Dom Roman – @DomRoman
Perfect! Well almost perfect. Saturday afternoon was about as convincing as you could hope for from Gary Johnson’s team. Right from the start the team dictated the tempo of the game, the passes zipped across the surface and the enthusiasm from every player was too much for a surprisingly lacklustre and open Eastleigh FC. This was a GJ XI at their best, the away team just couldn’t handle the pace and intensity we played at – Thomas Kelly said it was our best home performance since Yeovil, I wholeheartedly agree with that. Chasing down the Spitfires in packs and attacking in numbers, terrific stuff.
The first goal was another moment that deserved a roar from the absent Yellow Army. Instead the players had to make do with a celebratory moment by themselves, with workaholic Waters a very popular goal-scorer. After that it was one way traffic, as shot after shot rained in on the Eastleigh FC goal; the midfield pressing with gusto; Wynter and Moxey pushing up the flanks and the strike duo showing the type of understanding we needed in January/February. In the end the nerves were tweaked a little as Eastleigh poached an undeserved goal, but eventually Jake Andrews sealed an outstanding 3 points for the Gulls. Lovely stuff.
Quick turnaround ahoy, as the lads travel up to Chesterfield today in search of another win to take us closer to the Football League. Gary Johnson would have preferred Tuesday night. The lads worked so hard on Saturday, it’ll be tough to replicate that two days later. Not impossible though, with the adrenalin flowing and confidence high, this can hopefully over-ride any feelings of tiredness. This squad is so determined at the moment, anything is possible including winning every game.
With the battle for the play-off spots raging, Chesterfield FC could do with a win themselves, especially after losing 3-1 to Hartlepool at the weekend. The Spireites never recovered from an early Pools goal, and showed fragility in defence and notably set pieces, that Gary Johnson will be hoping to exploit. Young manager James Rowe has helped transform their season, but the pressure is very much on them now, especially with the high profile signing of ex-Fylde striker Danny Rowe. Danny was lethal in the Conference last time, whether he can reach those heights again is debatable but he’ll certainly give Sherring and Warren something to think about.
Elsewhere injuries have helped take the sting out of the team (sounds familiar!), with striker Akwasi Asante ruled out for 9 months with a knee injury and defender Haydn Hollis out long term with a ruptured achilles. The experienced Curtis Weston will wage war with Asa Hall in midfield, whilst ex-Gull Fraser Kerr scored against Hartlepool on Saturday and should have had a second. Upfront Nathan Tyson is now 38 years-old, but could still be dangerous. This is a solid rather than spectacular team who will have to be at their best to beat us, but as we know full well no team can be taken lightly and they’ll be fighting tooth and nail to take us down.
TT PLAYER PROFILE: Fraser Kerr
Position: Centre Back
Date of Birth: 17th January 1993 – 28 years-old
Former Clubs: Motherwell, Birmingham, Cowdenbeath, Stenhousemuir, Gateshead, Hartlepool, TUFC
National League Stats 20-21: Played 21, Goals 1, Bookings 2
International: Scotland U21 – 3 caps