Saturday 29th March 2008
By Sam Evans
This was a very disappointing performance. We played well in the first half and although we were 1-0 down at half time we felt very positive. However, in the second half we completely fell apart and the game turned into something of a horror show. Not many happy memories here, but for those who wish to reminisce…..
Parkhurst’s facilities are amongst the worst in our division. You have to share a changing room with the opposition which meant that Danny’s team talk was interrupted, then you have to trek a long way to the pitch. It was also throwing it down as we kicked off. Despite this we all focussed well, started brightly, and pinged the ball about nicely on the slippery surface. Much of this play was orchestrated by Richard Davies who enjoyed his return to centre midfield. Anthony Dine in left midfield, Daragh Nott in centre midfield, Richard Tapsfield in right midfield and Dan Head at centre forward also contributed well to our good passing play. Unfortunately it was one of these passing moves broke down that we conceded a goal on the break. We conceded possession down our right wing and a long clearance found their striker in space. He advanced on Toby Manchip in goal and finished well. Otherwise our defence kept things fairly tight: Terry Connor at right back, Jay Blay and Paul Parsons at centre back, and Richard Tapsfield at right back.
Despite being 1-0 down we expected to come back into the game. Parkhurst did not merit their league position (fourth) and we felt capable of scoring in the second half. Michael Seymour replaced Peter Morton and slotted into right back, Richard Tapsfield moving into right midfield. Barry Putt replaced Anthony Dine in left midfield. Anthony is struggling with a knee injury and hopefully will be fully fit soon. Our sub not used was Paul Tanton who has a groin injury and will also hopefully be fit soon.
10 minutes into the second half we conceded an unfortunate goal when a long ball evaded Toby Manchip, who otherwise had an excellent game, and their striker converted from close range. Following this we had our only real chance of the game. Another good passing move found Dan Head just inside the box but unfortunately Dan’s shot went wide. Their third goal came when they broke down our right wing and a cross to the far post found a man unmarked to score. Their fourth goal came down the left wing and Terry Connor was unfortunate to score an own goal as he attempted to clear. The other incident of note in the second half was an excellent save by Toby at close range.
Putting the score line to one side, the most disappointing thing about the second half was the way our heads dropped. We owe it to ourselves, and to Danny (who had to watch this debacle in the pouring rain), not to let this happen again. Aside from the goals we conceded, we are not doing ourselves justice if we just give up.
In terms of the positives from this game, the first thing to point was a good performance by Michael Seymour. Michael made his debut for the reserves today having moved up from the thirds and he turned in a confident performance, keen to receive the ball and contribute to our attacking play. Secondly, Barry Putt returned to the club after a period of absence and looks a class act; comfortable on the ball and intelligent in his distribution. Thirdly, as has been the case often this season, we showed that we have the quality to slice teams open when we pass the ball on the floor. What we are not doing is converting this into clear cut chances and this is something we need to address. I dare not look at our ‘goals for’ column just now, but I bet it doesn’t make for pleasant viewing. Looking forward to Saturday, we should aim to put this result behind us and play like we have been doing recently. I hope we all feel frustrated and angry about how things went today and use this to spur ourselves on.
Man of the match: Terry Connor