Pitiful and desperate, but enough of Carl Embersons team talk, splendidly done for them. Shame he didnt use his mouth to good effect by trying to catch the ball in it rather than watching it pass him by and into the net during his playing days . The club really needs to shift this ill-placed arrogance it does not reflect well on anyone. So bad at times, it was almost funny. But not quite. Big week ahead for Paul Buckle both on the training ground and on his dog and bone. One good thing about todays performance it shows, even this early on this season, that currently we dont look good enough to challenge strongly for the top spot and bring in a couple of players to boost things, giving us some much needed options ( look at todays bench a promising young forward runner, a centre half only kept on because of injuries in that position, an out of form attacking full back and centre forward) , the team almost picks itself.
There appears to be a collective loss of confidence and too many of the players form is well below what they are capable of . The really sad thing, seemingly no matter how many players we get rid of or bring in, we arent any nearer to winning this division now, than we were in our first game at this level at A.F.C Wimbledon. We have gone backwards since.
Only at Kidderminster, we produced the type of performance where we need to be. Good spirit showed to get points back in losing positions against Gateshead and Hyde, but that alone isnt enough, over the course of the season. We may well get better ( bloody need to) , but there isnt any conviction in this team. Little cohesion or leadership.
We lacked craft to break down a very stubborn Telford defence, Fleetwood was the only forward who looked bright and sharp enough to cause problems, the other attacking players were at best a shambles. September hasnt even started and the problems are clear for all to see. They were purple heads in their box everywhere ( sounds like Elton Johns dream night) Credit to them for throwing themselves at shots and putting in lots of blocks, but this is a team who have just celebrated their first anniversary since their last away victory. For all the play we had, if Telford had defended any deeper, they would have been stood half way up Beech Hill.
Some games, the goalkeeper pulls off a series of worldies, but Young apart from collecting a number of crosses mainly from down the back of his throat which were relatively straight forward only had one difficult save to make, parrying away Shaws well struck effort. If Shaw had scored from an outstanding move started with Greg Taylor, and some fine combination play between Fleetwood and Shaw, saw Shaw in front of goal, could only pass it back to Young. He would score those, with his eyes closed. His work rate is very good, but at the moment his finishing is terrible. We surely cant have turned another good striker to pot?????
As a game, everything dire about non-league football was on view. Highlights being the brawl ( shame some of our players seemed to be more eager to join in the flailing fists, than trying to get us back in the match). Buckle obviously thinks a lot of Henry as a skipper. To me at Stevenage, always thought of him as a solid defender, but a nasty piece of work who is always trying to stir up trouble with more lip than Lesley Ash. He does though have a handy right hook, could be a decent opponent for one of the Klitschko brothers. With the team struggling for confidence, it is the very time you need the captain to stand up and lead from the front, not be in the stand for the next three matches. It also puts a lot of pressure on Beckwith with Kovacs injured , potentially having to fill the void, F.A. Trophy matches expected , has hardly been spotted since September, 2011. The briefest cameo from Read, on for St.Aimie before he got sent off. Reads first contribution was to challenge Rowe- Turner, it was more ABH. Sent off whilst hobbling off for his troubles. I truly despise non-league football, it is more of an painful annoyance than a sport.
On the day we did too many of the basics wrong. Conceding another goal from a free header at a set piece. The quality of the crossing was sub-standard, too many hit the first defender , when on the rare moment a decent delivery was produced , the movement was non existent. Where chances did crop up, we looked to want too much time on the ball, almost trying to walk it in and then ended up at Andre Gray, whose confidence looks very low, snatching at the ball and endangering Keith Keanes guttering.
Telford defended like their lives depended on it, but are a very limited side and its sickening to be turned over at home by a team like them. Both centre halves were outstanding Preston and Rose, Trainer in front of the them, gave a passable impression of a brick wall. Rooney in midfield can pick a pass and has potential, but very little else.
Two changes from the win at Hyde. One expected ( Howells for Taylor) and one enforced ( Watkins for Kovacs). Henry shifting back to centre half, Lawless dropping back to right back ( he has looked our best midfielder so far), with Watkins replacing him.
Attacking the Kenilworth Road in the first half, we started on the front foot amongst the massed ranks of the Telfords defence. Lawless made several excellent raids down the right, but once again his crossing let him down.
We made a chance in the opening moments, Shaw nodding down, to Fleetwood squeezing between Rose and Salmon, allowing Watkins to stride forward and boot the ball over. From the early stages, Shaw kept having to drop deep to collect the ball, head it on, to the empty space as Rendell looked on as a disinterested member of the crowd.
Telfords first attack, almost brought about an opening goal, Salmons lopping cross aimed for the far post, clipped the top of the bar. Their tackle, as so many visiting teams is, defend very deep. We steadily got worse through tout the game and ended like looking a rabble. Telfords confidence, grew and with none of our midfield picking Rooney he was given license to run forward, with Hubbins having the pace to trouble Howells.
Our approach initially wasnt bad, but done little to trouble their defence. Leslie tugged Kasim in front of the D, a short free kick played short from Howells to Watkins, allowed Fleetwood to blast a free kick into Leslie in the wall, which after refusing to go back, crept forward. With Telfords physical approach, it was a difficult game to kept control of. But the referee failed to spot some obvious fouls, but was razor sharp pulling back free kicks which were played an inch away from the correct position.
Excellent skill by Fleetwood turning and centring in one motion towards Shaw at the far post, decent connection, but his header was a few inches too high. Watkins, whom the game bypassed him, an early strike, at least caused Young to parry away to his right, Fleetwood on the rebound, Preston got back to make a vital block.
A mistake by LRT ( who generally had a steady game, although not tested) gave away the ball, to Rooney going through, but thankfully the pass to St. Aimie, who has the first touch of a bouncy castle, saw the move break down. Then Leslie turned Lawless, but LRT managed to step in.
Leslies pass outside to Spray, living up to his name by spraying his shot wide, the angle was against him. Out of nothing Rooney fired from 30 yards and Tyler made a superb save tumbling to his right. They had the better goal threat, considering ours was minimal.
Kasim struggled, think he is decent enough and has potential, but the hurly burly of the Conference isnt for him. His passing game went and once again our midfield looked lightweight and ineffective. From his corner, Henry missed a free header, the ball dropping to Rendell but his effort was charged down by Preston.
Hubbins with his green booties flashed past Howells, like a kid from the old Ready Brek advert, delivered a centre for St. Aimie, who missed a guilt edged chance, heading over.
Fleetwood went through Rose, but Trainer tracking back closed him down, Watkins tapped a decent opportunity straight at Young. Hubbins wriggled past Kasim and Howells, but was unable to keep his shot down. Henry climbed over St Aimie and from the free kick on the left, Leslie swept across a centre which St Aimie glanced a header past Tyler. Our only response before the break, came from ODonnell blazing over from Howells pass from a deep K. From decent work by Shaw , whipped across goal, Rose tapped behind before Rendell arrived.
Half time arrived, Kasim who is usually the default sub when we are trailing, was the obvious man to take off. On came Taylor, with Howells pushing into midfield. Taylors arrival did bring about a brief spark to our play. But being right footed on the left, our play was even more squeezed. Howells did try to get on the ball, but the long the half went on, whilst his ideas were good enough, his passing became increasing over hit.
Telford just left St. Aimie, pushing their wingers even further back, and we had little answer of how to break them down. It was a risk for Buckle to gamble on Spillers injury record and being without him and Lawless at right back, we dont have enough quality to get through ultra defensive teams, ODonnells non stop effort and running, you cant expect him to open teams up.
If Shaw had put us back on level terms , we would have probably won the game. But he missed. Taylor starting the move, very good understanding between Fleetwood and Shaw, before the space opened and Shaw could only tap into the grateful goalkeepers arms.
A misunderstanding between henry and Tyler over a hoofed ball through, would have allowed St Aimie a decent opportunity, but such is his lack of football prowess, his attempted trap, dribbled away from him. A push on Howells by Rooney went unnoticed and on the break, Hubbins and Salmon worked space, but St Aimie couldnt finish.
Shaw showing great knee control to start a move , which he finished with a well timed attempt which at least forced Young into a save , with Salmon helping the ball over the bar. , our day was rather summed up, with Taylor diverting Henrys shot away. Howells neat pass gave Gray a chance but again Rose put another saving block in. Shaw nudged the ball down to Rendell, laid off for Gray to stab wide.
We had all of the play, as Telford camped around the edge of the box, our best creative opportunities came down our left, Taylor into Fleetwood, playing a decent ball through, no one moved.
Telford had few chances to counter attack, although Leslies shot took a nick and rolled behind, Brown and Taylor combined for St Aimie to roll a low drive the wrong of Tylers post.
Henry swung in a cross, which there looked to be a foul on the keeper, but no whistle fell to Shaw to stab the ball towards goal, only to be whacked off the line. From the throw Taylor, by Taylor, Fleetwood, looked up and was lucky his effort, pinged off the bar. From another long ball tossed into the box, the referee blew for a foul on Young, all hell broke loose, for a short while , few punches thrown, none of the usual push and shoving. One from Henry confirms the impression a career in boxing is nearing. After the referee and linesman had a mass debate( nice game of the Pass the Buck played very slowly), they dismissed Henry and Preston.
Lawless rolled the ball into Gray on the right, with our players going near post, he elected to fire in a centre to the far one, which Brown headed behind.
Then St. Aimie was taken off before being sent off was replaced by Read. His stay was short if memorable, lunging forward to a bouncing ball, ended up Karate kicking LRT. Surely with ten against nine, we could create some space to fashion some chances. Yes, but to no avail.
Rendell and Shaw helped put the ball towards goal, Gray flying in with a very high foot caught Trainer. With the officials losing the plot and the bad feeling, was surprised when Gray was only booked and not sent off. Rendells header to Lawless flicked the ball toward Gray only to turn and fire over. LRT won a header from Howells corner, Rendell wanted so much time, the chance was gone as Rose blocked him. Again Rose was Telfords hero as he dived in to fend the ball away as Fleetwood got through from Rendells pass.
Although six minutes was added, we could have done with 600 extra minutes. Howells leaning back smashed Fleetwoods corner horribly over, then Gray missed another opportunity.
Suppose, one good thing , no time to dwell on the performance and can crack on at Ebbsfleet on Monday, before a tricky set of fixtures in September. No time to bring in reinforcements either or indeed to recover from the full horror of that for our fans either. Maybe Paul Carden could get a game down there like last season?
Mark Tyler 6.5, Alex Lawless 6.5, Ronnie Henry 5, Lathanial Rowe-Turner 7 , Jake Howells 3.5 ( Greg Taylor 6.5) , Yaser Kasim 4.5 , Adam Watkins 5 ( Andre Gray 5.5), J.J. O’Donnell 6 , Scott Rendell 4, Jon Shaw 5.75, Stuart Fleetwood 7.5
Subs not used – Dean Beckwith, Jake Woolley, Dean Brill . Booked – Lawless, Gray. Sent off – Henry.
Telford – Young, Salmon, Preston, Rose, Valentine, Hubbins(Brown), Trainer, Rooney, Leslie, Spray(Taylor), St. Aimie ( Read). Booked – Hubbins, Rose, Rooney, Trainer. Sent off – Preston, Read
*THE DISCLAIMER* The above ratings were picked on a whim and very rarely are an accurate reflection on the player’s performances simply to annoy the reader. Today’s fatuous comments are about the chap who won the EuroMillions, stating he wouldn’t change his life ( why enter it then, you utter plum?) and then gets surprised as he receives begging letters, after electing to go public . Who ever thought that would happen? Common sense is unlikely to happen from a man wearing a pink shirt.