Gloverscast Ben saw his FIRST live and in person game of the season on Sunday as the Glovers travelled to Wrexham in the FA Cup.

A 3-0 defeat, a Percy Pig v Cuthbert bar fight and here’s how Gloverscast Ben saw it from the Press Box.


Firstly, I thought 3-0 really flattered Wrexham, but it’s probably fair to say we took too long to get going.

In the the first half, we were clearly just trying to stay in the game for as long as possible and that meant inviting Wrexham’s plethora of attacking talent on to the back line.

Whilst, we were quick to put pressure on when the hosts came within sniffing distance of the penalty area, I was left thinking… why can’t we put that pressure on 20 or 30 yards further up the pitch?

The break downs in play were easy for Wrexham to recycle and easy to keep the pressure on, when you have the quality they do, that means chances will fall their way – they did, and they took them. You can’t begrudge them that. 

In the second half, I felt we did have the bravery to press a little higher, force mistakes in the middle of the pitch and that gave us a foot hold in the game, and chances to give our defence a rest, from the constant barrage that came at us in the first 45.

Football is a game of fine margins.

If Charlie Cooper’s long range effort dips in, if Jordan Young’s free kick is 6 inches to the left, the game is TOTALLY different going into the second half.

To go from being the width of the post away from getting the game back to 1-1, to being 2-0 down in a matter of seconds just shows how cruel football can be.

On another day, Joe Day parries the first chance away from sniffing strikers, on a another day, the finger tip he gets to Andy Cannon’s second goal is more substantial and it goes wide.

On another day, we get something out of that game and maybe take it back to Huish Park. Nobody in the crowd could have complained if that game had ended 2-2.

Jordan Young. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

Jordan Young was on a one man mission

Jordan Young’s free kick was inches away from perfection, his desire to cut inside from the right and play balls across the edge of the area, shape to shoot, get in to dangerous areas and generally be brilliant showed that he has multiple facets to his game.

Now, technically it was a game of ‘nearly’ moments for Young, but it’s probably fair to say he caught plenty of eyes with his performance.

The eyes of Managers we will be coming up against soon (Hi Jerry!), the eyes of Managers at other clubs who might need a tricky winger in the near future, the eyes of plenty of fans and supporters – more than a couple of Wrexham voices spoke highly of him.

The truth is, all he did was add an Extra 0, on the end of his potential transfer fee. Let’s not pretend he’s not going to be the subject of offers and interest, because he’s shown this season he’s an EFL player in waiting.

I hope the club has the bottle to demand the very best deal for him when the time comes and has a plan in place to fill the eventual Jordan Young shaped hole that will be left.

Don’t fall in love with footballers, it only ends in tears.

I was worried about the back three.

All together now… You hate wing backs, I hate wing backs, we all hate wing backs. We got wing backs and I don’t mind saying it wasn’t half as bad as it could have been – far from it in fact.

Morgan Williams – Mr reliable, versatile, you can hang your hat on him to put in a shift just about anywhere. Duncan Idehen grew into the game brilliantly after a couple of early wobbles, he made some vital interceptions, a couple of big blocks and a couple of crunching tackles, particularly on Paul Mullen… ouch.

Finally, Jake Wannell, in the middle of the three was an absolute colossus. It’s probably fair to say that he might not have played many games of that magnitude before – with the exception of the Taunton FA Cup run of last season (grumble, grumble).

But from Taunton to the Racecourse and not look a second out of place just shows how far he’s come and potentially how far he could go in time.

I don’t think that’s the last of the defensive trio we’ll see this season, but it’s great to know we’ve got players who can do it if we need.

Finally… and I know I’ll get plenty of love for this.

Charlie Cooper, appeared as a 75th minute substitute at Welling.
Picture courtesy of Iain Morland.

We are so much better with Charlie Cooper in the side.

There’s no one that can convince me otherwise. He was tasked with trying to keep tabs on Elliot Lee, who might just be the best player outside the top two divisions, he can probably say that he did alright there. 

They were embroiled in a little sub plot throughout, both got booked, both had to be at their influential best without giving the referee an excuse to wave another card.

At one point in the second half, they quite literally exchanged snarls, just growling at each other… it was quite animalistic, I quite liked it.

He dared to go forward and had two of the Glovers more meaningful shots on goal, he dictated play when the ball broke down on the edge of our own box and stood head and shoulders above the rest in the game from where I was stood.

Cooper is, for my mind, quickly becoming the first name on the team sheet – who drops out, I don’t know, but I don’t want to go into big games without Charlie Cooper – and they don’t come much bigger than Wednesday.

 


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Phil A
4 months ago

A decent performance – second half could’ve gone either way.

Sorry Ben, disagree a bit on one thing – could’ve played to our strengths and our usual 433/4213. Perhaps the high press early would’ve forced more mistakes from Wrexham. Coops could’ve been a bit more balsy in that and it may still have ended 0-3 or we may have got going quicker. We’ll never know!

It wasn’t a game for Sonny BLE. Lost in the crowd. It is definitely better with Cooper Jr (in bigger games) where we need to break the oppo attacks up. If we were going to defend first then surely Josh Owers was a better option. I’d actually put him in vs Barf ahead of Sonny. It’s going to be a battle for sure!

When is Jordan Stevens’ back? We are missing that pace.

Last edited 4 months ago by Phil A
Jonathan Hooper
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil A

Charlie Cooper is not good at breaking up oppo attacks. Here are his stats from the Wrexham game (from SofaScore)

Cooper
Passes 44
Accurate Passes 35 (80%)
Ground Duels Attempted 4 Won 0
Interceptions 0
Possession Lost 14 (highest on the pitch)

for comparison
Worthington
Passes 63
Accurate Passes 57 (90%)
Ground Duels Attempted 6 Won 5
Interceptions 3
Possession Lost 9

I think he is good in a 3 as a deep playmaker, however one thing he is not is ‘good at breaking up oppo attacks’

Phil A
4 months ago

Not sure SofaScore is a solid source of stats at our level – they don’t even put the teams up on normal match days – bloody non-league ? but I’ll agree with your comments. Still stand by Josh Owers would have made us more solid.

Jonathan Hooper
4 months ago
Reply to  Phil A

Luckily we were playing Wrexham in the FA Cup so sofascores stats are what they would be for an EFL game.

Trying to find data for NLS is a minefield.

Agree on the Owers point.

Jonathan Hooper
4 months ago

Solid 4 points there

The other one, current data suggests otherwise.

Jem Gardener
4 months ago

Spot on Ben. I totally agree with all 5 points, even the contentious last one.And yes I have fallen in love with Jordan Young (like I did with Tom Knowles) and I should know better. I need to stop doing it (or start supporting Man City). It was definitely a game which could have ended differently but at least we’re only missing out on a trip to Shrewsbury and can focus on other more important things!