The Glovers let two leads slip against the league leaders, but showed a big improvement on their last two matches. Here is Ian’s conclusions from the 2-2 draw with Chesterfield.
Chiori Johnson has waited patiently and taken his chance. Through no fault of his own, Morgan Williams missed out yesterday and patiently waiting in the wings has been summer signing Chiori Johnson. Johnson took his chance and was one of the bright sparks of the game. He provided an outlet going forward on the right and looked the most natural of the players who’ve played wingback so far this season. Jamie Reckord has been our main wide threat before yesterday and as a result we’ve ended up focusing our play on the left, Johnson gave us the opportunity to get it down the right too.
Josh Staunton was solid in the heart of defence. I know there’s still a debate about whether to play him in centre midfield, but his performances in midfield against Scunthorpe and Eastleigh haven’t inspired confidence so far. In the middle of a back three, he’s looked stronger in my view. Wrexham and Dagenham were highlights, and we can add Chesterfield to that too. He got a goal (I think) but he led in typical fashion and was a rock in defence. I think we can put to bed the midfield discussion.
Gime Toure was in the mood. He gambled early on and hassled the Chesterfield defence to earn an early goal and his afternoon was probably his best in a green and white shirt so far. He scared the Spireites back line with his direct running, hunted down loose balls and got himself in a dangerous areas that caused panic amongst the Chesterfield defence. Can he do it consistently? Can any of them? I don’t know, but I enjoyed what I saw from Toure.
We need to find a way to see these games out. We’ve let leads slip against Altrincham, Eastleigh and Chesterfield and got three points from those games rather than nine, which would make us all feel a lot more happier than we are. While we were resilient against Dagenham and hung on, albeit with our backs firmly planted in the wall, against Chesterfield we had a bit of everything but lacked the concentration in key moments. Shortly after the opener, Grant Smith decided to go on a walkabout and wiped out Joe Quigley, giving us a set piece to contend with, which we didn’t. Why he decided to cover Jamie Reckord’s position needlessly, only he can explain. The delivery on the corner for the second goal just seemed to catch the Glovers napping. The flat delivery to the edge of the box, the weak shot, the hashed clearance and poor marking. You can forgive worldies from distance and genuine class, but the equalisers yesterday felt of our own doing.
We need to reproduce these performances against the rest of the league. The drastic improvement from York and Eastleigh needs to be more than a one-off. If this is what we can do, it needs to be the standard. Not just the level for the likes of Wrexham and Chesterfield. In our season preview podcast, Adam Virgo said how the big games look after themselves, it’s the ones you ‘should win’ that cause problems. If that doesn’t sum up our season so far, I don’t know what does. We need to make these passing, pressing, “blood and guts” (Staunton 17:9) performances the norm – not the exception.
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