We really do need to start winning some games now. A paltry draw against a pretty lowly side does not give much of a boost when you are in the bottom four, neither does it give a decent platform to build upon. We have had all the platitudes - work harder, boys v men, training hard to eliminate failings and the apologies. Just a little concerned that as we move into the middle part of the season that we do not appear to have the tools to climb the table. Perhaps I am wrong and we will trash Wrexham (and I hope we do) but can't help thinking another home defeat is on the way!
Sounds as if they continued the improvement from a few weeks ago and were able to put Basingstoke behind them.
Have to agree with midlandstufc. The only way we're going to survive is if they can show a bit of passion.
Marsh's actions today (no matter the cause) put the team under unnecessary pressure for the last 16 minutes or so and now KN can't call on him for the next 3 games. That's not passion, it's just stupidity; particularly when the offence was against a team mate.
Marsh (or KN or RH) needs to get a grip of his temper, because his behaviour today was total nonsense.
Fair comment. But it has been described as "controversial" and a "minor spat". Will be interesting to see it if footage is posted online.
Once again, our problem seems to be converting pressure into goals. With Marsh out for three games (silly sod) I would imagine the goal well is particularly dry. I know Nico keeps harping on about the answer being in the building, but quite obviously, it is not. I know that Hargreaves went overboard on the loanee front (indeed, he brought in almost as many guys as hung out of Princess Di) but I now feel the time is right to get someone who actually knows where the goal is!
A paltry draw against a pretty lowly side does not give much of a boost when you are in the bottom four, neither does it give a decent platform to build upon. We have had all the platitudes - work harder, boys v men, training hard to eliminate failings and the apologies.
If we were Forest Green Rovers then I'd be more inclined to view it as a paltry draw, but we've not got a team of quality/well paid players and it was an away game against a side higher in the League than us and we got a valuable point. As was the point gained in the previous away League game at Woking, and as were the 3 points from the away game before that at Southport who were above us at the time.
It seems that only a 'wonder strike, goal of the season contender' deprived us of all three points and keeping a clean sheet yesterday. For me these are signs that a decentplatform is being developed on which to make some steady progress. Let's just look back a very short while to those last 4 League games before Nico's arrival, when we had the various talents of Cox, Ramshaw and Director of Football (the people who oversaw the descent into the relegation zone in the first place remember) organising us, and the record shows we conceded 13 goals. Contrast that with Nico's last 4 League games which reveal a goals against record of 4. What is actually 'paltry' is the lack of resources that Nico has with which to build anything better, and therefore I see no option than to accept that the platform will be constructed more slowly than a more affluent club could go about the task.
If you're not scoring goals you've got a problem. If you're not scoring goals and neither are you creating goalscoring chances then there's an even bigger problem to solve. But we do now do have the 'platform' of some decent approach play, forcing opposing keepers into good saves and racking up decent goalscoring chances. So why do we not do the simple bit of taking notice of Reg's conclusion that : I now feel the time is right to get someone who actually knows where the goal is!
Acquiring someone who knows where the goal is, is traditionally the toughest task; it's probably why good forwards have always cost more than good defenders. If a club has someone who knows where the goal is, why don't they want to keep him ?, why is there no club above one languishing in the relegation zone that wouldn't snap up such a player ?, if he can score goals then our offer of giving him a bit of petrol money, to pay for his fish & chips twice a week, and the chance to spend most of Christmas away from his family while on loan down in deepest Devon, is one it would take any semi competent striker less than 15 seconds to reject, followed by another 5 minutes to stop laughing.
The much improved creative/build up play is the platform that wasn't there before. Fairhurst is now much closer to a return, Campion could be useful with a bit more match fitness. Despite his current ban, in Marsh we now have a player on our books with real promise, who is not the dud signing that could have been assumed by his non-use by Cox.
Those opposed to Nico from the day of his appointment are still working hard to downplay the gradual improvements he's achieved so far. Even the CEO's attempts to get to Altrincham to watch the team play brought him just as much criticism as praise. TFF members so far, haven't gone out of their way to magnify the negatives while simultaneously turning a blind eye to anything positive..... long may that continue. Any new manager in his first job would benefit from a fair crack of the whip from his team's own supporters, and it would be good to see Nico continue to get that here.
We all know that even half decent strikers are like rocking-horse shite to find! What i'm saying is, if, as Nico has already stated, he has contacts with premiershite clubs, now (with Marsh out for a while) could be a good time to test the water so to speak. I can remember a Grimsby Town fan recently mentioning they had a Hull player on loan and he was mustard. Hargreaves over did it somewhat, but in the end he found a good player...forgotten his bloody name!
Anyway, going to give you a best poster for the above...that's if I can find the bloody button!
Nope, couldn't find that bloody button again ~ did give you a thumbs up though!
With all due respect to Willand Rovers, this was the first proper away trip of the season for me.
We were excellent first half. Good shape to the team. We totally dominated an admittedly poor Altrincham side. Marsh was a constant threat up top and Nico and Butler linked up very well down the left side.
Lavercombe may not be the finished article but he inspires far more confidence than Speiss, Rice and Seabright. Not afraid to charge out of his box to clear danger when necessary and seems to make up his mind up quickly when he has to.
Smith has looked decent all season, but MacDonald now looks like a player again after looking like a lost soul. The back four which has been a shambles suddenly looks quite solid.
The lop-sided bench was always a worry. Options for chasing the game, but no replacements for the back four, the middle two or even the wide players without weakening the solid two banks of four.
Heslop had not been our best player by any means, but he had been part of a unit that clearly won the midfield battle. With his departure, we had no option but to move Butler inside.
Who would come on wide left? I thought Briscoe might bring a bit of nous and experience, even if lacking energy. Hancox might at least have brought some energy and work rate even if he is short of being Conference-ready. Murombedzi added very little. Nico, who had enjoyed great freedom with Butler covering him, was suddenly pinned back defending the left flank single-handed.
In the second half we were nowhere near as solid a unit as in the first. Alty, who had been poor in the first half, upped their game a notch or two.
We still looked like keeping a clean sheet and bagging three points until that cracker of a goal. Lavercombe had no chance.
Didn't see the Marsh incident so cannot comment. We did not look too threatened when down to 10.
So some encouraging signs which seemed to continue the improvement seen in the last couple of home games, but you cannot help but feel that it was a great chance to land three points against a poor team thrown away.
I don't think we are dead and buried by any means, but neither do I think we will race miles clear of the drop zone. We are in the thick of a relegation battle - which is better than where we looked to be heading a few weeks ago.