Chris discusses the win at Boreham Wood
CHANGE OF SYSTEM
Partly out of desperation and partly out of necessity, a change of shape to 3-4-3 did the trick at Boreham Wood on Tuesday night. The back three defended well and gave us a shape bringing the ball out of defence that enabled us to be much more solid and resolute in the way that we defended. Even the replacement of the naturally right sided Shaun Donnellan early in the second half didn’t make a huge difference, with Ali Omar being sound once he was on. The front three worked hard, with the physical Aaron Jarvis and full debutant Frank Nouble competing well with the physical hosts.
A CLEAN SHEET
Without wanting to state the crashingly obvious, keeping clean sheets is really rather handy when trying to win games of football. The first one in two months since the game against Maidstone was absolutely crucial in collecting the three points. Our ability to concede goals in more or less any situation has been the real issue this season. Tuesday night was the 16th consecutive game that we have scored in the National League, so scoring goals really hasn’t been the issue. It’s been the other end. The return of Dean Moxey and match winner Asa Hall have given us the timely boost that we needed, and with Tom Lapslie to return at the weekend, all of a sudden there are options.
HARD WORKING FRANK
Thrown in for his first start, new striker Frank Nouble worked hard. He is clearly lacking some match sharpness, but he has given his all since arriving, and but for a bit of luck, could have had a couple of goals. Denied by a narrow but correct offside flag on Saturday, he had a wonderful opportunity just before the interval here too. But he worked hard and gave a physical presence alongside Jarvis before tiring near the end and being replaced by Ben Wyatt. Hopefully, his first goal in Yellow isn’t far away.
GARY SAVED AGAIN
For the countless time this season, just when it appeared that time was finally running out, his team have pulled out a performance to keep him in a job. Rumours circulated before kick off that would be it with defeat, and his team performed. There are so many views on Gary right now, but fair play to him tactically here, as his players played out the game plan perfectly and produced the classic 1-0 away win. For us to have any chance of getting out of this, that is going to have to continue.
The re-emergence of the fit again skipper Asa Hall couldn’t have come at a better time. Although he has struggled for fitness over the last two years, he has such an impact when he plays. The leadership and drive that he brings from midfield is key to push the team up and out at crucial times, and him and Kevin Dawson worked their socks off in the midfield to hold the hosts at bay. His fitness is absolutely crucial to us between now and the end of the season.
MUCH MORE REQUIRED
I wrote in an article ten days or so ago that 6 points out of 9 was a must from these three games this week. I have to say that the 3 out of 6 bit hasn’t been quite as I envisaged it, but we’ll take it. And so onto Glanford Park on Saturday, in a game where any loser is surely finished. We can go into that with some renewed hope after this three points, but another three to set us up for the Easter games is the only thing that will do. The other results didn’t go brilliantly for us on Tuesday evening, but we can only worry about ourselves. Burying Scunthorpe and taking another stride forwards is the only option on Saturday. Anybody for an Aaron Jarvis winner?