Saturday 28th February 2009
By Shaun Keddle
Guild Hung by the Ropes
‘You can’t polish a turd’ was a term once used by my old boss. I find this a very apt phrase for Saturday’s performance. When you lose three-nil, with barely a shot on target, your goalkeeper gets man of the match (taking 14 of the 17 votes) and your sub that only played the last 15 minutes also gets votes – you know you have had a total nightmare.
Right from the very first minute when Dawson burst through the centre of the park forcing Edwards into an acrobatic save, Bridon let their intentions be known. Minutes later another gilt edged chance for Bridon was blazed over the bar and further efforts could have seen the Ropes go into a three or four nil lead before the half, if it was not for some brilliance in the Guild goal by Edwards teamed with some poor finishing.
We barely got out of our half in the first half as Bridon worked hard to close us down and forced us into errors. They hunted in packs and hit us with tackles in sensible places. We on the other hand dwelled on the ball, never looked confident in possession and gave the ball away so cheaply.
Bridon opened their account with the last kick of the half when Onasanya intercepted a poor ball that was played dangerously across our back four and lashed home from 25 yards out.
One nil was the very, very least they deserved and that flattered us. We were not helped by two enforced substitutions due to injury in the first half, losing our influential skipper Judge after 40 minutes and our naturally left sided Stevens after 20 minutes. They were replaced by Williams L and Cleaver B respectively.
At the half we knew we had not even started and did not have a single attack of note. We spoke about work rate and urgency and being up for the game. We had to improve and improve quickly as the game is never won at 1-0.
The second half pretty much went the same way. Bridon maintained their appetite for the ball and kept if for long spells when they won it. We never got amongst them, we never kept the ball and we were second best to everything, especially the second ball.
Further chances came and went for the away side before Dawson converted from close range after excellent work down the right, which was a thorn in our side for the entire ninety minutes.
At two nil with still half an hour to play, there was plenty of time to get back into the fixture but we continued to be outplayed and showed no sign of urgency to try and get something back. Fullone was introduced for Eales and we went to a 3-4-3 and told to go long as our short game was simply not working. However, Bridon had other ideas and still continued to keep the ball very well with no real pressure from the home side. Bridon added a 3rd which is the least they deserved when Doherty weaved past at least 3 Guild players unchallenged and daintily finished passed the hapless Edwards.
Bridon celebrated at the end of the match, but they might as well have celebrated at the beginning as their attitude won them the game before kick-off. This is the worst that we have played all season and they probably had the easiest run out they have ever had.
Let’s be clear here; Bridon are a very good side and I expect that they will be right up there at the end of the season. They made the game easy for themselves and we made it even easier for them. From the first to the last whistle they worked tirelessly for the ball and wanted the points far more than us. They closed us down and hit us with tackles and we never responded. We had our bums felt for 90 minutes.
As stated earlier, man of the match was Edwards in the Farnborough goal who done his utmost to keep us in it with little help around the park. He pulled off some wonderful stops when required and was helpless for the three goals. Personally, I thought Warren also had a reasonable game as he continued to try and put the effort in. Fullone making his debut for the first team came off the bench and looked really comfortable and will definitely start next week provided training is attended.
Okay, enough of the negatives. Today we were taught a lesson and we need to apply what we have learned. The only positive thing to take away from this is that we will never play this badly again. Taking a beating like this can sometimes give us the kick up the backside that we need, but we have to respond positively. Responding positively means a full turn out at training on Tuesday night and a prompt start at 7pm SHARP. I want you all chomping at the bit on Tuesday as we look to work on closing down, intensity, work rate and commitment. Remember, this week - No train, no play.
Farnborough: 1. Edwards; 2. Warren; 3. Eales; 4. Judge; 5. Davis; 6. Abbott; 7. Small; 8. Selmes; 9. Perkins; 10. Cooke
Subs: 12. Cleaver B for 11. Stevens; 15. Williams, L for 4. Judge; 16. Fullone for 3 Eales
Subs not used: 17. Cannon; 14. Mace
Bridon Ropes: 1. Stone; 2. Doherty L; 3. Scott; 4. Mackle; 5. Fullnove; 6. Scott; 7. Doherty J; 8. Dawson; 9. Onasanya; 10. Maxell; 11. Crook
Subs: 12. Wilton; 14. Farrar; 15. Ratcliffe