Sat 18th Jan 2020
Suburban Football League Premier Division
Maidstone United F C Development 5-0 TAFC Reserve team
Not often that in my time at Tring Athletic have I had a less enjoyable day. We lost 3 players in the last 24 hours (one to the First team - not a problem, one to injury - these things happen and ONE to a Darts Tournament, yes a Darts Tournament - totally unacceptable)
Having travelled 90 miles to a team which was top of the table 10 points in front but with us having 3 games in hand we had thoughts of maybe, maybe pushing towards a League title.
The first question I was asked, to show the difference in standard was "Have you come down on the coach?". Hmmmm. Their Management team consisted of 2 Managers,2 Physios and 1 Emergency First Aider with a defibrillator.
I'm saying these things as a reasons but not excuses for our performance.
Too many poor passes, throw ins, first touches, too many offsides against a team that held an alarmingly high line and were susceptible to the sort of quality pass we failed to find either moving the ball too quickly or too slowly.
I'll exempt David Saunders in goal, Joe Chott and second half sub Taylor Goodly but as for the rest, too many talkers not enough doers.
The opener came after 12 mins from a shambles of OUR throw in, the second after 25 mins from getting caught in possession and just before half time the game was dead and buried with a 3rd goal given away.
At half time we asked the players to play early balls in preferably diagonally to prevent offsides and get their back 4 turned. Although we were slightly better and at least won a few tackles the nett result was again poor final passes etc and really we might as well have saved our breath.
A 4th goal after 20 mins when we got bullied off the ball on the edge of the area was followed by a 5th when the by now back 4 turned into a parting of the Red Sea!!
Chris Clark picked up a potential serious knee injury to top things off and we were grateful to the oppositions First Aiders for helping out.
Although this performance was undoubtedly caused partly by only playing once in 5 weeks. It was totally unacceptable, I'm willing to my share of the blame . Hoping I'm not alone in that!!
Team: D.Saunders, M.Mullarkey, M.Stacey, L.Barkers-Obua , J.Naylor, (T.Withers), W.Salmon (L.Cesterone), W.Foley, C.Clark (T.Goodly), Holmes(L.Dwight), C.Asante, J.Chott