Jump to content
Fans Focus - Non League football clubs


Regular Users
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Barney last won the day on December 31 2021

Barney had the most liked content!

About Barney

  • Birthday August 23

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    On the Fence
  • Supports

Recent Profile Visitors

1,354 profile views
  1. Just an observation, but apart from Worthing, the rest of the top 5 play a fairly direct style themselves having watched them all play. Maybe when budgets are limited, and pitches are of inconsistent quality throughout the season, this is the correct way to approach the league. Certainly the best footballing side I saw was Lewes, who taught us a passing lesson at home when they won 4-1, but subsequently didn't make the play offs. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to play great possession football, but I'd also like to give us the best chance of getting promoted. As a side point, did anyone have a better view than me of the Maja sending off? I know it didn't affect the outcome at all, but the challenge looked pretty innocuous - was the red for something that came after?
  2. Good summary TCC: a very difficult result to take in a game that we could easily have shaded - thought we were better first half, and might have had a pen as well as hitting the post, but I definitely can't begrudge Hornchurch the win who are clearly a decent side, who kept knocking on the door and finally got their goals. Some frustrating goals to concede though (not winning a key header, or having anyone close to a second ball - and how long did Higgins have to control and pick his spot for their 2nd?!). I think 2-2 over 90 would have been fair, and then who knows what would have happened from there? Would have liked to have seen us make substitutes earlier, just to get some fresh legs on (either in midfield, or another centre back) and also to break up the flow of the game a bit. With the pitch as it was, I have no complaints about the way we played, I think any side trying to knock it around would have struggled, but I too would like us to recruit a couple more ball players for next season to add to the already decent squad so that we can retain the ball better, rather than looking to feed off of direct balls to Cass / Cunnington. Would like a couple more natural leaders in the team as well, I do worry about how well we communicate across the pitch too. All we can do is go again next season, we've showed with the attendance that we have a lot of potential to increase crowds, and hopefully another season of growing and improving will see us in a stronger position for when we do get promotion (it will come at some point). Obviously retaining key players, and adding to the squad will be key.
  3. We could spend a lot of time going through "what if?" scenarios, but ultimately over the course of a season you can't argue that we haven't finished where we deserved to on merit. Yes our style of play isn't the most attractive, but with Cunnington and Cass, at least we have the personnel to play direct football, and finishing 4th (or 3rd) is a fair reflection on the management and the players, and they deserve a lot of credit. As for the play offs, who knows what will happen over 1 or 2 games - as we've seen, anyone can beat anyone else on their day, so I think I'll sit on the fence as usual and give us a 1 in 4 chance of promotion 😀
  4. Congratulations Andy, very much deserved! Let's just hope it's not another case of the curse of the manager of the month award 😐
  5. Great result Saturday, and from reading the reports and watching the highlights, it sounds like we defended well, were very competitive, and deserved at least a point. Need to kick on from these last two wins and keep racking up the points, as it's still going to go down to the wire, I feel. Maybe I need to write off games more often as we seem to do well when I least expect us to.
  6. Tend to agree, with DJW and TCC, he's high and a little reckless, but it's not the most dangerous thing I've seen. Don't think we'd be able to appeal it, as there's not a clear error. I wasn't there, but sounds like it was quite a physical game, and that red might have been the culmination.
  7. Good summary TCC, I'd have us as definite second favourites, given both sides form and the fact that we're away. I'd gladly take a boring 0-0 (or an exciting 3-3) if you offered it to me now.
  8. Don't disagree with either of your points LS, albeit I don't have any info on how large our budget is and how our finances stack up vs. other teams in the league. I think Andy should be cut some slack for the first season, as he was starting from effectively zero, and I would say that we've improved the squad season by season since then (although maybe results and league position haven't always followed). To turn it around, if 6th is par for the course, would it be time to change the management if that's where we finished this year? Should we be looking to get in a new management team who might be able to overachieve, but also run the risk of starting from scratch again and maybe underachieving for a period of time? I'm not saying I know the answer, and I'm kinda glad I'm not the one who has to make the decision
  9. Some pretty balanced responses mixed in with the usual knee jerk comments when we lose a game... It was unfortunate that the game the previous week was postponed, as I feel that was our opportunity to put the two poor defeats against Stortford and Wingate right. Playing Worthing away, who have shown they're the best side in the league both this season, and in the previous two curtailed seasons wasn't what we needed, and I'd pretty much written this one off as a free hit, but not one that we were likely to get anything out of being realistic. Obviously disappointed to lose the game 0-3, but we absolutely now must start looking forward to the run in, rather than dwelling on this too much in my view, and I hope the management and the squad think the same. I think Andy and the management team do deserve a lot of credit for a lot of things, digging us out of a massive hole 5 years ago by assembling a competitive squad from almost nothing, winning a trophy a couple of years ago, and then putting together one of the most exciting groups of players that I've seen represent Town in 20+ years this season. I've said before, it's frustrating that we don't retain possession well and rely heavily on our talented attacking players to make something out of nothing to beat sides, and that we seem to lack defensive shape and organisation at times. It's a lot about game management - look at Stortford when we played them, I don't think they had nearly the attacking talent available that we did, but they were a well organised, well drilled unit who nullified us, and scrapped for every 50/50 and second ball. That's what I think we're lacking, and why we come unstuck against the better sides in the league who can stop us scoring freely. I do think we might make the playoffs unless the wheels really start to come off from here - we've proven that we can beat the lower sides in the league, and our run in, on paper looks favourable to us, although I'd much rather be playing mid table sides than teams that are fighting for their survival in the league, and there will no doubt be some banana skins along the way that we do slip up on. As others have said, it's looking more and more like 4 from 5 to make the play offs, with Worthing being worthy winners... but there's a lot of football to play. Personally, I'd say 5th is a successful season, and I'd have taken that happily in August, and whilst over two one off games, you never know what can happen, our record against the better (and better organised) sides speaks for itself. Does this mean that I don't think the management are the right people to take us forwards? I'm torn on this, I like Andy and team - they come across well whenever I've seen them interviewed and clearly care. They've shown they can assemble an excellent, and exciting squad and in spite of the shortcomings, I really enjoy watching this team. I think it's very unfair to suggest that we lack ambition as a club and don't want promotion, I think everyone at the club would agree that we want to get into the National South, but realistically that is the upper limit of our ambitions for the time being. Look at some of the cubs at that level, and the step above - they're huge sides with professional playing staff, and if we can get promoted, I'd be more than happy with consolidation/survival at that level. On the flip side, I think that we'd stand a better chance with a more organised, well drilled, maybe less individually talented team that retained possession better. I'm also very cautious as to what I wish for, as Andy and team have delivered one of the most successful seasons in our history, and any new management team coming in might well not make us more competitive. I think overall we have to be pragmatic about what we can achieve as a club (I know I'll be accused of lacking ambition here by some), but relatively speaking we don't have a massive budget, aren't bankrolled by a money man, so we have to grow sustainably and organically. This clearly takes time, but in my view we're doing it the right way - gradually growing attendances, putting in place an academy scheme, embedding ourselves in the local community, looking at other income streams. Yes I'd love to be flying up the pyramid with a promotion every 5 or 10 years, but I don't think that's realistic - I'm immensely proud of the club and all it stands for, and even if we're at this level for the foreseeable future, I think it's a fantastic achievement for all involved.
  10. Definitely a more rational and reasoned thread than the Wingate one, so thanks for all the contributors who have taken their time to post constructively - good to see Theo back again as well! Hard to argue with much of what's been said, we are no doubt a team of very talented individuals and the manager should definitely get credit for that - there have been times at this season where we have looked compact, robust and pretty good tactically, but there have been plenty more times when it has seemed like a case of relying on our talent to score at least one more than the oppo. 4-3s are great fun, and brilliant at times to watch, but I do worry about how we'll fare in the playoffs, if we do finish top 5.
  11. Exactly, and I think too many people forget this - there are two teams in a game, and no team in this league are going to roll over and just let us play - other sides do their homework. We need to be 100% on the ball in terms of tactics, motivation and execution (and maybe get a bit of luck) to get anything out of a game.
  12. Appreciate the report Ben, fully accept that we're not going to win every game, but it sounds like the nature of the defeat was particularly bad last night (albeit, it might have been different had we scored the penalty). Unlike so many people on here, I don't buy into the full doom and gloom when we lose a couple of games, but we really do need to bounce back against Leatherhead. We've been in this position before with a poor run of form up to and over Christmas, and in spite of the numerous negative predictions, turned it round in impressive style in January, so there's at least some hope. In my view, the team are 3rd in the table on merit - you can't really argue with that 2/3rd of the way through the season. I think almost everyone on here would have taken that in August, especially after the pre-season we had. Whilst I'm not necessarily that enthusiastic about the style we play under Leese, I do think that it plays to the strengths of the squad we have - I'd love to have 11 ball players across the pitch, but we don't, and the system we play is probably best suited to the personnel. If we make the playoffs, then we've hit the target most of us would have been happy with at the start of the season, if we don't, then that's the time to start discussing whether the management team are the right people to take us forwards. Whilst the wheels could well come off from here, we might also turn things around again and whilst we're still in the mix, it's disappointing how much knee jerk negativity there is on here.
  13. Not many arguments from me, but we can live in hope - this is an exciting side, with quite a bit of x factor. I'd rather be getting into the play offs, giving it a go and failing than finishing mid table, and we're still in decent shape in spite of today.
  14. Agree completely with most of what has been said - the better side won today. We were a little below par, but Stortford were very well organised, super competitive, and knew exactly how to manage a game... maybe not the most exciting to watch, but it definitely is the way to get results, as their form shows. Too many long balls, which to be honest quite often works for us: we rely on getting the ball forward quickly, and getting our quick forwards into the game in one on one situations, but Stortford just didn't give us a chance to do that - they won pretty much every header until Cunnington came on, and had 2 or 3 players there ready to pick up the second ball before we could create anything. I can't remember us creating so little in a game since Lewes beat us comfortably, and it's a shame that we don't seem to have a plan B. We huffed and puffed for much of the game, were probably marginally on top second half, but over 90 minutes, I can't begrudge them the 3 points - and yes, their 6 was excellent. Definitely time to move on, but hopefully taking some lessons from what went wrong today as Andy said. My biggest concern is how we really struggle to beat sites near the top of the table - we have been pretty consistent in putting weaker sides away, but assuming we qualify for the play offs, we are going to have to beat two good sides to get promoted, which doesn't fill me with optimism.
  15. Without wanting to get drawn into a debate which will endlessly go round in circles, I probably should respond since you quoted my post. I personally do not moan when something bad is put on here - although I might question it, especially if I feel it isn't constructive. If you check my posting history, I'm critical of the team and management at times myself, but I try to offer a balanced and reasoned opinion on what I think is wrong, and what I think we might do to put it right.
  • Create New...