The No.9 on loan from Notlob had been a handful so far, but contained. This time he was able to turn near the "D" & smack it past Moss's left hand, 1-1, 31 mins. Then he crossed too far; back over it came for No.7 (expensive Stuart Elliott) to throw himself at the ball by Moss's right-hand post. 2-1, 35 mins. Defenders claimed offside; I think they moved out just too late. Tigers now were, well, tigerish, quicker to the ball, stronger, direct. Too often we passed back to Moss, as the home side closed us down. In this period, Cummings took a knock on the ankle. Half-time 2-1 and after queuing for some time the snack-bar appeared to run out of food. Sounds familiar?.
From the restart, the ball went into the struggling Cummings's area, the cross came over & No.7 had a free header. 3-1, 46 mins; should Young have come across to mark him, or BabyFletch have organised it better? Elliott responded with a good Thomas cross but it ended easily with the 'keeper. Stock replaced Cummings on 54, the logical change given the injury, with Purches snr. returning to left-back. The home net-minder had to up his game, dealing well with a good right-wing cross & a shot from Stock from the 18-yard line. No.7 had a long shot palmed away, but Stock was creating more movement; we were having a go but no end-product. Hayter put in Elliott who shot over from wide; Hayter was running well, but so were the home forwards. The rest of their team was reading us all too easily; changes were necessary: McDonald & O'Connor for Hayter & Thomas on 71.
Hayter had run his heart out as per, but was seemingly always chasing after scraps, whereas McDonald at least tried to make things happen, being eager & mobile. Elliott put him in for a cross; Stock glanced it with a header needing a good save. Then McDonald put a left-footer over. He, Elliott & Stock continued to work well together the rest of the game. BabyFletch shot from a corner; it was slapped out & Stock hit the return over. SupaFletch missed out on all this; other plays saw the ball lumped forward to the home 'keeper. Late on, Browning was yellowed for seemingly going through the player. Full-time 3-1.
We've now used 7 goalies & 8 central defenders & we've had a player embargo, against which we have to look at tactics & delayed substitutions. On this basis I have to give the management team the benefit of the doubt being 4th, but… They'll need at least a course in obstetrics if they're to deliver us out of Div.3 this season; we can forget about automatic promotion after Wrexham's Easter results.
AFCB (4-4-2): Moss, Young, C. Fletcher, Gulliver, Cummings (Stock, 54); Elliott, Purches, Browning, Thomas (O’Connor, 71); Hayter (McDonald, 71), S. Fletcher.
Subs unused: Stewart, Holmes
Peter Wicks, Greenford