A game low on quality and chances was settled by an penalty awarded to Alfreton. Chester had a number of half chances but failed to produce anything clear cut, whilst Alfreton had a glaring, open goal miss minutes before their penalty. The only other thing of note were two unfortunate injuries to centre backs on both sides. Ross Killock went off, gingerly clutching his leg and will be out for three weeks, whilst Michael Wylde has apparently broken his leg, and was booked as his was stretchered off. A very bad day for him, then. Here are some thoughts on the match.
1. Alfreton fans
Probably the best away fans we’ve had at the Swansway all season. There were more of them then I expected and they were colourful, loud and, judging from their celebrations when they scored, extremely passionate. Other teams take note, that’s a proper away following.
Well. That was a harsh penalty. Both Chapman and there striker had a right to go for that, and to ping Chapman for being second to a 50/50 ball is extremely harsh, especially as their striker effectively got a shot off. A poor piece of refereeing that shouldn’t have decided the game. Alas, it did.
But, to win matches you have to create chances and we didn’t really do that. Yes there were plenty of half chances and decent balls across the box, but we really need to work on putting the ball in the net. I thought that part of the problem was that Rooney was up top. Yes he had a good game (until N Turner went off, but more on that in a second), but there was often not enough in front of him to really create a great chance. Hobson and Seddon are too similar to each other I think. They’re both good target men, but unless we’re getting a lot more crosses in the box, we need a different kind of player up top. Someone pacier and willing to run for the flick ons – will Menagh or Peers be that striker? I don’t know, but we need something else.
Normally Steve Burr does a great job with his substitutions, but today I felt they weren’t the best. Ok, Hobson on for Killock was probably fair enough, and Seddon was clearly knackered by the time he went off, but the removal of Nathan Turner saw us completely lose our shape. Rooney had to drop in and, whilst he can do a job in midfield, was playing higher up the pitch than we needed, which really didn’t suit the team. As a result we looked to go from back to front too quickly and we just weren’t going to win an aerial battle with a very large Alfreton side.
Next up we have a huge game against Southport. This is definitely a must win game. Both because we need to start winning at home and because Southport are one of our main relegation rivals. Tuesday night is going to be scary!