Ryan Etches – @RyanEtches
I am very happy to continue my 100% win record when doing Match Verdicts with a 5-1 thumping of Aldershot in the FA Trophy. I use the word “thumping” loosely as in all honesty it wasn’t a 5-1 game.
We made a few changes from the defeated team last week at Harrogate. MacDonald came in for Covalan in the latest round of “who’s in goal today?”. Cundy was dropped for Niate at centre back, with Lewis starting at left back instead of Medford-Smith. Two debuts in the midfield with Lloyd James (signed earlier this week) and Aaron Nemane (signed earlier this afternoon) starting with Buse and Whitfield. Reidy and Janneh up top.
It was a fast start from United and they had their first goal after 7 minutes; good work from Saikou Janneh as he cut in from the right and slid it in the far corner with his left foot, ‘The Gambian Prince’ is up and running for the season!
It wasn’t long before we had our 2nd. Wynter drove into the box and dipped inside of the defender before he was brought down. Looked a bit soft from where I was but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it. Reidy confidently smashed it into the bottom left. 2-0 and cruising.
Aldershot’s only real threat to our goal in the first half came around the half hour mark. Whitfield was set through one-on-one but could only hit it at the keeper. I missed the build-up to the Aldershot effort as I was making a note about Ben’s chance but I’m told by Marcus that a long ball was pumped up towards Niate who missed it completely. Luckily their forward was naff and missed the target.
Into the second half and Aldershot came flying at us, with a lot of the play in our third of the pitch. Without some smart keeping from Shaun Mac we could’ve seen our lead disappear.
However, Mac could do nothing about a goal from the visitors on the hour. Bettamer shot from the centre of the 18 yard box and as Wynter slid in to try to block it, he diverted it past the keeper and into the bottom left. 2-1 and a bit squeaky bum time.
10 minutes later and the otherwise anonymous Nemane had his first magic moment in yellow. Flashy footwork from the Frenchman (yes another one) put the Shots full back on his ass, which gave him the space to play it up to Saikou who teed it up for Reidy and no.19 bent the ball into the bottom right. 3-1 and a huge sigh of relief.
We didn’t wait long for the 4th, Lloyd James slid through a perfect through ball to Ruairi Keating, who had replaced Nemane no more than 3 minutes prior, and with the keeper rushing out he stretched and poked it under Mitch Walker. 4-1, we’re back and scoring goals. Side note, it was a nice moment to see the whole team rush to celebrate with the Irishman.
Mitch Walker’s bad day in goal for Aldershot reached it’s peak late on. The keeper tried to hold onto the ball too long outside his box (goalkeepers aren’t renowned for their footwork) and Janneh pounced and pinched the ball from him and rolled it in from a tight angle on the edge of the box, shades of Salah.
Shaun MacDonald 8: A good game from Shaun, some smart saves and most importantly he held onto the ball, very few of his saves weren’t held. His last man tackle on Aldershot’s onrushing striker was a thing of beauty. Ho’way
Ben Wynter 7: A normal assured performance from Wynts, good defending and brilliant going forward. Great attacking play from him to get the penalty for Reid’s first.
Kyle Cameron 6: A generally solid game from Cam, a couple of mistakes but nothing major.
Jean Yves Koue Niate 5: Getting yourself booked in the first 10 minutes puts yourself on a tightrope for the rest of the 90. I don’t know whether Jean is low on confidence or match sharpness but he didn’t look comfortable. On another day against a better side the mistakes he makes mean we lose.
Joe Lewis 7: A good shift from the makeshift left back. Solid and capable in that position.
Ben Whitfield 7: One of Ben’s quieter games but the work rate he is now known for was there as it always is. Sweeps past defenders with ease.
Matt Buse 6: Busey is the player every team needs, the workhorse. He maybe wasn’t the best on the ball today but that was probably more down to the pitch.
Lloyd James 8: A very good debut from our Vegan Green Rovers loanee. Sir Gary mentioned about his eye for a pass earlier this week and he was spot-on. A perfect through ball for Keating’s goal gave him the assist he richly deserved.
Aaron Nemane 7: Bit of a weird one today for Nemane. He huffed and puffed all day without doing a lot until he sat Kinsella on the deck and helped create the 3rd. A good start, looking forward to seeing more.
Saikou Janneh 8: He’s back. A Plainmoor goal for Saikou, now the tension of him waiting for his first goal is over, hopefully he can kick on and put a few more away before he is whisked away to the EFL. Or could he stay for the season? If Gary threatens to ground Lee and not give him his pocket money we could be onto something.
Jamie Reid 8: What can I say that hasn’t been said a million times before. Jamie. Reid. Scores. Goals.
Ruairi Keating 7: Another player who we were all willing to score his first home goal. Instant impact from the ‘Silver Fox’, handsome lad he is.
Amrit Bansal-McNulty 6: Didn’t do a lot when he came on, the game was already over.
Olaf Koszela 6: see above
Man of the Match: Lloyd James
For a bloke who’s barely played this season and will be lacking match fitness, he didn’t half control the midfield. Towards the end he tailed off a bit but that’s to be expected if he’s barely kicked a ball in anger. He is exactly what we’ve been lacking in the middle, experience and the eye for a killer pass (see 4th goal).
Honourable Mentions: Reidy and Janneh
To both score two and not be given man of the match just shows how well I think James played. Nice to see them both scoring and playing well together. Feels just like last season, what a time that was. Remember when we won the league? Sam Druiff cried during “We are the Champions”.
Gary went for the tried and tested 4-4-2 and it worked well. We were solid all over the pitch and controlled the midfield. Two strikers is the way forward, one up top and they are left isolated.
Piss poor, less said the better.
A good win against a poor Aldershot side. We’ve finally got that win and with any luck the wind back in our sails to propel us higher up the league. Wouldn’t mind a Wembley day out either.
Chesterfield FC (H) – 21st December 2019, 3pm Kick Off