As it seems Woods will not be playing it can only be Hodges who will start along side Robertson, while I would hope that Ellis will at least now make the bench, I won't hold my breath. I would also expect that Hodges will be made the captain for this game, good older head and playing in the position that I think captains should play, as they see the whole game in front better from there.
Does Bucks stick with Benyon who got on the score sheet in the last game? he might but is this the sort of game where Benyon will do well, or will it need a stronger person up with Sills to stand up to the stronger challenges that are going to come the forwards way. Christie looked like he was more than capable of getting goals and he could also be a starter. Not going to be easy to know who to put up front, but as long as Bucks will change it if its not working, then we will get goals for sure.
If anyone is driving up the A43 from Northampton to Kettering it has been closed for the past few weekends due to resurfacing work. Parking is very much in the streets, altough the Coop superstore is nearby. [glow=yellow,2,300]I never go in any pubs nearby so cannot comment on them.[/glow] It is going to be a very nervy afternoon and we will have to be on top form to get a result.
It could well be that Green will be influential if he gets a start.
We will be coming in from the Coventry direction along the M6, A14, A4300, A6003.
Does anybody know a decent place to eat, Pub Lunch, along that route or is there somewhere nice in Kettering itself??
Also, having not been there before, is the Co-op the best place to park?? Any parking suggestions would be most welcome.
Post by ohtobeatplainmoor on Feb 21, 2009 10:31:21 GMT
It's going to be a slog today (although that is usually the case!). TBH I would be most happy with a point if we managed to follow it up with a win on Tuesday at home to FGR, but I predict 3 points out of these two games (all of which coming on Tuesday!). Given that a win today would put Kettering's play-off push back on-track (they've only played 11 home games compared to our 16!) we really need to show our credentials by getting a decent result.
One of the key factors of the how the match will go for us is the performance of Wroe - will he produce the sort of display that he is capable of, or in the absence of Hargeraves will be a passenger and be subbed early? I hope that his appearance against Malta in the week will give him the drive to put in a 5* performance.
With regards to the team changes, I would be surprised if Hodges doesn't return to the defence in place of Woods. I would expect to see Thompson come straight into the first team, although not necesarily as a direct positional replacement for Hargreaves but to add some "get at 'em" to the team. Would Bucks make the change of putting Mansell into he midfield and put Robertson at right back? I wouldn't expect this but Bucks isn't afraid to spring surprises.
Up-front I think that Christie will start. It is often the case that players step-up a gear against a club that they have recently left (and in fairly bizarre circumsances in this case!!). Whether this alongside Sills (or even ahead of Sills) remains to be seen. I do think that Benyon will be back on the bench today.
I will not be on-line during todays game as I'm going to get a rare treat this afternoon and that is to go and watch Ant(TUAFC1) play at Clennon Valley.It must be two years since I last saw him play, he only stopped playing as some felt they could get him to use his position as the South Devon Registration Secretary to their advantage, something that was never going to happen.
But he has missed playing and joined a team a few months ago, he has been working hard trying to get fit, but has had no problems finding the net, but then he has always been able to score goals for fun. Now 33 years old, was it really 27 years ago I watched him start his first game at the age of six and then watched him in his 4th game bang in 8 goals. Since then I have watched him in 100's of games and I have always felt so very proud of him and if only he knew just how much pleasure he has given my over the years.
Merse is also a proud dad as his young Anthony enjoys the benefit of first class coaching and I'm so pleased that merse makes himself a big part of it. One thing I noticed when Ant was in boy teams and I was helping the club he played for, was how so many parents would just drop of their kids and then leave, the club acted as nothing more than a baby sitter to some parents.
If you have a young boy who loves football, try and share it with him, go and stand and support him from the touch lines, it really will be worth it in the end. Mind you I have to stand there and I'm not allowed to shout out to Ant during games these days, its to do with something called street cred? but then I don't need to as he knows what to do out on the pitch.
So its time to check my batteries on my small radio, so I can listen to the game, then face the walk to Clennon Valley, I will probably live to regret walking there, but the sun is out and I need the exercise, just hope I can get a lift home back up the hill
We should get some match reports much later tonight and I look forward to them, Merse will do one I'm sure, but they will have to get him out of the pub first, so It will not be too early ;D
Will have to wait and hear the views from those who went today, I was trying to watch a game and have another one in my ear, but it seemed if some players were not at it from the start and you can't afford to give teams a two goal lead.
It sounded as if we threw everything at them in the second half and maybe deserved to get at least a draw. Maybe the changes up front should have been made earlier as Green and Carayol seemed to have a big impact, also Christie was in the action and I would have like to have seen him start the game.
its only 3 point from 9 and if we are going to make the play-offs we need to do better and now Tuesday game becomes a really must win game as others around us are not standing around waiting for us. I'm sure some reports will say how well we played in the second half, but we lost it in the first half and no matter how well we did do in the second half we lost the game and come away with nothing to show for our efforts.
I said this would be a tough one, and so it turned out..................bloody hell just getting there on time was tough enough what with stationary traffic queued on the approaches to the North Circular and then the M1 BEFORE we had cleared Watford! So after much ducking and diving, re-routing and diverting; we rolled into Rockingham Road's shabby little social club at 2.15.
Were some players not at the races at the off, or were Kettering super revved? Whatever, we were facing a low sun and struggling somewhat to come to terms with the opening exchanges and the first goal I suppose could be put down a little to Robertson's naiivety in "showing himself" to the talented Jean - Paul Marna a little too early and the striker was able to wriggle free to beat Bevan with a fairly regulation shot low across him into the bottom right hand corner - good finish and proof of the value of taking your opportunities however early in the game.
If that wasn't enough, Carlisle then compounded matters by getting penalised in a way that has become depressingly repetitive for us by making an off balance challenge and raising his arm in the air whilst leaning back - result ANOTHER SOFT PENALTY duly stuck away and we're two nil down with just a dozen minutes on the clock. I must admit at the time I thought it was Mansell who had given the penalty away as the challenge was so much in his "style"- EDIT: It seems I was right and the BBC wrong according to the Kettering official site report that cites Mansell as the culprit! I could well imagine that Bucks was livid at the ref for penalising Carlisle but as a former ref AND a player I would venture that if you challenge like that you are always going to risk a penalty being given. However, our manager DID seem to be requesting a "word with the ref" as they went in at half time and I don't think the ref was showing any arrogance or sign of in approachability as they went down the tunnel below me.
I thought we had seen enough from playing 4-4-1-1 away from home and had enough success to use it today but Bucks went with 4-4-2 and yet again and so depressingly Benyon had about as much influence on Big Nasty Guy Branston as a fly on a gorilla. Benyon achieved nothing in the entire time he was on save getting brought down in the channel just to the right of the penalty area but fell in such a feminine way that the ref glared at him for having the temerity to "try it on". Personally I thought it WAS a free kick, but NOT the penalty OUR fans behind the goal wanted and to be honest if you're going to fall like that you'll get Jack Shit in this "Big Boy's League" Another foul on him WAS given but correctly given an inch or two short of the penalty area too, so as far as near penalties went we were not getting any (undeserved) luck.
None of it was needed however when Nicholson absolutely hammered an Exocet past Harper in the home goal from the second of those free kicks taking a short tee up from Carlisle(?) before unleashing something that would have taken the keeper's head off had it got in the way!
We came out for the second half with extra bight and an exact reversal of the first half resulted with our team taking the game to the opposition, finding space and beginning to create chances but in reality nothing was going to up the liklihood of scoring again until Benyon was dispatched to the bench (oh, shock horror; he failed to shake the manager's hand, make eye contact and was even seen to shake his head...................is this the last we shall see of young Elliott? :
Fascinatingly we then saw the pairing of Green and Christie together up front with Sills slightly withdrawn behind them and a masterclass in wing play from Caryol who truly motored past both left and right full back with ease, getting in some decent crosses and generally causing discomfort for the big home back four.
I thought Thompson came in and put up a good show, but I thought Wroe looked out of place on a bobbly uneven pitch surrounded by marauding "giants" - if ever there was a game we need Greavsie in, it was this one!
Still, Kettering have now won a creditable half a dozen home games this season and only lost three. They are a side to command respect and a heck of a hard proposition on their own turf. I thought their little midfielder Andre Boucaud showed technique, awareness and class way above BSP standard and I though Marna too looked a player of genuine potential to play at a higher level. From our point of view I would say that frustratingly the two players who stood out in the same context both emerged from our subs' bench - perhaps that was the difference at the end of the day and what swung a very close game at the close away from us. Who knows? it might not have panned out that way had they been in the starting line up but Green and Caryol continue to show to me that they are indeed players of class with great technique but lacking (and no-one can blame for this) the experience to produce consistently and finish off their fantastic approach work. That will come in time if they are afforded the patience and respect their undoubted talent deserve...................you can't buy experience like they are getting and you can't buy talent like they possess when you are at OUR level because such talent is simply priceless and I DO feel we should appreciate these youngsters and give them time to grow into a type of football that is completely alien to the sort they have developed in, but unfortunately the type of football we ply our trade in.
So, the slog to the play offs goes on and although we lost today we have to remain positive and look forward to reversing the result when the Poppies come to Plainmoor in little over a month's time.
many thanks for you first class report merse, it did sound on the radio that the subs were very effective and maybe now is the time for Bucks to drop the ones who have failed to perform well in recent game and give the Young ones the chance they truly deserve.
Just a couple of brief points before I head off to sleep with a body full of ibuprofen to get rid of a stinking headache, and imodium stopping the shits from the Kettering horse burger!!
Game really was dross until Buckle brought on Carayol and Green, and later (too late) Christie.
First 13 minutes we never got going, rest of the half wasn't much better although Kettering seemed fairly happy that we weren't going to score and cantered through it really.
Nicho's goal was a bullet of the highest order!
Second half much better, Kettering had only a couple of chances while we were pushing forward more and more.
But again it's the other 'c' word that cost us - COMPOSURE!
Carayol, Christie (twice), Green, Wroe, Robertson, Sills all could have scored equalisers/winners. Lee Harper also made an incredible reaction save seconds into the second half from a deflected long ranger from Wroe - had that gone in we would have won comfortably.
Buckle MUST start Carayol, Green and Christie next game with Sills, Dsane and Benyon stepping down. Strange decision to take Carlisle off when he was coming into the game and Roscoe was having an absolute shocker.
I've been a fan, but that was the worst I have ever seen him play...needs to be dropped and quickly...was taking some wicked stick from some in the crowd as well (lots of people in our end there I didn't recognise, perhaps a contingent from Leeds?)
We missed Hargreaves and to a lesser extent Woods.
And, finally on to non football matters, if Merse ever mentions my rare navigational errors again, he needs to remember going round at least four roundabouts after missing turn offs, and going off at the wrong exit despite his navigator saying 'no not that way, no not that way, no not that way!!
I thought I was Dave's No 1 - in reality I was Dave's first!
....One of those days when you wonder why you do a 470 mile round trip i'm afraid.
We were ultimately undone by our failure to "turn up" until the 2nd half.
Kettering rocked us with 2 goals in the space of a few minutes....the 1st seemed too easy, a short through ball in between our centre halves finished with aplomb, the 2nd seemed a rather harsh handball given against Wroe, it seemed ball to hand - but the type that a home side tend to get.
We struggled to gain any kind of foothold in the contest and you feared it could get a lot worse before, and against the run of play Nicholson smashed home a free kick from the edge of the box right on the stroke of half time.......the game was a contest again!
We were much better 2nd half.......we could hardly have been worse to be fair, but failed to work their keeper enough. Kettering were forced to sit on their one goal lead and threatened on the break only very spasmodically. We must have had 80% off the posession without creating many clear cut chances.....we were once again let down by the quality of our crossing and shooting - all of our strike force were guilty of blazing high over the bar on several occasions.
It was maybe understandable why bucks started with Benyon after his performance against a poor Alty side....it proved to be a mistake today as Elliot was outmuscled time after time, Green ultimately replaced him but the change should have been made at half time. Afraid to say it but Benyon is a 20 min impact player for a promotion chasing side at this level.......a regular for a mid-lower table side. Lets hope that Green is back in the fold after his bright cameo today. We missed the physical and ariel prescence of Hargreaves in midfield, Thompson was off the pace badly in the 1st half today although he did improve as the game went on.
Kettering are just not the kind of side that you can afford to give a 2 goal start to.......if you dont match these kind of teams physically from the start then you are going to struggle.
A game we shouldnt have lost...
This season is becoming more frustrating by the week...
Thanks Andy and jmgull for your reports, hope those head pains go soon Andy, merse miss a turn, surely not ;D Jim its games like that makes you wonder why you do travel those 470 miles, respect to you and all the others for doing it and trying to play your part as a supporter, just need the team now to start doing their part properly