A new formation brought a familiar result for the Blues at home, but this 0-0 was far from lucky as Chester outperformed a Kidderminster side that had defeated them a few weeks previously. The two best chances of the match fell to Alex Titchener. First he turned a defender inside out after an excellent through ball from Lindfield before smashing the crossbar, later the ball fell to him 10 yards from goal but his snapshot was powered over. Kidderminster did have two good long range efforts late on, but John Danby produced some fantastic saves to deny the Harriers an undeserved victory. Here are a few thoughts I had about the match.
Let’s start with the least obvious change from the defeat to Halifax – the formation. Whilst I’m not a fan of trying different formations out to ‘see if they work’, it is hard to deny this formation suits the players we have at the club. The three centre backs, today Linwood, Higginbotham and Kay due to Horan being injured, ensure height in the team and allow one centre back to go tight, whilst the other two drop off – applying pressure earlier in the opposition’s attack, whilst also being covered. Three central midfielders give us the best chance of controlling the midfield (we have no chance with two of our midfielders), the wingbacks add the width and with two strikers to aim at have a decent chance of finding them. This formation seems to be the best one to persevere with, especially as we don’t really have any wingers at the club.
Had quite a strange game today – he blasted an early free kick at the clock, but later delivered some fantastic set pieces into the box – several through balls were aimless, yet the one to set up Titchener’s excellent chance was pinpoint – at times his touch was awful, at others sublime. There’s no doubt he has some talent, as well as the ability to be really crap. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen a player who can blow hot and cold in the course of five minutes before though. He was playing the attacking midfield role today and did enough to merit his place and deserves a run of games to get his rhythm back. We might then see a Lindfield that can string a 90 minute performance together.
I was very surprised before the match to see that Seddon was out of the squad (and still am to be honest unless an explanation appears), but Reed did well today. He was a bit unfortunate in that not much fell for him, yet he persevered and won a number of freekicks in good positions. Useful though not match winning. His fitness looked good and looks as though he could contribute to the team. But, the question does remain: can he score goals? I haven’t seen much to indicate he’ll be the reliable goalscorer we need – though I haven’t seen that from any of the other strikers either to be fair.
Had a great game today. I haven’t been sold on him, but today he proved that he can defend at the crucial moments. Two excellent headers and an excellent tackle deep in our own half during injury time to save the game showed that. Long may his fine performances continue.
5. Blue v Red
It was quite an aesthetically pleasing spectacle today as Chester’s blue and white stripes clashed with Kidderminster’s red with white sash. Makes you wish we’d played in our home kit against Wrexham… Ah well, Kidderminster’s kit was spoiled a bit by a couple of their players having different shorts to the others (thanks to my brother Neil for pointing that out!).
Whilst today’s result wasn’t the three points we were all hoping for, it was the performance that I was really pleased with. It finally seems as though we’ve made some progress with this team – I hope Neil Young can keep it up away at Alfreton on Tuesday night.