Jonny Jones – @Jonny_Jones
Keeping it short and sweet tonight as it’s been one heck of a day! First half was the best I’ve seen us away this season. We absolutely outclassed Halifax, who offered very little until the game was done and dusted. If I’m being picky, 4-1 reads a lot more like a hammering than 4-2, and they deserved a battering, we were simply too good. You can’t complain with another 4 goals though.
We now sit just two points off the top, which is quite incredible really. With players to come back from injury one thing is for sure, Gary Johnson has made us a proper team again.
Covolan – 7 – In again for Shaun MacDonald, and eyebrows were raised by a few people, me included, in the Three Pigeons pub on seeing the team sheet. After Shaun’s assured display on Tuesday night I thought he was due another start today.
But question GJ at your peril. In truth, he had barely anything to do in the first half, as was United’s dominance, but Cov put in a good display when called upon. He claimed crosses well, distribution was tidy and made a few smart saves, particularly the sort that bobble just before hitting the target. Big Cov didn’t have any chance with either goal, they were both well-worked to be fair.
Wynter – 7 – Wynts is becoming a bit of a stalwart. I mentioned in the week that for me, he doesn’t dip below a 7 every week and yesterday was no exception. He’s just so solid at the moment, and something I don’t think he gets enough credit for is how he uses the ball. So often the easy hoof ball is on, he’ll just take a step inside, and feed in one of the forward players. Love him to bits, I really do.
Cameron – 8 – Amazing what you can when you can see the ball isn’t it?! As the official away sponsors I’m delighted to say that Kyle was immense yesterday. Adding more goals to his game is definitely something he needs to do, because he’s so strong in the air. So it was great to see him power the opening goal home after 8 minutes. Also, how good was it to score from a corner? With the attacking, flowing football we’re playing at the moment it was almost even more satisfying to go ahead on a set piece.
Cundy – 7 – Robbie had a good game. The first half was the best I’ve seen the centre-back pairing play, demonstrated by how quiet Halifax were. A similar commanding presence to Kyle, only for the goal, they’d get an identical rating.
Davis – 7 – Liam capped the rest of the back four’s performance off today, we all know he’s a class act. Halifax were getting in down the left side after we went 3 goals up, but I think that’s mostly due to the whole side taking their foot off the gas, rather than a fault of Diz in particular.
Whitfield – 7 – As lively as ever. I think he’s a League player. There was a lovely moment in the second half where a Halifax defender completely committed to taking Ben out, but he got to the ball first, poked it around the corner and he was away, quite beautiful. Arguably been our best player since his arrival and today was another top performance.
Vincent – 8.5 – MOTM, see below
Buse – 8 – Paul Scholes from the Westcountry. Okay, maybe not the same type of player, but oh so effective. It’s so important to have a player that you can trust to break up play, get it back and keep the rest of the side moving, and that’s exactly what he did today. With Frank they completely ran the show. I’ve not seen a more dominant performance in midfield this season.
Andrews – 7 – Mr Consistent was just that today. Not a stand-out performance, but very solid none the less. What I like most about Jake is he balances out the vigour and pace of Whitfield on the right hand side with his range of passing and control over the ball. As a midfield today, Halifax simply did not have an answer.
Janneh – 7 – Saikou’s come home. He and Reidy look to have picked up where they left off. The interplay is almost telepathic at times, it was brilliant. First half we were just cutting Halifax open at will. Created Reid’s second with a superb jinking run to the bye-line. Had a brilliant chance to score in the first half that he put wide. He 100% scores that next week, I think it was a lack of match fitness* cliché alert!
Reid – 8 – Jamie played most of this game with a knock to the shin but you wouldn’t know it. Link-up play was as good as ever, tucked away the penalty with aplomb, and was never going to miss the second. What was more impressive today was the continuing assists. We saw it last weekend against Barrow, and today he picked out the perfect pass to slide in Kalala for the fourth goal. Very nice indeed.
Kalala – 7 – Only Kalvin was on long enough to get a rating, and he was toying with Halifax at times. I think he drew a foul within 10 seconds of touching the ball. Looked to have taken too long on the ball before his goal, but this is KLK, he does what he wants, how he wants. Of course, he just rolled it in without looking half-arsed before the defender could recover. Not a bad player to bring on at 3 nil.
Man of the Match: Frank Vincent
Yes, yes super Frank. A breakthrough performance. I’m giving him MOTM. together him and Buse were absolutely sensational today. As ever, never afraid to receive the ball but his retention today was faultless, I don’t think he lost the ball once. With Asa and CLE both out injured, there’s been a huge chance for Frank to stake his claim for a starting position and he’s risen to the challenge. I did think for a while he was best as a 10, behind Reid, but today he has put that thinking to bed. Was substituted late on and after that we didn’t look anywhere near as assured in the centre of the park.
With Janneh back, we went a straight up 4-4-2, and how effective it was. Buse and Frank bossed the centre of midfield. Saikou was running in behind, and we looked to hit the channels at every opportunity. This was creating space for Reid and Whitfield, causing no end of problems for the Shaymen.
Simply couldn’t live with our attacking play. Looked dangerous once the game was won, probably decent enough to be in around the play-offs come April. Nowhere near as good as us.
The Shay is an eerie place. Unlike so many grounds these days, it’s got a bit of soul and history but just feels unloved. They play goal music, which is a big no from me. I mean, you’re 4-2 down after 90 minutes, really? A few fans outside didn’t like us singing it back to them as we walked back to the car. All part of the fun though.
Didn’t notice them today, which is definitely the first time this season! Only notable decision I can think of which he had to make was for the penalty. It was nailed on. Stone wall. I didn’t see any Halifax players remonstrating, which says it all.
Key Moment: Jamie Reid Penalty
I’m going with the penalty for 2 nil. It was the result of a flowing move from midfield that I cannot wait to watch again. It was samba football in deepest darkest Yorkshire.
Just want to sign off with a thanks to Ryan, Sam and Ben for the trip up North yesterday. Really appreciate it, lads. It was one of those away days you remember for years to come!
Up the Gulls.
Maidstone United at Gallagher Stadium, 9th November – 3pm Kick-Off