Morecambe our next opponent had a more comfortable home win against Cambridge than we managed last game at PP. As said already, we do need to look at a defender capable of becoming a replacement for McNulty, given our history when he is absent
I think this is when a relatively thin squad becomes a problem. To be fair McNulty is hardly absent but we do struggle without him. Our striking options have been a problem since Cook left. Norwood just had an off day and wouldn’t usually miss four chances like that.
Good lesson to learn though back in div2. I think a mid table finish is not unreasonable with the squad we have but we need to strengthen if we want to push on next season.
A much improved performance when compared to recent away matches, but a familiar result unfortunately. Our big problem in recent months has been conceding goals on our travels, so it is sod's law that in a game where we looked very solid defensively for the most part, Norwood uncharacteristically fluffed his lines.
I think the tactics we set up with were perfect for this type of game. We played a 532 and sat deep, with very little space between the defence and midfield. We had obviously watched Bury and noticed that they create chances through little triangles on the edge of the box, rather than going wide and lumping balls into the area. A lot of their football was tidy in the first half, but we denied them space and limited them to scraps in open play. At the other end, we always looked a threat on the counter, with Caprice creating numerous chances down our right hand side.
Unfortunately we did not take those chances, and paid the price with Bury scoring against the run of play from a set piece after half time. I am convinced if McNulty had been on the pitch we would not have conceded, as Maynard - who is five foot three - somehow managed to score with a header from the edge of our eighteen yard box. Even in the second half, Nors had two more good chances to equalise, but failed to hit the target from fifteen yards and then skied a great cross from Caprice from six yards out.
Individually, I thought Jennings, McCullough and Ridehalgh had decent games, but Caprice was my man of the match. He terrorised their left back in the first half and all of our best attacks went through him. His crossing has been criticised by some people, but he produced four or five great deliveries today.
A disappointing result, but Bury did not carve us open once in open play today, and this is a game we could have lost even with our strongest eleven and in top form. The defeat should not be viewed the same way as the Crewe and Grimsby losses.
Three winnable games follow over the Christmas period, and give us a great chance to get back in the play-off hunt.
Ellis was fine yesterday. I think he is the equal of Sutton, if not better than him.
The second goal was conceded when the whole team had pushed up the pitch chasing a late equaliser, so I don't attach too much blame for that one. It was actually Jennings who gave the ball away initially.
Very frustrating. It shows the fine line between victory and defeat in football, particularly at this level. There was nothing between the two teams except that they took their chances. Earlier in the season when we nicked all those one-nils it was us.