I’ve adhered to Gloverscast Rule #2 and ‘slept on it.’
 
A late Tom Knowles (or was it Charlie Wakefield?) goal saw us pick up a 1-0 friendly win at the Cygnet Healthcare Stadium against Taunton Town last night.
 
I don’t think we learned much more than we did on Saturday against Forest Green Rovers. We defended resolutely and weathered a storm at the start of the second half. There was a clear focus on us maintaining a narrow shape without the ball and sticking to a tight defensive unit. With Josh Staunton in front of the back four, we look like we’ll be difficult to break down. Staunton got 90 minutes under his belt for the first time in a long time last night, and Monday’s Gloverscast guest is really looking the part already.
 
The first half was largely forgettable. We tried to keep the ball at points but we we’re lacklustre in the final third and didn’t really create much. There was a lot of passing around the back line before the fullbacks crossed to the Taunton keeper from deep. The trialist, who we are fairly sure is Zeli Ismael, showed glimpses but didn’t stand out.
 
We were set up differently than Saturday’s game, with Lewis Simper in behind Reuben Reid given a bit of license to roam. We looked like we were still trying to figure out this system and learning how to play together, which is normal when you’ve gone through a rebuild.
 
 
We looked better in the second half when Tom Knowles, Joe Quigley and Dale Gorman came on and we reverted to the 4-4-2 shape. We saw more of Jordan Barnett and  Alex Bradley trying to get forward and eventually our pressure and tired Taunton legs saw us get the winner.
 
My key takeaways from last night:
  • We didn’t create a lot
  • We didn’t allow Taunton to create a lot
  • Taunton had a very good left back and their Number 9 gave Luke Wilkinson a battle too
  • We look very fit
  • We’re taking the Sports Science stuff seriously
  • It was nice to be around humans at football again
  • Don’t fall in love with footballers
 

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