The first win is on the board for Chris Hargreaves. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t convincing, but who cares?! They all count. Here are Ian’s conclusions from yesterday’s 1-0 win.

We showed that we’ve got defensive resilience. Chris Hargreaves made some changes bringing in Alfie Pond and Ben Richards-Everton and it worked. The second half was an exercise in attack versus defence and marshalled by the impressive Josh Staunton, the Glovers kept free-flowing Dagenham at bay. They defended resolutely against a barrage of of corners. It was talked about in the build up to the game about the importance of seeing matches out and the players delivered for the manager, keeping a clean sheet and getting that all important first three points!

Image courtesy of Mike Kunz

 

It was a captain’s performance from Josh Staunton. With Alfie Pond making his debut, and Ben Richards-Everton returning from injury after three matches out, all eyes were on Josh Staunton to be the rock at the back. His performance was probably the best of the season so far. He saw the danger that Josh Walker was causing in the first half and took it upon himself to make sure Walker wasn’t allowed to do it in the second half. When the Glovers had to defend successive corners, Staunton was in the thick of things, putting his body on the line ensuring that Dagenham didn’t get an equaliser.

We’ve got a player in Alfie Pond. There’s a long way to go in Alfie Pond’s career, and as an 18-year-old he will have bad games at some point, but yesterday he looked the part. He had an early duel against one of the League’s best strikers in Paul McCallum which set the tone for his day. He was calm in possession of the ball, won his battles in the air and looked more than ready for the rigours of the National League. Having kept a clean sheet with Max Hunt dropped and Morgan Williams at wingback, there is plenty of competition for places at Huish Park at the moment.

Alfie Pond. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.


We seemed to show a lack of urgency at times.
I’m not sure if it was our defensive focus, but we certainly sacrificed some of the Harg-Ball in favour of being secure. Before we took the lead through Jamie Reckord, there were groans at the lack of urgency and unwillingness to play forward, but our patience paid off and we got what turned out to be the winner. But in the second half, when we were really under pressure, I felt like we never got going and when we did have the ball we took our time to move it forward. It paid off in the end and we got the win but it would have been a little more comfortable…wouldn’t it?

It’s time to push on. We’ve got the first win in the bank now, on Friday we secured two new signings and we’re at a stage where we’ve got genuine depth and competition in each position. We travel to Wealdstone tomorrow and welcome York to Huish Park this coming Saturday and if we’re going to be a side that flirts with the playoffs, we should be getting six-points from those two games. We’ll have to deal with the absences of Charlie Wakefield, Sam Pearson and possibly Lawson D’Ath, but as we showed today we’ve got options. Hopefully we can get on a bit of run, build some confidence and some convincing victories on the way.


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Hugh Isham
1 year ago

Still in August but concluding that to even flirt with the playoffs come the end of the season we need to now get a win away to the league leaders, and to follow that up with a third consecutive victory (a nine points out of nine sequence) against a confident York City, still buoyed by early season optimism after their promotion, seems to be drawing a conclusion that stretches credibility to its very limits.

‘We showed a lack of urgency at times’ …… yes indeed, and with another game in 48 hours the necessity to leave something in the tank was a sensible calculation. Just witness the players desire to get a drink during every injury break on a warm afternoon, compared with the urgency exhibited so recently in a cooler evening kick off such as against Barnet. The urgency factor wasn’t going to be replicated in the same non stop fashion.

Keep up the good work, and rescind Coates power to editorialise ‘Hargball’.

Best wishes,

Hugh.