Sunday, April 11, 2021

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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 5 years, 3 months ago by Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by Adam Dodds.
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    • This topic was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Adam Dodds.
    • This topic was modified 5 years, 2 months ago by Adam Dodds.
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  • #14947

    Though I’m an optimist, yesterday saw the light at the end of the tunnel extinguished. 97 minutes of football. 9 shots and not 1 on target. Rivals Bristol rovers managed 18. 9 on target. Look at the fixture list – can you see more than one win for AFCW? I can’t. I am tired of matchday disappointment that fans have had for almost all of the past 20 matchdays. Relegation is now certain. I shall not look at any results until the League 2 fixture list is released. This will give me optimism that we can start winning more matches than we lose.

    Windlesham Don

    We are approaching a crucial time, both on and off of the pitch.

    The overwhelming vote in favour of the London Broncos’ ground share puts in place a vital future source of income.

    We currently have a bridging loan in place to cover the fit out of the ground before our match day revenue streams kick in. These short term loans typically come with a very high interest rate (I understand that Southampton in the Premier League have a short term loan and are paying 9% pa interest). The club have not revealed our interest rate, but it is likely to be at least as punitive.

    We desperately need to replace this loan with long term funding, and although the Broncos’ money will help we cannot realistically achieve this until the go ahead is given for full crowds next season.

    Regardless of which league we are in, if full crowds are not permitted for next season then we will be in severe financial trouble. We will not be the only ones of course as this situation could be the straw breaking the camel’s back for many lower league clubs.

    However, if the slow and controlled release out of lockdown continues and the club’s test event all go to plan, then by the start of next season we could start to get significant revenue streams from another block of season tickets and from significant match day income. The £200k+ pa from the Broncos will add to this.

    With our back story supplementing the financials, we should be able to secure long term funding at a manageable rate of interest to replace the bridging loan.

    This is the aim, but we need everyone to remain sensible and the horrible pandemic to ‘play ball’ in the meantime…


    I wonder when was the last time we had five draws in a row? We are becoming a team you would select on the Littlewoods pools (if that even exists anymore).

    Windlesham Don

    A decent point on Tuesday night at a ground which has been a graveyard for us over the years.

    However, I need to have a rant about the goal we conceded having watched it several times on the highlights…

    We apparently have employed a ‘set piece coach’ and the last time I looked up the definition, an opposition corner would count as a ‘set piece’?

    The defending and keeping for the Shrewsbury goal on Tuesday defies description, but I’m going to have a go anyway…

    In several recent games the opposition have taken short corners. On each occasion we have been slow to realise this and presented the opposition with a great chance to attack us. Once again this occurred on Tuesday and once again our defenders resembled startled rabbits as (too late) they came running out to meet the pair of attackers.

    With a couple of defenders advancing to the ball, it seems that no one considered the opposition player stood 15 yards outside of our box awaiting a simple pass. When he received the ball another shockwave seemed to pass through our defenders when they spotted the acres of space he had to advance into…

    From 25 yards one might consider his shot ‘speculative’ – that is until the positioning of our ‘keeper’ is taken into account!

    Despite the ball having moved approximately 30 yards across the pitch from its starting position at the corner flag, for some reason our keeper remained rooted to his spot within touching distance of his near post!?

    This is truly staggering. Praise was heaped upon the Shrews’ player for his shot, but he had almost half the goal to aim at – Walker didn’t get close to the shot, but it was fully a yard away from the post when it crossed the line! The opportunity was so good that any half decent player would have had a crack.

    Lord only knows what our set piece coach made of all this and indeed where he would start in correcting the mindset that would produce the behaviour of both the defenders and our keeper. Certainly his addition to the coaching team is currently showing a negative return…

    If we are to get out of the hole we have dug for ourselves, we are going to need to stop conceding from such ‘schoolboy’ defending. Our keeper is also going to have to start showing us why we got rid of a perfectly decent keeper in January…

    Windlesham Don

    Oops, got carried away with the win and forgot a couple more minuses:
    Minus – Joe Pigott seems to be spending more and more time sat on the floor with his arms outstretched appealing to the ref. As a Lon striker he needs to be strong, hold the ball up and bring our attacking midfielders into the game. Sadly, I am not sure that Joe’s first touch is good enough to play this role. It may seem like sacrilege to suggest it, but a fit Ollie Palmer may fulfil this role better…
    Minus – Ryan Longman has not adjusted to his new role, on the left side of an attacking midfield three, as well as hoped and seems to have lost a little confidence. He had a golden chance to put us one up just before half time on Tuesday, but put a tame shot too close to the keeper. He needs to adapt, as I believe the 4-2-3-1 formation is the best shape for us for the remainder of the season.

    Windlesham Don

    Tuesday’s morale boosting victory would have given the squad confidence going into a tough game today.
    A clean sheet, although less than convincing at times, would also have helped lift spirits.

    Having watched the match on Follow here are my plusses and minuses:
    Plus – Jack Rudoni gets better and more confident with every match. His winner stood above everything else in a match often lacking in quality. We need to get him signed up so that when he inevitably gets lured to the big time, we receive a seven figure sum for him.
    Plus – Darnell Johnson was drafted in to RB to counter the ‘physical’ approach of the Gills and their two man mountain strikers. However, as well as being solid in defence he showed himself to be surprisingly adept supporting the attack. Personally, I’d move him back to CB and bring in McLoughlin against the normal size of opposition, but it will be interesting to see if Robbo keeps the same back four after the clean sheet.
    Plus – Midfield again links up far better than during the Hodges era. Dobson and Woodyard holding, with Chislett, Rudoni and Longman able to attack looks a far better unit.
    Plus – Chislett is returning to his form of the first month of the season. He seems to suit the role pulling the strings in attack alongside Rudoni.
    Minus – Sam Walker is inspiring no confidence whatsoever. Weak commanding his 6 yard box and slow getting down to low shots – as a keeper you need to be good at at least one of these. I cannot recall an impressive save he has made since his arrival and the swap for Trueman is looking a poor one.
    Minus – Defence is still panicking when under pressure. At the start of the second half Gillingham put us under pressure, but we didn’t have the composure to pass our way out of defence.
    Minus – Will, after a strong performance at Wigan seems to have reverted to his nervous self. I am constantly waiting for a mistake from him.

    Hull will be looking for a win without a doubt. Having slipped out of the top two with a poor run of form they cannot afford to drop points against the likes of us. They have scored more goals away from home than any team in the division and have a formidable strike force, with Mallik Wilks being on fire at the moment.

    However, this may play into our hands if we can frustrate them into the latter stages of the match. I am not confident at all for today, but I would like to see further evidence of Robbo moulding the team into an effective unit.

    Our season will not be defined by matches such as today – we need to have a confident and fully fit squad for the run of fixtures in the second half of March, when we play Burton, Bristol Rovers, Wigan, Rochdale and Northampton all in the space of 18 days.

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