Well… That was another 90 minutes that was hard to endure! It was just a frustratingly action deprived game of football that gave us fans very little to get excited about. We’ve become used to this by now. Prior to kick off I was saying that it was three points or nothing last night, but after snatching a share of the spoils in the 93rd minute out of nothing I think I’ll take that! I’m not saying I’m happy with a point – I’m far from it – but at least it wasn’t a loss I guess…
The first half was another dull, lifeless and heartless display as I sat there freezing my arse off along with another 6,800 or so supporters (dwindling numbers I know) struggling to stay awake. I mean, it’s a game Pressley and the players must realise we needed to perform well in and get a result, but the first half performance suggested otherwise again as negative tactics were on show. I’ll be honest, we did create a few good chances in the first half, but our inability to put them away is a real concern, and that’s the difference between us and better positioned teams… They’d score those chances and go 1-0 or 2-0 up. We fail to capitalise and then concede a goal just minutes later from another set piece… Even though I think Gary McSheffrey may have dived.
So yes, it was that man Gary McSheffrey who put the Iron 1-0 up on 21 minutes and the away side managed to hold on to the lead until the 93rd minute ;where one piece of quality from City, and a lack of concentration from Scunthorpe; allowed us to equalise and snatch a point from the jaws of defeat. If you look at the statistics we are the better side, but I still think we were very lucky to leave the game with anything.
I thought a real lack of quality was evident and our decision making in the final third was poor, with crosses either being particularly poor and miles away from a Sky Blue shirt, or good but without anybody attacking them in the box. We had several decent chances throughout the game and could of put ourselves in to a commanding position, but Dominic Samuel, Aaron Phillips and Marcus Tudgay missed good oppurtunities, although the ball in to Tudgay late on was poor. I also noticed that when our midfield picked up the ball, they had no options. The front three were all darting towards goal and screaming for the long ball, which we’d then play and it would lead to nothing, and this is where one of the strikers should be coming deep and demanding the ball, then we can play. We can’t have three players making the same run, it won’t work.
This is what contributed to the lack of quality most to be honest, as it forced the midfield to either pass sidewards or backwards (which was often greeted by boos), or pump the ball long more in hope than in expectation. This is what frustrates us fans the most, there just seems to be no creativity and therefore it looks as if there is no drive or want to win! And again, it boils down to scoring goals to win games, which is something we don’t do. Yes we’ve managed to score a goal to salvage a point in the last few second, and it was a good goal, but is this good enough for a team at home?
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, I still think the players we have are better than our league position, and I believe it is Pressley’s style of football that isn’t working. And games like last night test the ability of our players, both physically and mentally, but it’s another game that leaves me doubting us. I’d like to sit here thinking ‘Oh yeah, we’ll definitely stay up, we aren’t poor enough to go down’, but I can’t… Is there 4 poorer sides than us in the division at the moment? I’m not so sure.
As a squad we have to man up, we have to come out fighting for points and realise the severity of the situation. In an interview earlier in the week, Adam Barton said the squad doesn’t look at the league table… Well they need to and kick their arse in to gear. What once was a proud club is now hovering precariously above the league one drop zone, and we haven’t got a points deduction to blame it on this season! It’s just not been good enough. All we ask for as supporters is passion, desire, heart, and players who go out there and fight for every ball! If we lose but work ourselves in to the ground, fans will accept that. But at the minute it seems lacklustre… It has all season.
I’ve been to every game home and away so far this season, and I have to admit it’s not enjoyable any more. I turn up to every game wondering how many we are going to lose by, not how many we are going to put past teams. We need something that will give us some belief! I know the situation at the club behind the scenes is in complete disarray, but a bit more passion and entertainment on the pitch would give us something to cling on to… At the moment we have nothing. I’m sorry to be so negative at the moment, I hate it myself, but I’m just being a realist. Can we pick ourselves up? We need to, and quickly.
I just pray to God this free weekend is used wisely and the squad are made to realise how much this means to us fans. Relegation to league two is unthinkable… And if it does happen, I really do think we would fail to exist. It’s probably the most pivotal season in the clubs history, we need to stay up, whatever it takes! We need to find something from somewhere.
Let’s hope we can find it at Bramall Lane versus Sheffield United.
Jamie Jones 7 – Had another confident game and did what we had to do. Looked comfortable and couldn’t do anything about the goal.
Jordan Willis 7 – Defended well and looked fairly solid.
Aaron Martin 6 – Had an average game but gave away a few silly fouls, including the one leading to the Scunny goal.
Matthew Pennington 7 – Thought he looked a bit more comfortable at centre back and had a good game.
Aaron Phillips 5 – I rate the young defender very highly, but think he had a hard time tonight. Distribution was below par.
Adam Barton 8 – Thought he was very good against Preston Saturday and he was again tonight, retained ball well and looked defensively stronger.
John Fleck 6 – Had a relatively quiet game again, especially as a player who should be controlling games.
Jim O’Brien 6 – Worked hard as always but lacked quality in his passing.
Luke Williams 6 – Thought he was relatively poor again. Although I believe he was out of position.
Dominic Samuel 5 – Another poor game from him after so much promise on his debut. Missed a glorious chance in first half.
Marcus Tudgay 8 – Fed on scraps most of the game but did well, held up ball well and scored with a magnificent finish.
Ryan Haynes 6 – Didn’t really make an impact.
George Thomas 7 – Thought he showed glimpses of his potential again, linking up well and going close with a long range effort.
Simeon Jackson 5 – Wasn’t on for long, but did nothing to impact on the game.