Warren Feeney was unfortunately unavailable due to his international call-up, so we had Supa and James Hayter up front with Neil Young returning at right-back after injury. This meant that Steven Purches, scorer of last Saturday's winner at Wrexham, could be moved forward into a midfield four.
As I write this on the Tuesday after the game, I'm having to rack my brains to remember much about the first 45 minutes. I can recall that both defences appeared shaky at times, but that neither forward line looked likely to take advantage of such shortcomings. City had the edge over us physically, but we competed well enough with Marcus Browning in particular putting in some excellent challenges and distributing the ball well. Garreth O'Connor produced one nice bit of skill, though not quite worth the admission money in itself, when he flicked the ball over his head to run past two flummoxed Robins.
We played our usual neat triangles in the middle of the park, but the only time we really looked like scoring was about 8 minutes before half-time when the tightly marked Wade Elliott skilfully turned a defender on the edge of the box and played the ball through to Purches whose rising shot was fingertipped over the bar by Phillips.
Incident-wise, things didn't improve much after the break. We managed one or two useful-looking sorties down the left flank involving Warren Cummings, Big Fletch won a few headers, Hayter tried an audacious volley after taking a couple of touches, but neither side looked good enough to win the game. As the half wore on, City increasingly took control, but with Carl Fletcher and Karl Broadhurst defending resolutely against Peacock and Roberts, there was still comparatively little for Moss to do.
The game livened up somewhat after Cummings was replaced by Danny Thomas after 75 minutes. He soon made his presence felt by harassing defenders and then provided an excellent cross which Fletch headed onto the roof on the net – probably the closest we came to scoring in the second half.
As the game entered the closing stages, we looked weary and seemed to have settled for a point which was probably, as they say, a fair result.
You could argue that the manager should have bought Alan Connell for 10 minutes at the end, but on this occasion I think SOD got it right.
So, a disappointing draw for the Sky game. We showed once again that we can compete with the better teams in the league, but we still lack the ingredient that turns home draws into wins and narrow defeats into draws away from home (Wrexham excepted, of course). Feeney may well have been that missing ingredient today and Connell will (we all hope) eventually get back to scoring for fun like he did last season.
Still, 2 clean sheets in a row is a creditable performance. Broadhurst and Baby Fletch were an impressive partnership at the back, and Cummings and Young seemed to be well on the road to full fitness. But where are the goals going to come from?
AFCB: Moss, Young, Broadhurst, C.Fletcher, Cummings (Thomas 75), Purches, Browning, O’Connor, Elliott, Hayter, S.Fletcher,
Subs not used: Stewart, Connell, Holmes
Ellis Griffin, Chertsey