A fine day, and hopefully a decent sized crowd to encourage the team tonight. Wouldn't it be good to get all three points from this one ? Taking us out of the relegation zone for the first time in quite a while and dragging Halifax deeper into the mire. But despite that, I'd still view it less as a 'must win' than a 'don't lose' match.
Welcome as maximum points from tonight's encounter would be, let's above all avoid defeat. A loss will see the impetus of the unbeaten run, whereby we've been picking up points from every game played, come to a juddering halt. The optimism that's made a pleasant return for some fans would take a dent, along with some again misguidedly questioning the abilities of our legendary Manager.
You can look at several of the new faces that Nico has brought in over recent weeks and acknowledge their ability and the big contribution they've made to the impressive haul of points we've been achieving, but it's an inescapable fact that quite a few of them haven't been used to playing regularly at all this season before joining us. The two games a week schedule, coupled with far more travelling to and from away matches than they'd previously been used to, is inevitably meaning that some are showing signs of feeling the pace.
We've no money for a strong squad, so a few knackered horses will have to continue to be flogged. There are plenty more weeks for a fully fit Blissett to spearhead our attack, so I wouldn't expect a risky gamble with his fitness tonight.
Plenty of vocal support and the usual wholehearted performance from the team and we might just get the win. But if we have to settle for a draw against what's bound to be a determined Halifax side, then our league position will still indicate that there's a fighting chance of avoiding relegation as long as we all give full backing to Nico's magnificent leadership.
Last Edit: Mar 15, 2016 11:09:13 GMT by Alpine Joe
Like Nico, you do not see it as a must win, alpine. Speaking of Blissett, he compares to 'must win' and classifies the match as a 'really would like to win'. Unless he's bluffing, I'd rather he hadn't said that as it is no time to rest on our laurels or take our foot off the gas after the last six games. He won't be, I'm sure, and what he says re Blissett returning is eminently sensible, but I want the players hearing nothing but win and being much more effective in attack than Saturday. As I write, I think I might be being perhaps a bit nitpicky, though.
Wish I could be there tonight. Alty the next one for me, sadly.
A good point earned in a game that we had the upper hand in the first half but struggled in the second with Halifax perhaps squandering a couple of good chances while we almost snatched all three points at the death.
So we started with good intent and a well worked ball saw Verma shoot from just outside the area to see the ball miss by about a foot above and to the left of the far upright with the ball crashing into my neighbouring and thankfully vacant seat. Their keeper slightly misjudged a bouncing ball for which he had to make a quick adjustment which gave rise to the "dodgey keeper" chant, something that continued for the rest of the match, even into the second half...
The ball is not falling for Harrad at the moment and I suppose he would take a goal off his back side at the moment and that is almost exactly what happened! Chasing down a back pass, the clearance from the edge and to the right side of the area ricocheted off his behind to loop agonising over the bar and onto the netting, cue that chant!
Wright had a good chance albeit from a tight angle after some good pressure to put him through which their keeper saved well. Late in the half, he almost scored from a deep corner but his header went across as opposed into the goal but again he was within a metre of the by line so only had a few degrees to work with! I think Halifax's best chance in the half was when Verma gave the ball away in the midfield area and hit us on the counter.
Although Butler showed some good attacking intent throughout the game, his passing was a little wayward at times and maybe a tad lucky to get motm. Really like the look of Moore who looks very assured between the sticks!
So the second half was a bit of a struggle. We had a shot early on that went high and wide but created very little thereafter. Halifax were certainly more of a threat and had two great chances to shoot within the area but both shots were scuffed somewhat but for the second Moore adjusted his save to divert the ball wide so as to not give any follow-up chances. I think Nico saw that our forwards were tiring and replaced them with wingers which did not work too well from around the hour mark.
We did have a bit of pressure from a couple of corners near the end but the best chance was deep in injury time when Richards was put clear after some good work by Chaney but his shot was well saved so maybe not so dodgey after all?
All in all, happy with a point but may be not a coincidence that this goal less streak has gone hand in hand with Blissett's absence....