Dom discusses talking points ahead of the NL game
ON THE BRINK
I’m not sure there’s been a more agonising three game run in our club’s history than the one we’ve just had. In another universe the Gulls kept the heads against Dorking, Southend and Bromley, and gained at least a valuable 3 or 4 points to aid our relegation struggles. But not in this one. This leads us to a quick away double header against Aldershot & Solihull, and more desperate times. There remains enough games to save this season and save our National League status, but with confidence low and a Yellow Army travelling more in hope than expectation, three points at the EBB Stadium against 17th place old foes Aldershot Town would be a surprise. The Gulls have thrown away games with predictable incompetence recently, they need to overturn this very quickly to get supporters back onside and most importantly save a season currently in absolute ruins. Now where’s those highlights of that 6-1 win in November…
The Good News? Asa Hall is back in training this week, and cannot return soon enough. Maybe his calm head and leadership would have seen us over the line in the last couple of weeks, we’ll never know. The issue is when you’re counting on an injury prone veteran so much, you are just asking for trouble. He may come straight back into the line-up, because the Bad News is Tom Lapslie took a knock on Tuesday night and could miss this game. The little midfielder is all commitment, but the wear and tear of Saturday/Tuesday fixtures usually catches up with him and so it came to pass against Bromley. If Asa can’t make it then a Hanson/McGavin midfield combination is almost forced on Gary Johnson. Other Bad News? Dean Moxey also hobbled off and will likely be replaced by Ben Wyatt. We couldn’t ask much more of Mox this season, and expecting him to play 90 minutes every 3/4 days is another recipe for trouble from the manager.
Who’s going to create the chances to help us win games? It’s slim pickings, but I was impressed by Kieron Evans on Tuesday night. It’s been a tough season for the youngster, struggling to find a position that suits him in the team and struggling to get to grips with National League football. One thing he does possess is a good attitude, always moving to try and find space, and always asking for the ball, in this grim season I can appreciate that. Against Bromley he found nice positions and took on and beat the full back a couple of times, I want to see much more of that. End product continues to be a task that he’s yet to master, but I do like this lad and what he is trying to achieve.
Aldershot Town sit in a fairly comfortable 17th place, with 38 points from 35 games. The Shots looked in trouble a couple of months ago, but a few wins on the trot under newish manager Ross McNeilly (hired in December) saw them push up the table. A bad run could still see them caught up in a relegation scrap, and they lost top scorer Inih Effiong to Daggers earlier this month. Loan signing from Colchester Jake Hutchinson has taken up his mantle upfront, whilst captain Joe Partington leads them from the back in a defensive 3. Shots have lost the last 3 and have conceded 10 in the process, so confidence is not high in their camp either and there should be chances for the likes of Aaron Jarvis and Tope Fadahunsi to find the target. A low quality game is likely at the EBB (and at Solihull for that matter!), we just have to hope this struggling United team can win the arm wrestles, our season depends on it.
COYY – DOM
Check out my thoughts on YouTube, and my alternate questions for GJ!