Town had the chances, and but for both posts and a near miss plus a good save from two set pieces, could have won handsomely last night. That Town did not beat Gainsborough, from the Blue Square North will however be of concern to the Codfather with just 17 days between ourselves and the Crawley away trip.
With King Arthur back on the throne, Colgan again deputized. Wood and Ridley lined up on the right and left respectively either side of Watt and Kempson – an absolute Goliath of a man when you are eye level. Crikey what we lack in pace down the middle is more than compensated by a human shield and a half that Hibbert, not a small chap incidentally bounced off of. With Bore and Charlie forced to miss out Gobern and Coulson occupied the flanks with Cummins and Hudson in the centre and Peacock and Connell up front.
With another huge turnout – at least 500 sailed in a crowd of 740 (30 less than the Leeds game) – all sat down to a feast of food hopefully followed by some football too??????
A lively opening exchange suggested no one was taking this one easy as Coulson was flattened on 6 minutes. The freekick twenty yards out, saw Peacock curl a fierce drive that was well saved by a full stretch Barnes. Midway through the half The Riddler curled a twenty five yard left foot free kick inches over the bar and past the upright.
Gobern was showing some touches but not really getting up the line with Woods overlaps also being cut short by hook or by crook. Coulson meanwhile was getting little from a referee that believed in the more traditional ‘mans game`. One exchange with Connell saw his effort sail wide. Trinity to their credit were forcing their way into the game and had a couple of efforts at set pieces that suggested our centre backs could deal with all bar our own keeper.
The first saw sack the juggler Colgan create havoc with his Teflon gloves before Hibbert fluffed his lines. , Then Colgan made amends saving from Lewis McMahon. He then flapped at a cross which Leon Hibbert really should have done better with as Watts calmly cleared of the line. Very little hair not exactly blessed with pace but has so much positional sense I think he swallowed a compass as a kid.
On 40 minutes Gobern limped off with a dead leg, forcing Woods to send on Hegarty and move Coulson to the right. After a disappointing half at least the queue for the food moved quickly. Colgan was alive to the danger of a twenty-five yarder from Davies almost from the kick off. It was straight at him but it stuck this time.
This duly woke us from our slumber and some decent football arrived. Ok not so much ‘ticky tacky` but some slick interchanges none the less between Peacock, Connell and Coulson. A novel flick from Peacock and a thunderous rising drive from Connell saw Barnes earn his corn. Moments later the move of the match saw Wood overlap and plant an inch perfect cross onto the penalty spot. Everyone went for it but alas cool as a cucumber Connell saw his firm side footer cannon back off the post.
Peacock then hit the other post with the Mariners at that end shaking their heads in disbelief. With the wind in our sales a Peacock drive just failed to hit the target and Barnes did well to grasp a 25 yard Coulson excoset at the second attempt. Barnes then held a Peacock header before being relieved to see a searing Hegarty volley from just outside the box fly harmlessly over.
The Mariners were not the only team to get our second wind as Trinity sensed they too could get a result, which in turn allowed things to open up. Leary came on to an immediate clump, replacing Cummins and Hegarty dropped to left back as the Riddler hit the showers. Forbes replaced him although he went right as Coulson moved back to the left. Forbes twinkle toed up the line to deliver a delicious cross that eluded Peacock, Connell and Coulson coming in behind.
Trinity almost made us rue that miss with three efforts at the death. Cowan turned on a sixpence but alas skewed wide. Aiston`s cut back then found Waterfall who drove a piledriver over from just ten yards. Aiston then foundhimself spare on the left but could only lash his left footer wide.
Barnes, Ward, Boyce, Cowan, Spafford, Peat, Greaves, Waterfall, Mayo, Hibbert, Davies.
Subs:Beckett, McMahon, Metam, Louis, Aiston.
Colgan, Wood, Kempson, Watt, Ridley, Coulson, Hudson, Cummins, Gobern, Connell, Peacock.
Subs:Leary, Garner, Hegarty, Forbes, Dyer, Samuels.
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The Midfield & In Conclusion
Woods Quotes in the Telegraph Re Defence
“There were some good bits and there were some bits I didn’t like. We need to control the game for longer periods. “For 25 minutes at the beginning of the game there was only one team in it.
“We had total control of the game, played good football, looked a threat, but didn’t hurt them enough from the areas we got in. Credit to Gainsborough, they came back after that and probably gave us something that we’re going to have to get used to – people loading balls in the box, long throws, crosses.
“I’m not overly disappointed with the first-half but I wanted more of a cutting edge.
“We had some good build-up play without having much of an end product.
“For all the neat and tidy football we didn’t hurt them enough.
“Second half, the game got ragged. We had a good ten or 15-minute spell and probably could have scored three or four but then we got ragged and I didn’t like that. There’s a lot to work on. I want us to be better for longer periods than we were.
The Midfield & In Conclusion
“And I want more from the midfield four. They’re in and out and there’s some good bits but there’s not enough of it at the moment. They need to grab hold of the game a bit more for me and dominate. We got in some good positions with the wide players and probably didn’t produce or hurt Gainsborough enough for the areas we got in. There were some good parts. It wasn’t all negative. There was some good stuff as well, some very bright stuff, particularly early on. The link-up play in the front areas at times was very good. And as a defensive unit we looked solid, we dealt with most of what they chucked in at us. There’s lots of areas to work on but I think where we’re starting from is ok – we’re not a million miles away and they’re starting to play the sort of football that I want them to play.”