Saturday 1st October 2005
By Shaun Keddle
Another defeat due to a characterless performance with no fight or passion.
Three 2-0 defeats in a row has seen my worst run of form as a manager and it''s something that I am not pleased about at all. I don''t really know what else I can write to try and motivate my team and get the spirit of old back which saw us win the Sevenoaks Cup last season.
Two defensive errors gifted Lanes End the chance to progress in the Kent Cup as we have not learned from our mistakes. Not long before half time a floated ball to the back post was not dealt with and three defenders were left stationary and did not react to Jumbo''s call. Unfortunately for us, the Lanes End forward reacted first and poked the ball into the net from a few yards out. 10 minutes into the second half and another defensive error saw us hold onto the ball for too long before their left winger won the ball back and fed it across the box to the centre midfielder who slotted the ball into the path of the flying winger who hammered the ball past Jumbo''s near past. Despite being around 35 minutes left to play we might have well have shaken hands there and then, placed a tombstone in the middle of the pitch and walked off. Our heads were down, we were despondent, the body language was wrong and we did not want to do the hard work and get ourselves back into the fixture.
Defensively as a team we were shocking as we did not want to track our runners or graft back to help out our own team mates. 2-0 it finished, with nobody to blame but ourselves. Good luck to Lanes End in the next round.
Despite us being poor, Richard Davis had a good battle with their centre forward and it was good to see him relish the challenge. Jamie Williams was outstanding on the wing and was the only player who really drove at the opposition, tracked his man when he had to and got kicked for the cause. Despite two nasty tackles on Jamie, he continued to be strong and was a threat to the end. Sam Small did okay in the middle considering it was his first start there and I am sure will get wiser and improve through time.
All across the park we were off our men and simply not tight enough and not sharp enough. Once again we did not score, which makes it over 4.5 hours worth of games and no goals. We had plenty of chances to take the lead, but once again our finishing was blighted by incorrect decisions and too many chances made easy for the keeper. How we did not score was again a mystery, but when we are firing blanks we need to be solid at the back and our defensive displays of recent have not been good.
What we need to do is get out of this horrible rut. A Saturday night out (15/10 TBA) is being organised as well as training being cancelled on October 12th, on the promise that we all go out together and watch England play (venue open for suggestions). If anyone has any suggestions in what we can do, or what I can do is open for suggestions. What I am I doing wrong as I badly need to know?
We need to re-kindle the spirit of last season, we know we can do it, we all need to stick together and get through this together.
This week it''s back to the league and we have Eltham Palace, a team that we have already beaten this season. Once again availability is p*ss poor and therefore my options are limited. For at least the next 4 weeks attendance and commitment will be shocking, but we have to ride the storm and pull through this bad patch. The players that I have available are still easily good enough to win any game in this division. I want more from my players and it really is up to you guys to start sorting it out. I have yet to pick a team this season, yet alone make a selection decision. I really need everyone to review their availability and give the respect that your team mates and myself deserve.
Treat Saturday as the biggest game of the season.