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Walton Casuals 4 Hartley 3

Post by VINTY - 20-11-2021, 23:03

One does not know where to begin this sorry saga and where to end it. I am afraid that after the last two games one wrongly thought that at last there would be a decent fought out game by two complete sides, but again due to the imperial officialdom this was never going to happen and we again alas ended up with nine men on the field.
We were so bad in the first half that we spent the whole time chasing shadows, lacking any imagination, as usual beaten to the ball, and we did not have the ability to cover each other's back even if we tried. Four down in about half an hour, and even the usually competent Luke in goal was fast losing confidence in himself let alone what was in front of him, says it all. The only blip in the sky was that after some good movement for the first time we actually got on the scoresheet just before half-time. 4-1 looked better than 4-0.
Why was the second half so different? It was obvious that the Casuals had taken their foot off the pedal and were content to hold on to their lead, which is never a wise thing to do even against our team lacking composure and confidence, but then who set the stadium alight, not a player naturally, but our old man the twelfth man. He decided in his wisdom to issue a straight red card to poor old Fitch for trying to step over a fallen player, obviously deeming that he had kicked and trampled on him while on the ground. Everyone in football knows if that happened there would have been an almighty bust up and ugly protestations, but there was none of that because there was not a lot to it. But he was determined to change the situation, show who was boss, so we were again down to ten men. We were so incensed that we started to play with more gusto and enthusiasm and it was not long before a Parker goalbound shot hit an arm and, to our utter amazement, he gave a penalty which Mitch duly dispatched. We still then surged forward and although we left large gaps for them to counterattack, after some good work down the left the cross was fired in by Gardner. 4-3.... hell, we had a chance. We only needed one slice of luck, but that went to the opposition when there was a coming together between two players sprinting backwards, the official awarded a freekick and then red-carded Taylor, so we then ended up with nine players again on the field and our efforts were all in vain.
So what is the prognosis? The facts are 5 red cards and umpteen yellow cards in the last three games. That must now make us the dirtiest team in the league on the surface, although there was not even a dirty tackle this afternoon, but that does not produce the end result. It is now blatantly obvious that from now on officials will be aware of our situation and will act accordingly. They do not use common sense because the FA will back them whatever they do rightly or wrongly. We know we shall not win one of those five red cards on appeal because they do not listen to the clubs. It's gone on for years. I could go on bleating about this until I am blue in the face but it is a waste of time.
But what about the team and the management?
What's going wrong? Is it the tactics? Is it the formation? Is it because the squad is just not good enough? Is there some kind of void between the players and management? Is the management expecting too much from the players? It can be all manner of things, but somehow it needs to be sorted out and quickly. One thing I would humbly suggest is that we try to up the tempo, put pressure on the opposition, harry their defences, but the trouble is we get far too exposed defensively. I expect Luke in goal mentions this weekly. Another big game Tuesday. It's over to you Millers, with all your experience, to try and sort out, that is if we have enough players standing!!!
We are still behind you to get it right. UP THE ROW
  • Tyler

    21-11-2021, 13:35

    My understanding of the red cards/suspensions is that, unless an appeal is successful and the red card is overturned, the players miss the following matches:

    Kingsley Eshun (3 matches): Yate, Folkestone, Poole

    Mitchell Parker (3 matches): Same as above

    Dan Fitchett (3 matches): Folkestone, Poole, Weston-super-Mare

    Harry Taylor (1 match): Folkestone
  • Mick

    20-11-2021, 23:51

    Vinty - I think you have it spot on. There is so much publicity given to the reasons why Referees should be respected. This hinges around the current shortage of officials being recruited. There should however also be a responsibility on Assessors to give feed back to individual officials regarding common sense and the correct application of the "stepped approach" to cautioning players. This is beginning to look like a revenue producing exercise and too many officials appear to have huge ego's that need to be inflated further and never questioned. It is certainly not the Referees job to be the "Star of the Show". The best Referees in fact are those who are barely noticed or remembered. Vinty has also correctly called out on the fact that appealing decisions is indeed a waste of time as the governing bodies do not respect grass root Clubs. Indeed, we fans know that Millers will find a way and deserves to be supported in his efforts. :-)
    • KOB

      21-11-2021, 21:43

      I feel I ought to amend something in my previous post here, as I've been unfair to the current squad. I said we have a few players who are past their prime. That was true before Millers did the reshuffle, less so now. The balance between younger and more experienced players is better now. Also, my thanks to Tyler for pointing out that Harry gets a one match ban for what he did, not three. That's good.
      Still finding it hard to understand why we started so badly again. It's a tough time for Millers and his coaching staff, but if anyone can solve the issues, he can.
    • KOB

      21-11-2021, 12:38

      Like Rob I've not been getting to games recently and so I have to rely on what I'm reading and what I know of the players we have. One thing is clear, there is a fundamental issue with the team. No disrespect to Casuals, but not in my worse nightmare did I think we would be 4 down in the first half-hour.

      I looked at the teamsheet before kick-off and alarm bells sounded. I assume we went with three up front (Arge, Dan and Mitch). Josh can do a defensive midfield role, but Reece and Jordan are attacking midfielders. That equates to very little cover for the defence. Someone tell me I've got that wrong. We keep trying to play with three strikers but we don't have the midfielders to carry it off. If anything, the fact that we have attacking midfielders (include Reece Robins in that) there could be an argument to go with one central striker, but two at most.

      Home truths - we don't have the resources to play at this level. As a consequence, Millers has his hands tied to a large extent. Liddle, for example, trained with us in the summer, but we couldn't afford him. Don't get me wrong, we have some very good players. But we also have a few who are past their prime. It truly pains me to say that, and I'm not suggesting they are not giving their all, or that as a club we aren't grateful to them. We are where we are, still trying to come out of the impact of the pandemic, with insurers who renegade on their obligations and fans who still don't feel confident leaving home. I noted the attendance yesterday, 151. That can't be sustainable for Casuals. We need crowds in excess of 300 and we're not getting it. Non-league is still in a very bad way.

      I'm not going to be looking for Millers to turn it around right now, with so many players unavailable. This means we will likely suffer several more difficult games. Somehow as a team, as supporters, we need to look for the little wins - progress in individual players, in our formation, in our belief that we are heading in the right direction.

      As is always the case when things are going pear-shaped in football, the first thing is to find a way to stop shipping goals. Stop the opposition at one end and you keep yourself in the game. But it's often not just about the defenders and keeper, or even individual players. The balance in the side seems wrong. With the right balance, and of course at least a decent level of ability, which I do think all the players have, struggling players have the heat taken off them; they have others covering at times, and that helps their own belief and confidence. If a player thinks he's on his own, he is likely to crumble under pressure.

      Workrate and energy. Crucial that we put pressure on the opposition from the start and don't let up and allow them to start to play their own game. Sounds like we showed little of either in the first half till towards the end.

      Decision making. Look, I get it, you're a defender and the forward gets past. You're embarrassed and you do anything to stop him. But Harry, the most we could have hoped for was an unlikely point. Now we lose you for 3 games. Bad decision but we hopefully all learn from our bad decisions.

      The FA - a shambles of an organisation for decades, protecting their empire with the zeal of the medieval church in the times of the inquisition. Instead of proclaiming people to be witches so they could burn anyone they didn't like, they treat all but the biggest (richest) clubs with total contempt, and in so doing would send many to their graves if it wasn't for the huge band of volunteers who somehow keep the clubs alive.
      Sorry, have I been too soft on them? If it was a company without the monopoly it has, the FA would have gone bust many years ago and then, resurrected, many times since. If I didn't love the game so much, the FA would have forced me to walk well away from it a long time ago.

      There we go, my twopennies worth of light Sunday reading :-)
    • Rob

      21-11-2021, 10:10

      I have missed the last few games due to holiday and have been totally mistified by the sendings off. We have never been a dirty team so what has changed. We can beat these teams but not without 11 men on the pitch. Trouble is we are now a marked team and ref's will feel they can be harsh. Could the club face a fine for lack of dicipiline?
      I am going on Tuesday and all I want to see is us finish with 11 men becuase we need to stop this now. We are already in a dog fight at the bottom and need to get our heads back in the game.
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