Having slept on it, here's my take on the game:
I actually think we were a lot closer to Worthing than the scoreline suggests, another game of fine margins and frustratingly (I seem to use that word a lot), we didn't take our chances when were well on top towards the end of the first half - Worthing looked really vulnerable at this point. Half time came at a bad time for us, it was only a matter of time before we equalized, and how Chaney didn't get on the end of that ball across the goal, I don't know. That said, we absolutely must cut out the individual errors, their first goal was a bit of a lucky break leading up to it from memory, but they cut though us far too easily. They're clearly a dangerous side, with pace in wide areas and looked to pass the ball in every position, which was nice to see, but I do wonder how they'll go doing this on heavy winter pitches.
We started the second half asleep, and this was the most disappointing thing for me, we switched off badly leading up to the penalty, and Hatton was in a no win situation: 2-0 or 10 men. With hindsight he probably made the wrong choice, especially with so many of our full backs now injured, but it's a split second thing, and I don't blame him, especially when Wright saved the pen (how many times have we seen that now?). After this and when they scored their second, we were right up against it, a side moving the ball well, being patient with the ball, switching play and stretching us in all areas, and for me it was only a matter of time before we saw another goal. It was a pleasant surprise that it was us that scored it, and for 5 minutes or so, we actually looked like we had a sniff of getting something, especially from set pieces. Sadly the inevitable happened, Worthing worked the ball really well down the left, and scored a nice 3rd putting the game to bed... after this it was damage limitation, and Wright made a couple of smart saves towards the end to keep the score slightly more respectable (insofar as 1-4 can be respectable).
I know that some of Andy's substitutions have been a little formulaic at times, but I don't think he can be accused of that in this game. We had 2 genuine injuries, and his hand was forced. As for Rumens for Parcell, Mickey was playing right back / right wing back at this point, and we were still (just) in the game, so bringing on a forward wouldn't have been the right choice for me. I suspect the thinking was "try to contain them as much as possible, and then maybe nick something from a set piece" - I don't have a problem with that. Bringing on Hope rather than Adams I don't think matters particularly either, they both bring different things - once we were effectively down to 9 with Sutton injured we could have brought on Lionel Messi and still lost the game.
- The first half performance, especially the last part of the half, where we clearly rattled a good side, and probably should have been level if not ahead at the break on chances.
- Bricknell looks sharper than when I saw him last, won and dispatched a pen, and will be a real asset all season.
- Chaney looked good when he came on, and hopefully will have a big part to play.
- We didn't give up at any point, and judging by some of the tackles made in the second half, you could see that the players cared.
- Joe Wright (don't need to say anymore on that point)
- We don't take nearly enough of the chances we make.
- We keep making silly mistakes / switching off, which is costing us so many points. Whether this is tactical, or individual errors, I'm not sure, but it's SO frustrating.
- We now have 3 full backs either injured or suspended.
Although disappointing, I'm not nearly as downbeat as I was after the Mertsham and especially Brightlingsea games - those were games that we could and should have won, this was a game against a side who I expect to be either top, or right up there at the end of the season - we weren't far off matching them, and were better than them in the first half (in my view). I'm not sure I buy into all the questioning of Andy's tactics either, he's clearly got a decent track record with a system that works, and whilst we're competing at the right end of the table he's justified in what he's doing. We also have a lot of good midfielders in the squad, and probably just one stand out forward in Bricknell, I think this is why we end up playing Youngs just off Bricknell, rather than two up front. If you look at our bench we had Chaney and Greene, plus 5 very capable starting midfielders, I don't see that strength in depth in forwards, so actually don't think it would improve us playing a second out and out striker. That said (and I know I always say this) football is all about opinions, and this is mine... I'm not begrudging anyone else their views if they're constructive.
What I do note at times from reading this forum is that there seems to be a disproportionately strong reaction to losing games compared to praise when things are going well. I get that people are down/annoyed/frustrated when we lose, but we aren't going to win every game. Yes we could be higher in the league had we turned a few draws into wins, but on the flip side, we're still right up there in the mix, aren't (in my view) playing badly and hopefully have plenty more to give, especially as we're only a third of the way through the season.
Glass half full, keep believing, keep supporting 💪