Sunday 15th February 2009
By Vince Wray
It’s never easy putting these reports together when we’ve had a bad day and today wasn’t a good one for us!
As the game unfolded we gradually lost our way and in the end were a well beaten team, but the scoreline does flatter Lessa a great deal. We just didn’t perform as a team today, there were many players who had a below par day and there was little to shout about. It was such a different performance to last time out against Otford when we put in one of our best performances of the season.
It’s fair to say that we just haven’t reached any level of consistency this season. This has been caused by a continual lack of player availability and on occasions a general lack of commitment. As managers, trying to put 11 players together on Saturday night is no fun and then sometimes finding on the morning of the game that 11 has become 9 or 10 is soul destroying and I’m sure that this instability translates in player body language and attitude on the pitch, in any case it definitely doesn’t help the cause. I know that most Sunday teams have similar problems with players but communication between players and managers is a must – whatever the situation.
Thank you to Paul Parsons for stepping in late on. However, we have proved that we can compete and win games, what we have to do now is do that on a regular basis and rid ourselves of our Jekyll and Hyde character.
We started quite well and took the lead when Adams finished off his own persistent work running the ball into the net after a slip from their defender. Our passing and play around the opposition’s box was always the ‘wrong’ choice and created an element of frustration, there was not enough cutting edge to our finishing and we didn’t close them down quickly enough and win enough tackles.
We did our usual thing after scoring – switched off! Lessa made us pay heavily. First of all, we conceded another goal when they took an early free kick and we were left embarrassed scratching our heads. Within minutes Lessa had thumped home another 2 goals after some hesitant defending in our own area, we then just melted out of the half. Prior to this we had been warned, we discussed before the game Lessa’s aerial power and we didn’t get off to a good enough start in that sense. We didn’t win enough in our own box and we didn’t dominate the situation. Burkett had made a couple of decent saves to keep the scores level but the Lessa pressure paid off.
The 2nd half was better from us and we had a lot possession, Lessa were camped deep in their own half and we couldn’t find a way around them. Walsham and Wray should have done better with chances which could have put us right back in the game but it didn’t happen for us. Lessa were playing mainly on the breakaway and we were made to pay for our lack of concentration. Lessa were helped with some inept defending and just a general lack of back tracking and marking on our part. Prior to the 2nd half Lessa goal burst, Burkett had pulled off a great double save to keep us in it. But we couldn’t go on from there and things just got worse. In between Pragnell got his head to a corner from Wray to reduce the arrears, but again we couldn’t build on it.
We certainly could have played a lot better today and must learn quickly from our mistakes because they do get repeated far too often. We are definitely better than what we showed today and we have to put in more performances like the Otford one mentioned earlier.
We play Kenningwell this Sunday and we will have to improve massively to get something out of the game. We definitely have the ability to do well in this fixture but it will depend on player availability and our own self belief and application. We are better – far better – than today’s performance showed, next week we must show it!