A dull game on the south coast saw Dover grab the three points due to having the better of the luck in the game. An own goal and a well finished header after a terrible shot found a Dover shirt in a great crossing position meant Chester’s long trip down was in vain, but that flattered them. Chester, meanwhile, missed a number of easy chances after having the better of the play. In all, it was one of those games that you get during a season, a poor result because of an off day. Here are some thoughts on the match.
To me the soporific performance in the first half from Chester pointed to the long trip down to Dover. It really is a long way down and sometimes that kind of trip can stay in the legs for a few days, which certainly seemed to be the case in the first half, with the notable exception of Peter Winn. I suppose the long trip causing problems was foreseeable, so maybe this could be looked at. We stayed overnight – which is obviously the correct thing to do – but perhaps could have started the journey on the Friday earlier and got a few more rest stops in, complete with stretching? Worth thinking about for the future.
2. Peter Winn/ Ibou Touray
Unfortunately had to go off at half time with a nasty looking cut to the head and was immediately missed. Touray is decent but doesn’t harry the opposition as much as Winn, and the stand-offish approach from Touray meant that most of the opposition attacks came down the left in the second half, especially after Roberts had been subbed off and Touray went to left back.
3. Matty Hughes / Craig Hobson
Was interesting to see them up front together. I felt that Hughes never really got into the match but did improve after Hobson came on due to Hobson being able to occupy the centre backs a bit better, allowing Hughes to drop into space. Hobson has to be one of the stand out performers of the season so far and I hope that in Hughes we’ve found him a strike partner.
4. Number 4
Dover’s number 4 had a horrendous minute shortly after Hobson came on where he took a ball straight into the balls, staggered up then took a shot straight into the face. It was pure slapstick made even better when he later emitted a high pitched squeal at the referee over a corner decision – his balls clearly hadn’t quite recovered. Hilarious.
5. Scholars Academy
On Friday I went to the Chester Exiles meeting, as I’m now an Exile, and asked a few questions about how the new scholars academy is going to work. As one of our twitter followers asked, here is a brief outline of how it’s going to work: The academy will need 20 boys ages 16-22 to qualify for the agreed funding; the academy runs at no cost to the club; the academy is a ‘bolt on’ to the current youth system – the current youth system will run in the same way, but players from the academy will be able to play for the youth team; players from the youth team can apply to be in the scholars academy, though they don’t have to; players in the academy count as being in full-time education which means they can’t be signed by anyone until they leave the academy (though I believe they can play for Chester). Think that was everything.
Well, Alfreton at home on Saturday. It’s a big three points as we’ve got some tough games coming up. COYB!