|Brentford 3 v 1 Colchester United|
Saturday, 19th October 2013 Kick-off 15:00
Brentford 3 U's 1 - Noah's View
Monday, 21st Oct 2013 10:04 by Noah4x4
Sadly, my dire prediction of our next win not coming until Tranmere Rovers on 30th November has moved closer, after a clinical second half demolition of the U's in the last fifteen minutes by the Bees, and in a manner reminiscent of the way that we fell apart in the second half against Wolves, Peterborough, Walsall and Bristol City, albeit that we held on for a fortunate draw in the latter two. Is it fitness?
In the first half we played some decent football until we got within 30 yards of the opposition goal. Indeed, it was tactically different from the recent Joe Dunne inspired style. In a possible response to criticism that the ball travels too slowly out of defence when played via the midfield to feet, skilful wingers Monakana and Massey started on the bench, and the tactic was to play a longer ball to Morrison, with Ibehre and Sears then running off him. The trouble is, Clinton isn't good enough as a ball winner, nor is he as effective as Ibehre, when leading the line. So we still didn't hold up as much of the ball in attacking forward positions as I suspect we might have hoped. Morrison was eventually withdrawn on 62 minutes for Massey, and we reverted to far more sensible to feet control. Half time it was 0-0, but it could so easily have been 2-0, had the Bees forwards been as precise as I think Peterborough may be next week.
After the relief of a goal less and uninspiring first half, our spirits were lifted by a superb headed goal on 48 minutes from Magnus from a great Luke Garbutt corner, who can strike a dead ball as well as anybody. But I think that was only our second 'shot' and note it is yet another goal by a defender. What's going on with our forwards? Our problem was, yet again, how do we get a second goal, and could we hang on? One could predict another Walsall, and slippage into a draw, but it proved worse, as the Bees smashed three fine late goals to justifiably claim all three points.
It's fine playing Marcus Bean to enhance our attacking midfield, but without BOTH wingers Monakana and Massey - or Watt (that always do their share of wide defending), it can leave us terribly exposed at the back and also lacking pace when in attack, and so it was when Brentford started using the extreme width of both flanks to stretch us. If Morrison had any pace, then we might have exploited this down the middle on the counter attack (remember at this stage we are a goal up). But he hasn't and we didn't, so he was rightly withdrawn.
Instead, we were ripped to shreds, when first Eastmond misdirected a shallow pass and then Bean failed to find Garbutt, each carelessly losing the ball in advanced positions with almost zero cover. I admire both for the qualities, but I have not seen us so badly exposed since the Posh cup exit, because of their laudable tendency to commit forward. I have every respect for Bean in the right circumstances, but my preference is the greater solidity offered by David Wright, whilst restoring the wingers that do their share of defensive work and add some real pace (and selling Morrison and Sears!). Then when Luke Garbutt does get forward, a wide man might cover behind him. Bean and Craig Eastmond tend to play too central, and too advanced (Gilbey is also better going forward). To me, David Wright is currently a must, at least until no nonsense Tom Eastman returns.
On 82 minutes, and 2-1 down, we throw on Andy Bond for Gilbey and Jeffrey Monakana for Sears. The latter change should perhaps have been made earlier (at kick off?!), but why Bond? Admittedly, Freddie Sears did have a better game than he did against Walsall (where he was anonymous apart from his goal), but at Griffin Park he always seemed to find himself out wide, inevitably when in the absence of Massey, Monakana (or Watt). That's fair enough, had Morrison (or another) instead got into the box. But apart from one lung busting surge by Gilbey, who just missed connecting with a superb cross from Garbutt, we never looked like troubling their goal keeper (and didn't in that instance).
In summary, we managed merely FOUR shots in the entire ninety six minutes, three on target, but two of those your granny would have saved, and two from defenders, so why expect to win? 42 draws might mean relegation, it's a few more wins we need.
The sad postscript was, as we mulled over our long tiring day and a few pints in the Victoria, a comment was heard from a regular to WHCS, "after Rotherham, where I already have my train and match tickets (and it's a new ground to visit), if there is no improvement, I am going to watch Braintree, just to see some goals and local wins". It wasn't from me, albeit that I too don't want to follow the U's towards the Conference, but I understand the sentiment, since leaving Layer Road, the passion is waning for many. My feeling is there are at least four to five teams far worse than us, which is all we perhaps need. But what irony that Lisbie, Mooney, James and Clarke form the nucleus of the current league leading Leyton Orient side. Show's how the right management decisions are vital.
But what next Joe Dunne and Robbie Cowling? Where are we going to get two goals in ANY game before our crowd dissipates into thin air and starts following the fast up and coming local tangerines - especially after an FA Cup exit to them or one of their peers? Such goals won't come from Sears or Morrison...... and was Lapado injured, hence not on the bench?
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