Just Back v Stoke on iFlop

silverlion

Well-known member
A disjointed performance but 2 decent goals and all three points.

They started brightly and pushed the ball around well and we took a while to get going. It was clear right from the off that we were not very balanced. The midfield looked a man short and Jed was trying to play that number ten role but it wasn't working. Time and time again they controlled the middle and pushed it around with ease. It took us twelve minutes before we mounted a credible attack. A knock forward fell kindly for Bennett who knocked it on the Jed. His cross found Evans but his shot was deflected for a corner. From the resultant set piece Murray headed wide. We had a little confidence and momentum and a couple of minutes later a cross from Billy was knocked out to Evans but he shot over. Then they came into it more. They had good control of the middle with Obi One Kenobi and Powell but they didn't make the final pass count and they didn't have their shooting boots on so they didn't pose a real threat. We were hanging in there and a better side would have taken us apart. Then we got a break after 34 minutes. A decent free kick from Jed was knocked out for a corner. From the kick Cooper headed it goal wards but it came of the back of a defender's head. Cooper chased it the byline and chipped it back into the danger area. Evans nodded it on, Murray took it down with his thigh and hit it home for 1-0 from 4 yards. It was definitely against the run of play!

They pressed forward but couldn't quite get it right through the middle. After a few minutes they tried a different approach. A decent forward ball down the middle found Fletcher, Murray blocked the shot but it deflected across the goal. Pearce hesitated and it ran clear to Brown rushing in and he hit it firmly under Bart's body for 1-1. They still persisted in trying to play it through the middle but we held firm and it ended even at the break.

It was clear that we needed changes and I am sure that GR noticed the imbalance in the middle. Off came Ken and on came Dutch and it was immediately apparent that we had regained the middle. They no longer had the same element of control that they had in the first forty five. With twenty minutes gone we got a free kick which was floated into the box. Cooper headed it on, the keeper fumbled it and it fell to Murray's feet. His shot was blocked. A couple of minutes later a good pass to Jed from Evans was knocked on to Danny whose shot was saved. We were pressing hard and a great ball down the left was knocked into Jed on the 6 yard line. He hit it square to Bennett who rolled it in for 2-1. It was no more than we deserved, We carried on pressing forward and a good ball down the left found Jed who knocked it inside to Mitchell but his shot was wide.

They made several subs to try and bring about a change in their fortunes but they couldn't get it right. We brought on Bod for a cream crackered Bennett and a few minutes later Bradshaw for Jed. In injury time on came Mahlon for Danny and we saw out the added four minutes without drama.

Bart was unlucky with the goal which squirmed underneath him and he only had two or three regulation saves to make. Danny was solid and energetic and added some strength down the right. Murray was a rock in the middle and took his goal well. Pearce only got caught out once for their goal but otherwise was solid. Cooper was dominant. Billy was busy and solid and Evans was quietly effective. Ken was fairly anonymous and Bennett ran hard and took his goal well. Jed shaded MOM with a tireless display of great running, selfless play and one who was a constant thorn in their side. Dutch was a solid addition in the second half and played well. Bod ran hard and won a couple of good headers. Bradshaw hardly broke sweat and Mahlon was similar. In fact I don't think he touched the ball at all.

It wasn't the greatest of performances especially in the first hal. But we were good value for the three points with a good second half display and some good joined up football. So, 2 goals away from home, three points and ninth as we speak. No complaints from me but Saturday will be a much tougher test. Bring it on!
 

whiskylion

Well-known member
Thanks, Silver.

Absolutely nothing disjointed about our second half performance! In fact, that was the most comfortable we have looked all season.

First half, a peculiar team selection and system meant we were all over the place.

The two halves were chalk and cheese.

Really loved the second half performance. Almost faultless. That's how to play away from home. Loved it!!
 

whiskylion

Well-known member
Frankly I never put much store into a victory at Stoke so well pleased. Do you know Stoke never was bombed in the Second World War. Hitler obvious though it was such a boring place it was'nt worth the effort.
I think he wanted them to produce lots of plates and things with his face and swastikas on it after he invaded...
 

waterloowacker

Well-known member
Thanks, Silver.

Absolutely nothing disjointed about our second half performance! In fact, that was the most comfortable we have looked all season.

First half, a peculiar team selection and system meant we were all over the place.

The two halves were chalk and cheese.

Really loved the second half performance. Almost faultless. That's how to play away from home. Loved it!!
That's the game i watched as well.
 

Soul Man

Well-known member
I always thought that Stoke must have been heavily bombed during the war and they never bothered rebuilding it, which is why it's such a dump. Stoke must be the most depressing place in the UK
 

Brusselslion

Active member
Thanks, Silver.

Absolutely nothing disjointed about our second half performance! In fact, that was the most comfortable we have looked all season.

First half, a peculiar team selection and system meant we were all over the place.

The two halves were chalk and cheese.

Really loved the second half performance. Almost faultless. That's how to play away from home. Loved it!!
Agreed.

Pearce played well today, but next game I'd like to see Evans at CB. Woods can be brought back into midfield as the advanced midfielder with Dutch and Mitchell behind him. Try that for a few games. If nothing else, it should decide whether it's worth trying to keep Woods next season.
 

monkeymfc

Well-known member
Thanks Silver: I'm with Whisky - a superb second half performance. And a special bonus to see McLean spitting feathers. I really like Mason Bennett, but overall he was pretty poor today. Jed MoM. Again, again, again.
 

whiskylion

Well-known member
Thanks Silver: I'm with Whisky - a superb second half performance. And a special bonus to see McLean spitting feathers. I really like Mason Bennett, but overall he was pretty poor today. Jed MoM. Again, again, again.
What I particularly like about Bennett is that when he's not having a good game - and taking few kicks into the bargain - he still makes all the runs and still battles like hell. He doesn't go away and sulk. Or hides from receiving the ball.

Just look at the number of times he made himself available to Malone - enabling us to play forward rather than sideways. And he still made that run into the box to get the winner.

What a great signing he has been!

And yeah, I agree: Jed played very well today. But Murray...just wow!
 
Last edited:

whiskylion

Well-known member
Agreed.

Pearce played well today, but next game I'd like to see Evans at CB. Woods can be brought back into midfield as the advanced midfielder with Dutch and Mitchell behind him. Try that for a few games. If nothing else, it should decide whether it's worth trying to keep Woods next season.
Actually, Brussels, perhaps the best way to see if we need Woods or not is to start the next game with the team that began the second half today.

Woods has played all season. And last. We know what he can do. Let's now play a midfield with Evans and Dutch together and see if it continues to knit as well as it did today.

I thought our second half midfield was the most enjoyable I have seen in a very long time. No Williams or Leonard types, who, for me, always seem a distinct cut below Championship quality in midfield and who, invariably, would do things that would leave you shaking your head in frustration.

Thought our middle three looked the part. A lovely blend of quality and aggression. Experience and youth. Been a very long time since we have seen that.
 
Last edited:

Eamon Dunphys tackle

Well-known member
What I particularly like about Bennett is that when he's not having a particularly good game - and taking few kicks into the bargain - he still makes all the runs and still battles like hell. He doesn't go away and sulk. Or hides from receiving the ball.

Just look at the number of times he made himself available to Malone - enabling us to play forward rather than sideways. And he still made that run into the box to get the winner.

What a great signing he has been!

And yeah, I agree: Jed played very well today. But Murray...just wow!
Players like Bennett worth their weight in gold. As you say Whisky, he doesn't hide when it's not going well for him. Or sulk.
He does put in a shift.
 

cold blow

Well-known member
The problem with Bennet is that he cannot last 90 + minutes and has only completed 4 or 5 games in his entire career, in saying that he does look a lot fitter than when he joined us.
 

mickynomates

Active member
Actually, Brussels, perhaps the best way to see if we need Woods or not is to start the next game with the team that began the second half today.

Woods has played all season. And last. We know what he can do. Let's now play a midfield with Evans and Dutch together and see if it continues to knit as well as it did today.

I thought our second half midfield was the most enjoyable I have seen in a very long time. No Williams or Leonard types, who, for me, always seem a distinct cut below Championship quality in midfield and who, invariably, would do things that would leave you shaking your head in frustration.

Thought our middle three looked the part. A lovely blend of quality and aggression. Experience and youth. Been a very long time since we have seen that.
Couldn't agree more with the last paragraph. A proper midfield at last.
 

Polegate Lion

Well-known member
We didn’t make any ground on the top six today but as it stands we’re six goals closer to Cardiff’s goal difference advantage. Their 5-0 down at Hillsborough.
 

whiskylion

Well-known member
The problem with Bennet is that he cannot last 90 + minutes and has only completed 4 or 5 games in his entire career, in saying that he does look a lot fitter than when he joined us.
He can now last 90 minutes - and has done...only to be substituted in injury time.

With five substitutes these days, virtually no forward fir any club sees out 90 minutes. Bennett or not.
 

lottwall

Well-known member
First half we were poor today but importantly stayed in the game. 2nd half we were excellent and controlled the game. Would have been coming home from there delighted in normal times.