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This topic contains 1,168 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  Windlesham Don 2 hours, 27 minutes ago.

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    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 - 865 through 870 (of 1,168 total)
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    A bad start to a season? We’ve been there before. Last season in fact, and look how that ended!

    I was intending to go to the Valley to catch up with some Charlton friends of mine, but my wife booked a last minute holiday and a week in the sun took precedence. I’ve just watched the videos posted on the website and you have to say what a great turnaround it was. At half time we hadn’t had a single shot on target to Charlton’s 6. The fact that we went in only 1-0 down is down largely to a superb performance from James Shea. It was obvious after the game that he was buzzing, and rightly so. He made three really good saves low down both his left and right. I’m really pleased from him.

    Just a quick word on Mr Ardley. He made a point on praising his players, particularly Shea, Poleon, and Barnett. Rightly so. But perhaps he should also take some credit. In recent games he has not been afraid to gamble a little, something he often accused of being reluctant to do in the past. Yesterday we ended up with not three up front, but four! Charlton simply didn’t know how to react, and once we were level there was only going to be one winner.

    I also think his delay in naming the team was a masterstroke. He obviously was considering a change in goal, as well as who to start up front. By delaying the decision, he kept everyone on tenterhooks resulting in a hunger to win. It may also have had the effect of reducing the period of any morbid players disappointed at being dropped. Well done Neil.

    So on to Shrewsbury. I’ll have our first back to back win of the season, and a clean sheet please. That would be another massive step towards League One survival. My Charlton friends seem convinced that we’ll both be in League One next season. I hope so to, and on the evidence of the last few weeks, you’d have to say they are right.


    Windlesham Don

    Thanks for the summary guys, especially Singapore Don for a great insight! I boarded a plane in Greece when we were 1-0 down at HT and resigned to defeat, and arrived at Heathrow to receive 9 text messages with the good news!

    It looks like George Francomb has sustained a nasty injury and maybe there is a chance for NA to incorporate Parrett into the line up?

    Interested to know whether Shea had many crosses to take under pressure? Personally I am unconvinced with his ability under pressure under the high ball, but the defence may have lost confidence in Clarke. Curious that NA should publicly back Clarke one week, only to drop him the next without explanation. For me, the goalkeeping situation is a major worry, with no opportunity to get a loanee in until Christmas.

    Saturday now provides a major opportunity against a team liable to be at the wrong end of the table come the end of the season. We have had a tough start against some good teams, we now need to show that we can pick up points against those liable to struggle…



    Yes, a great match report from the city of the Merlion. Fantastic to see that young Poleon is seizing this opportunity with gusto and skill. And again the football Gods are playing with us! As we near the mythologized 10 game mark, in which we expect to have a firm opinion of where the season is headed, this recent result will likely ensure that after 10 games we still are clueless and unable to say much more than that there has been an overall improvement. The next review period will then be set for Xmas. And so it goes on until season’s end. So, it is good news for us that the defence is starting to improve and that Poleon is covering the gap until LBT finds his boots. Now, I also know that we all tend to get a bit exciteable around the time of the MK Dons fixture, and lots of harsh adjectives get thrown about. But take a look at what is happening up North. Another draw, no home wins and another disappointing result in the lower leagues for Mr Robinson. There must surely be a small panic starting at Roundabout HQ? Maybe this panic will overcome the sea wall on 10 Dec when we travel north with Captain Ardley. Something to work towards.


    Devon Womble

    The best match report I’ve read actually Singapore. Thank you.
    LTB did indeed sound anonymous on Radio WDON, and Shea was, I think, many people’s MotM. Hopefully there will be no more nonsense with Clarke, of whom, sadly I doubt we will get our money back.
    I will confess that I was with the ‘lament’ crowd for much of the game, after all, haven’t we already given more than our quota of concessions to the opposition this season?
    What frustrates me is that as soon as we go 4-3-3 or even 4-2-4 as I think we ended up with today, we play like a different team. If this 70th minute tactic is one NA likes to play… then perhaps he might like to try playing it from the 1st minute and stop making it so damn hard for the players and supporters!


    Singapore Don

    What a win, what a day! I was fortunate to be one of the 1714 Dons fans who crossed south London to watch a great game of football in an impressive, “proper” stadium – and enjoy the buzz of coming away with a snatch and grab win from a losing position in the last 12 minutes. It was simply wonderful.

    There’ll be match reports elsewhere that you will no doubt read, so I’m not going to do a blow by blow account of the game. Rather, a few overriding impressions and observations:

    1) James Shea. Thank goodness Ardley was “brave” and restored young Shea to his number one position – it was a decision which paid rich dividends. Shea was outstanding. He made at least four match winning saves, fantastic saves all of them. For me he was our man of the match. Without his solid performance between the sticks, we would have lost this game. Not only did he live up to his reputation as being a great shot-stopper, but he offered the full package: his kicking was perfect, he took crosses with ease, and he generally commanded his box. There is no doubt that his confident performance and presence instilled a confidence in his defence and in the stands. Gone were all the jitters and nerves which handicapped previous games with Clarke in goal. Shea’s name was chanted by the fans time after time (“there’s only one James Shea”); it must have been tough for poor old Ryan Clarke to listen to sitting on the bench. But this is a tough business, and Shea stepped up to the plate. He is a dead cert now to start next week. I said after his performance against Wigan U-23s that he looked a different keeper this season: much more confident, vocal and commanding. And that is what we witnessed today.

    2) Dominic Poleon: Another must start for next week. He has proved game after game recently that he can score goals. And today’s was exquisite. A sumptuous solo effort, sublime movement of his feet to carve though two defenders and fire low under the keeper: it was stunning, and scored right in front of us. He has proved now that he is a much, much better footballer than Azeez, no question. Long may his present goal scoring form continue. Before leaving him, it’s worth noting that he played the first half as the right winger in a five man midfield, so clearly was doing a job for the team demanded by the manager. Only later in the second half was he clearly given freer rein to get further forward – and once this happened, he delivered the vital goal. A superb performance all round by the young striker.

    3) Tom Elliott and Tyrone Barnett: Well we’re used to having impact subs like Azeez or Poleon in his first few games…ie a fiery, fast striker to terrorise tiring defences. Today we saw something very different. We started with our pacey strikers, and only later on brought on our big men. And credit to Ardley, it worked. Elliott was once again immense: fast and winning everything in the air when he came on. He opened the game up for us up front and really made a big difference to our threat on goal. Similarly, Barnett was strong, physical and quick, and his goal was suitable reward for the impact that his presence on the field brought us. The two big men were really impressive.

    4) Lyle Taylor: What has happened to him? He’s a shadow of the player of last season. He looks slow, lacking in ideas or cutting edge, and offers us very little if anything up front. I can see why his previous League One employers dumped him and he ended up in League Two where he clearly performed well. Hopefully Lyle will finding his scoring boots and form again, but he’s got to sort himself out soon. At present, I’d put him fourth in the pecking order of our strikers. For me, Elliott and Poleon are the best and most threatening starting pair.

    5) Dean Parrett: He won man of the match last week, he’s played well in every game he’s played in, yet he was on the bench and didn’t feature today. Very odd. Francomb was once again preferred over him, and I’m afraid to say that once again George was disappointing. Ardley clearly has a soft spot for him, otherwise why is he started ahead of an in form dynamic midfielder like Parrett? Particularly when today Francomb was playing in central midfield, which is Parrett’s natural position. When Francomb went off injured – a nasty mouth injury – our fortunes changed for the better. Maybe Ardley will use his new tough man approach to poor performances by benching Francomb for a while, though that may happen anyway while George recovers from today’s injury.

    6) Defence: Our whole back line looked a lot better today, playing with much greater confidence – was this Shea inspired? My only concern was Barry Fuller, who once again got outpaced and easily turned on one too many occasions. Later on in the game he looked to me, as he ran to take a throw in, that he was definitely limping. Is he carrying an injury but refusing to take a break in his very creditable captain’s determination to lead through thick or thin? Having said this, it was his pinpoint accurate cross that gave Barnett his goal – so he was still delivering late on in the game. The physio team clearly have a job on their hands though to manage his training and build-up in the week.

    7) Hoof football: It was noticeable throughout this game that the Dons had been instructed to play passing football – from goalkeeper through defence and midfield to the forward line. With Taylor and Poleon up front, so no big target man, there was no purpose in playing the long ball to find the head of an Elliott or Barnett – and we looked confident and happy to play this passing football. At times, we looked very silky and smooth. The only thing is that this passing needs to be a lot quicker and more penetrating, but it was a joy to watch today. Even when Elliott and Barnett came on, the Dons stuck with the passing game and didn’t fall back on the hoofing of the ball up to the big men – and as a result we scored two goals! So hopefully we’ll stick with this new tactic: it’s both better to watch and more productive in terms of results (well by today’s example!).

    Well I’ve rabbited on for far too long – thanks if you made it this far. It was a great day out, real League One football game and experience, and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Let’s just hope we can get three points at home to Shrewsbury next week to put a little run together and notch up some more vital points for our League One survival. For now at least, we can bask in the happy glory of beating a recent Championship/Premiership team. Happy days!



    A few home trooths after last weeks game,a hard game against Charlton but its a london derby with over 1200 Dons at the game should make for a very good game 1-1 CoyDonsssss

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