key asset and star man. Tom holds the ball up well, wins everything – and I mean everything – in the air, he gets back to defend not just for corners but throughout the game, and yesterday he proved that he can score goals. I was right behind the goal to see him net that effort, and it was as top class a finish as you’ll see in any league. A superb goal. But it’s his overall team effort and work rate and never say die attitude that singles him out as a fantastic player for us.

    The other standout player is Jon Meades. I think we’re going to have a job holding on to him, because he is quite frankly better than League One. His confidence on the ball, his tough tackling, his reading of the game, his desire to get the ball forward with surging runs or pinpoint passes, his work ethic – all round, he is irreplaceable. Proof if it were needed is how well the team has done since he came back from his early season injury. He inspires confidence and an attacking mentality throughout the team that helps put us on the front foot.

    The other player who had a great game yesterday, despite one very unfortunate and I’d say unfair decision, was James Shea. He commanded his box, taking every cross that was put over (despite the imposing bulky presence of Hanson), he distributed quickly and well, he was loud in his instructions to his defence throughout – again, he too was a source of confidence for the Dons’ back line. As for the penalty, well what a terrible decision. I was directly behind the goal, and like everyone around me we assumed the ref was pointing for a goal kick. We were utterly flummoxed when we realised it was the penalty spot he was pointing to. Even the Bradford player seemed bemused by the decision, giving Shea an apologetic “sorry about that, no idea why that was given” look and upturned hands. A cruel and obviously match turning error by the ref, making him deserving of some of the abuse of self arousal that was hurled his way.

    Elsewhere, everyone else in the starting eleven had solid games, and as I said matched Bradford all over the park. It was only when Elliott and Taylor went off, and Barnett and Whelpdale came on, that you could see a noticeable change in the game in Bradford’s favour. Their number 4, Nicky Law, was outstanding throughout and went up another gear in the face of two players who just don’t have that never say die attitude and get in their face tackling of Elliott and Taylor. Barnett was languid and almost disinterested, (he also should have buried a header at the very end of the game to give us a point), while Whelpdale – as per my post of last week – is a real liability. He’s slow, off the pace, and brings literally nothing to the game. I really cannot see why he even makes the bench. I can only imagine Neal brought him on with a more defensive mindset, when what the game was crying out for at that stage was the pace and trickery of young Fitzpatrick to torment their tiring back line. Tom Beere was the only substitution that worked, he had a very solid cameo performance. The other two substitutions may well have lost us the game.

    I’m clearly a glass half empty person, because while many others are saying not to worry we played well, we proved we are comfortable in League One, I can’t shake off the despondency of a defeat which feels like valuable points lost. Yes, we did play very well and didn’t deserve to lose, but I want my cake and I want to eat it. I want the lot. I want the points! Oh well, time off for the cup, I’m off to Hong Kong for a week for work, so time to be distracted by other things – and hopefully in the days ahead I’ll reflect more on the great game and our superb display rather than the result. Here’s to that. Cheers (from my half empty glass!).

    #13091

    liamwimbo
    Participant

    I listened into the game last night so obviously disappointed when Bradford got their late winner. Up until then it sounded like a good game before a packed house in which a draw would have been a fair result. We all knew the run had to finish sometime so better it did against a decent team with a good performance despite the result. Tom Elliott continues to be a threat up front and scored another good goal last night.
    The silver lining was hearing the U18 score from earlier in the day Franchise U18s 0 Wimbledon U18s 4!
    COYFDs

Viewing 6 replies - 775 through 780 (of 1,168 total)

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