Having not actually seen any sand whilst we were at Eastbourne, the pitch at York more than made up for it. I’ve known less sandy deserts.
Just a short report this evening, I didn’t get home until nearer three than two, having managed to get lost on the way back (for the third trip running) and then I couldn’t get off to sleep until Mrs Mosque’s alarm went off at 5:15am which, tuned to Radio 4 sent me off to sleep immediately. So in the end I had fewer than three hours kip and have been grumpier than a bear with a sore head who is being poked by kids with sticks whilst being forced to watch daytime television.
I thought, bearing in mind the sandy pitch cut up more as the game went on, we did pretty well. Both sides had plenty of chances, and the good Lord intervened a few times to prolong our incredible and surreal run of games away from the Kenny without conceding a goal.
The team was Tyler, the ‘settled’ back four of Newton, Pilks, Kovacs, and Murray – and a midfield five of Jarvis on the right, Hall, Keano, Nico, with Craddock on the left. Hatch returned up front.
The betting man in me made £20 on the night. A side who hadn’t lost at home all season were playing against a side who have been unbeaten away since God was a boy. For once I put a few bob on the correct score, rather than ‘laying’ Luton and 0-0 seemed the logical choice. If only all bets were that logical!
For a 0-0 it was a good game. Both sides played well. York had more chances than us, but we played the better football. York were a bit more direct, and bearing in mind the size of their strikers and their team in general you can see why. Hatch was marked very well and alas went off making a challenge to win the ball back in the second half.
In the first 45 mins, I felt we played the best football and had the best opportunities but failed to make the most of them (does this ring a bell?). We controlled the game because we were packing and the midfield. However, because the midfield was packed we failed to link up sufficiently with Hatch, who was isolated, and was being well marked.
Nico was doing what he does best and worst, again. His last-ditch challenges and clearances once again made a huge difference but he was running around well off the pace again. It says a lot for him that he manages to keep his temper so (relatively) well these days. It must be so frustrating for him, being made to chase the ball around the pitch by players who wouldn’t have been fit to tie his boots five years ago. Good for him anyway – I think Money is shaving off some of the dafter points to his game: we haven’t seen any match-losing last minute passes to the opposition for a while or indeed two footed lunges in the box in the last minute – but he is on the transfer list and has that hanging over him and yet he hasn’t allowed his game to drop because of it, in fact you could say that it has picked up in the last few weeks. Notwithstanding this, Nico was substituted for Blackett in the second half, shoring up the left hand side of the defence and giving him a run-out too. This meant Craddock moved up front with MBH who had come on for Liam Hatch. MBH seemed a bit more lively in this game than in the last, but still owes us a few goals methinks.
Gnapka had replaced Hall but didn’t make too much of an impact other than a nice move where he fed in Craddock who after a deft bit of skill let it run too far and the keeper picked it up.
The second half was largely York carving out chances, but our defence held firm time and time again. Pilkington and Kovacs were immense at the heart of defence. Keane played pretty well, closing people down where Nico didn’t; Jarvis was quiet on the right, but made a bit more impact when Claude came on. York had a number of opportunities but we held firm and the result was a fair one. I didn’t mind coming away from York with a draw, especially against such a well drilled and strong team who would look perfectly at ease in the division above.
For the record our away results in the league since and including Cambridge have been:
26/9 Cambridge 4-3 win (Harford)
10/10 Kidderminster 2-1 win (Neilson)
17/10 Altrincham 1-0 win (Neilson)
14/11 Grays 2-0 win (Money)
5/12 Chester 0-0 draw (Money)
23/1 Gateshead 1-0 win (Money)
27/1 Histon 2-0 win (Money)
6/2 Barrow 1-0 win (Money)
13/2 Eastbourne 1-0 win (Money)
16/2 York City 0-0 draw (Money)
That’s all I am writing for now as I am fighting to stay awake! How some folk manage to work nights goodness only knows, my respect goes to them.
I’m going to miss the next two games, which is annoying, especially as they are at home, and I can’t recall when I last missed a home game. However, for once, there are more important things at hand, we are moving home next week (further away from Watford) and so there is packing and moving to be done! My internet connection will be down from Monday until next Thursday and so I’ll be ‘off air’ until Saturday 27th. I’ll still post on Saturday, though it won’t be a match report as such (a bit like tonight I hear you say) just my impressions I suppose.
Right – off to bed – I may be gone some time…