Hob Nob Match Report

11 August 1998
Peterborough 1 Reading 1

Wtn Cup 1-1

Van der Kwaak, Booty, Parkinson, Kromheer, Legg, Bowen (Houghton), Brebner, Caskey, Gray, Williams (Asaba), McIntyre

Asaba (for coming of the bench and scoring)

Some details from Platypuss:

Unexpurgated bollocks in fact. Unless we start "gelling" pretty soon, we are going to become the laughing stock of Div 2.

Bright point: Carl's twinkly-toed finish to spare our blushes. Very tasty.

Williams played very deep, so we were 4-5-1 for much of the game.

Does the midfield look lightweight? Funny that, we didn't get a sniff in midfield, so resorted to long distance punting after piddling about the back four for a bit. Oxford away last year, anyone...? The passing got over-ambitious and we gave the ball away too cheaply.

We looked absolutely hopeless on their corners, PARKY IS NOT A CENTRE HALF, and refused to send the 6'4" Kromheer up for ours.

There was a hell of a lot of doubting of TB's tactical acumen, I can tell you.

We must have kicked/headed the ball off the line 4 or 5 times before Posh finally got their deserved opener, Carruthers completely unmarked 6 yards out. PARKY IS NOT A CENTRE HALF.

Problem with playing 4-5-1 , or 4-4-1-1, is that when the 1 (McIntyre) has a bad day, absolutely NOTHING gets created up front.

By the time Tommy finally decided that things needed to change (15 mins to go sound familiar anyone?), Posh were completely rampant and a second seemed imminent.

With the introduction of Houghton, (for Bowen) and Asaba (for Williams) things got better straight away (!)

1: The passing in midfield got shorter, so we didn't give the ball away with over-ambitious raking 40yard passes to the defenders and goalie... We started to look good!

2: The pace and movement of Asaba dragged the defenders around, so allowing the midfield to advance into space, and create holes for the ball to be passed into.

Ball gets fired into the near post by Gray, Carl traps the ball instantly, knocks it wide of the onrushing keeper with his right foot, then delicately chipped it over him with the left, and the ball nestled in the far corner. Magic!

Good support for Carl after the game (I'm sure even some of it wasn't ironic) and he seemed obviously over the moon. His was the only flash of invention in the entire game.

Things to ponder:

1: Midfield is too lightweight. If we play Brebner AND Caskey together, they will need a minder (Parky or Reilly) in a 5 man midfield. If we play 4 in midfield, only one of them should play.
2: Booty can't really cut it, crosses from too deep and overlaps when he shouldn't, and hangs back when he should. Get rid.
3: Parking was 60p in the marked Football Car Parks (sorry!)
4: Did I mention that Parky isn't a centre half?
5: If we play 1 up, and the 1 isn't a goal scorer, and you have a shot-shy midfield, just where do we expect the goals to come from?
6: We didn't beat the oppo in a 1 on 1 at any time, whilst the Posh players seemed to delight in dribbling it around 3 or 4 of us, especially their no 15.

Is it just me, or have we always had a shot-shy midfield? Is it a case of passing the buck? Why do we always seem to want to walk the ball in instead of having a pop from the edge of the box? Hope we improve for Saturday, but at least there were promising signs. I'd like to see us strengthen further, a right back with pace who can cross is definitely required. A 20 year old Jimmy Quinn would be nice too.

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