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fbm

Blue tinted optimist⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
9,274
Location
Cloud cuckoo land
West Ham kicked off and set a fantastic pace.  In the first minute Harewood was set loose in the box and bought a fine save from Bartman.  It was about 3 minutes before we touched the ball and to be fair the movement from the opposition pulled us all over the pitch.  We were however to have a half chance from a decent ball in from the right which didn't fall to a Blue shirt.
As the clock approached the 10 minute mark, I said to my mate that we had made it through without conceding a goal.  As we spoke we carved an opening which could so easily have fallen to Bentley but didn't.  The ball was quickly swept up to Harewood who outpaced everyone, took the ball into the right hand side of the box and shot across Bart for the first goal.  Bugger.

At that stage it was men against boys really. We were struggling to make any impact at all, although ironically Drewe had our best chance of the match when he headed a Nicolau cross wide from 6 yards out - a free header too.  Dudfield had a snap shot against the post which was adjudged to be offside.

West Ham were really a different class in the first half but for all their possession, their chances were limited, and I attribute this to sterling defence work.  Sadly, with the exception of Maher, the midfield in the first half went missing with probably the worst 45 minutes performance by Gower in a blue shirt I have witnessed.  Bentley was lost, Pettefer couldn't get into the game and Kev was the only midfielder who looked like he was worthy of being on the pitch.  I don't remember Dudfield actually touching the ball (apart from the shot mentoned above) in the first half and our only tactic was to lump it forward to Drewe, which was meat and drink to Repka.

Frankly, at half time, I was fearful of what was to come.  However, it was only 1-0 and I wondered who would be happier; Blues fans that we were ONLY 1-0 down after a pretty poor first half show or West Ham that they were ONLY 1-0 up after totally dominating!

I have not idea what Tilly said at half time but I wish he'd say it prior to kick off next time!  What we saw in the second period was a Blues team that played with pace, pride, passion and movement - all of which had been lacking in the first half.  Our midfield took a grip and Pettefer, Bentley and Gower all started tackling, chasing, harrying and basically playing football the way they did in the second part of last season.  Bear in mind that although West Ham fielded a few youngsters there were still several first teamers out there and Blues took the game to them totally.  The West Ham crowd were stunned into silence as Southend thwarted their attacks and started to create some openings themselves.  Maher was set up for a shot from 20 yards which curved agonisingly inches wide.  Bentley had a goalbound effort blocked and Barrett failed to connect with an attempted overhead kick.  Dudfield capitalised on a slip by their full back and took the ball to the six yard box, tried to square it to Drewe but it was cleared for the corner.  Barrett stormed forward, played a one-two with Gower, charged goalwards and was brought down on the edge of the box by Repka, which earned him a booking.  Then, another scramble produced a clear handball by a defender which was seen by the travelling army but not by the officials.  Then, a period of possession ended with Bentley bursting into the box after a scramble and shooting towards goal from the angle of the 6 yard box.  The ball hit the defenders face and also was tipped onto the side netting by the keeper but for a brief second the roof of the net moved and some thought we had scored.  I can categorically state we didn't as the ball ended up behind the goal in front of where I sat in row A by the left hand post.

We continued to press and Tilly made a couple of changes; Tes for Drewe and shortly after Gray for Dudfield.  Tes was frankly inspirational and provided the creation which had been obviously lacking in previous games.  West Ham had a late chance with a shot that was well saved by Bart but he was almost a spectator in the second half.

As the match entered injury time we had a free kick on the right.  Nicolau knocked it in, the ball bounced around and a Blues shot ricocheted off a defender and ballooned 20 yards up the pitch to Harewood, who was almost on his own.  Jupp did his best to cover but Harewood took the ball into the box on the right and in a carbon copy of the first goal made it 2-0.

Game over then but I think the moral victory was ours.  We didn't expect to win but the second half performance has left me feeling a lot more optimistic.  No, we didn't score... but we LOOKED like we could.  That's the difference.

Before the ratings, a mention of the fans who cheered, clapped and sang throughout.  On the way out of the ground my mate overheard home fans saying something like "We should look at those Southend fans and then take a long look at ourselves.  THAT'S how to support your football team."

If anyone from the club is reading this... after the last 2 home performances you didn't really deserve the unbelievable support you received.  The reason you got it was because the team played the second half with pride and passion.  As long as you do that we will ALWAYS be behind you.  Now go and build on it at Bristol.

Ratings:

Griemink - 7.  Did what he had to do and claimed crosses well.  Some distribution a little iffy and if I'm being ultra-critical the 2nd goal went through his legs but it was struck hard and only from a few yards out.  He was certainly a huge presence and hopefully will help convince people what a good keeper he is having made several good saves.

Jupp - 8.5 - MOM.  This was undoubtably the best display I have seen him put in.  His attacking opportunities were limited but he got better and stronger as the game went on.  Missed a header late on but he ran himself into the ground, made some crucial tackles and stayed longer to applaud the fans than anyone else...
Barrett - 8.  A very composed and strong performance against a lively frontline.  Nearly scored and gave us an option that Spinner doesn't (where was he btw?  Injured?)
Edwards - 7.  Solid, didn't miss much and formed a good partnership with Barrett.
Nicolau - 7.  Coped well against Rebrov and Harewood, both of whom decided to attack down our left.  Some decent delivery from crosses and set pieces too, although not quite as good as Saturdays.

Gower - 5.  Even though he improved in the second half, he is a SHADOW of last seasons player of the year.  He lost possession and gave the ball away far too frequently.  Is he still not 100% fit maybe?  
Maher - 8. A very good performance by Kev.  He was the only midfielder to come out of the first half with any credit.  Never stopped battling BUT got booked for the 4th time in 5 games.  At least it wasn't for dissent.
Bentley - 7.  First half totally anonymous and looked out of his depth.  Came into it in the second half and with a bit of luck could have scored twice.  
Pettefer - 6.  Better second half but I would prefer someone with more pace out wide.

Broughton - 6.  Won some headers, got booked, missed a free header at goal but as always gave a committed performance.
Dudfield - 6.  Didn't get much service but chased around a lot, especially second half.

Subs

Bramble - 8.  Inspirational.  Created two or three openings and showed us what we have been missing.
Gray - 6.  Didn't really get into the game.
 

shrimper magic

First XI
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
332
Location
brentwood
I agree with all them ratings apart from i'd have Barrett as motm, it was the first time i'd seen him this season and thought he was solid tonight and very composed on the ball.

Would of been nice to get a goal because we more than deserved one ( how bentlys effort didn't go in i'll never know), Bramble looked sharp and must be giving more than just a 15min run out in our next game.

I'm also a bit worried about gower as he looked a shadow of himself for the second game running and think he gave the ball away more times tonght than he did all last season, i got laughed at by a couple of my W H mates when i told them he was our best player last season,but i'm sure he'll come good.

All in all a poor first half display, which i'm puuting down to nerves, but an excellent second half performance which i hope can instill a bit of confidence in the lads.

Also Great turn out from our fans and a good atmosphere!!
 

Technician

Guest
Excellent work FBM and agree that we need to carry performances like that into every league match home and away... Maybe Tilson ought to tell our lads that we are playing West Ham every week... as long as we score of course!!!
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Sandbach Shrimper

Life President⭐
Joined
Oct 25, 2003
Messages
6,130
Location
East Cheshire
Griemink 7 - Looked solid in goal again, made a few good saves and had no chance with either goal.

JUPP 9 - Excellent. Defended superbly and also got forward a lot and helped Petterferon the right wing.

Edwards 7 - Won everything in the air and him and Barrett looked like a good partnership.

Barrett 8 - Brilliant, deserves to start against his old club on Friday.

Nicolau 7 - Defended fairly well, and took the set pieces again and again they created a lot of chances.

Petterfer 7 - Ran his heart out on the right wing and put some good crosses in.

Maher 8 - MoTM runner up. Showed what a class player he is. Really got stuck in and stopped West Ham attacking. Went close with a good long range shot, too.

Bentley 6 - Started quietly but got into the game and really should have scored in the second half
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Gower 5 - What is up with him? Didn't seem interested at times and was our worst player. He needs to get his *** into gear and quick.

Broughton 7 - Worked very hard and him and Dudfield played well together. Should have scored in the first half with another missed header.

Dudfield 6 - Didn't get much service but should have scored at least one.

Subs:

Bramble 7 - Showed why he deserves a start, came on and made a difference.

Gray 6 - Didn't do anything.
 

Matt the Shrimp

aka Harry Potter
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
19,929
Location
Lewisham, London
Yep, pretty much agree with all of the ratings, although I would add the following observations...

*That must be the third or fourth game in a row where Bentley has been totally anonymous for the first 30-35 minutes (both against Cambridge and last night, you could easily have forgotten that he was even on the pitch), but then has gone on to be one of the most influential players in the game, and the person likeliest to score.  Why is that?  Can anyone explain this?  I can't.

*Very, very impressed with Adam Barrett.  Must start against his old team on Friday night.  Raided forward magnificently, in particular.

*Nicky is improving.  Can we please give this lad time?  The row behind me in the South Upper last Saturday bad-mouthed him something dreadfully, and it really irked me.  However, they're not the sort you can reason with.  They are the sort, however, that jump on the pitch at Upton Park and get an early exit from the ground...

*Dudders... please tell me that Lawrie hasn't suffered the Southend Signature Curse - inspirational whilst on-loan, insipid once pen has gone on paper...  
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   He looks a yard off the pace of the game at the moment.  Last season, his sharpness was one of the things that made him look so deadly, but it's just not there this season.  If he's not fit, then he must be rested...

*...which brings me on to Tes, who must start on Friday.  He looks leaner than at any time in his Southend career.  He won everything thrown at him in the air, played some dangerous balls in, worried the Hammers' defence stiff, added a completely new dimension to our attack.  He absolutely has to start against Bristol Rovers - if anyone in this side is going to score, it's Tes.

*Gower... like Lawrie, is he injured?  His first half performance was as poorly as I've seen him play in a blue shirt, squandering possession, running down blind alleys...  He must do better.

*Juppy - a return to form for our Duncan.  Like Kev & the Eagle - all raised their games massively.  I still think Jupp's performance away at Macc Town last season is the best I've ever seen from him, but this was his next best.  More of the same on Friday from Juppy, Kev and the Eagle.  My MotM would probably go to Kev, though... lining up against the likes of Sergei Rebrov would intimidate some - but not our Kev, the finest midfielder on the pitch in the second half (and most of the first).

*Bart... quite simply, you de man.  Keep it up, sir!

*Final thought... I did shake my head and grin ruefully when West Ham held up their subs board:

-----------
16 ¦ 8
-----------

Off: Sergei Rebrov
On: Teddy Sheringham

Proof for the youngsters, if they needed it, that we really do inhabit a totally different footballing planet to the Hamsters...

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Matt
 

Mick

Life President
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
10,529
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Matt the Shrimp @ Aug. 25 2004,13:17)]*That must be the third or fourth game in a row where Bentley has been totally anonymous for the first 30-35 minutes (both against Cambridge and last night, you could easily have forgotten that he was even on the pitch), but then has gone on to be one of the most influential players in the game, and the person likeliest to score.  
Indeed, I got 33/1 at half-time for Bentley to score first goal of second half and therefore not best pleased with their lucky deflection!
 

sufcintheprem

This is a modified caption
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
10,185
Location
Putney
Just a couple of small points:

** First goal was a megs. Andy Gray reckons this is the main way in which top keepers get beaten. Peter Schmeichel for one.

** Harewood hadn't just chosen to attack our right. I've seen him play 4 times now for both Forest and West Ham and he drifts wide right all the time to get the ball and run at defenders. Good player though. He would absolutely wreck other third division defences.
 

fbm

Blue tinted optimist⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
9,274
Location
Cloud cuckoo land
[b said:
Quote[/b] (sufcintheprem @ Aug. 25 2004,13:32)]Just a couple of small points:

**  First goal was a megs.  Andy Gray reckons this is the main way in which top keepers get beaten.  Peter Schmeichel for one.

**  Harewood hadn't just chosen to attack our right.  I've seen him play 4 times now for both Forest and West Ham and he drifts wide right all the time to get the ball and run at defenders.  Good player though.  He would absolutely wreck other third division defences.
Excuse my ignorance... what's a megs?
 

fbm

Blue tinted optimist⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
9,274
Location
Cloud cuckoo land
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Matt the Shrimp @ Aug. 25 2004,13:43)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (fbm @ Aug. 25 2004,13:42)]Excuse my ignorance... what's a megs?
A nutmeg, presumably...

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I thought that was the second goal? Didn't realise the first one went through his legs as well...
 

Saafend

Guest
[b said:
Quote[/b] (fbm @ Aug. 25 2004,13:48)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Matt the Shrimp @ Aug. 25 2004,13:43)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (fbm @ Aug. 25 2004,13:42)]Excuse my ignorance... what's a megs?
A nutmeg, presumably...

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I thought that was the second goal?  Didn't realise the first one went through his legs as well...
Bart needs to get a bigger arse, you never caught big Nev getting megged - he couldnt move his legs far enough for the ball to fit through!
 

sufcintheprem

This is a modified caption
Joined
Mar 26, 2004
Messages
10,185
Location
Putney
[b said:
Quote[/b] (fbm @ Aug. 25 2004,13:42)]
[b said:
Quote[/b] (sufcintheprem @ Aug. 25 2004,13:32)]Just a couple of small points:

**  First goal was a megs.  Andy Gray reckons this is the main way in which top keepers get beaten.  Peter Schmeichel for one.

**  Harewood hadn't just chosen to attack our right.  I've seen him play 4 times now for both Forest and West Ham and he drifts wide right all the time to get the ball and run at defenders.  Good player though.  He would absolutely wreck other third division defences.
Excuse my ignorance... what's a megs?
It's a northernism for nuts but nuts didn't really fit properly in to my sentence

"First goal was a nuts" sounds like I'm implying it was really very good. It was quite good, but that's not the point.

Good report though. Pretty much agreed with everything. Gower was poor first half and Pettefer was poor all game. We need to get something sorted on the wings.
 

Matt the Shrimp

aka Harry Potter
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
19,929
Location
Lewisham, London
OK, serious question here folks... What do people think of the following two-word suggestion for the solution to our currently inability to score goals:

Lee Boylan

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Barmy Army

Director
Joined
Oct 27, 2003
Messages
2,208
Location
Shoebury
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Matt the Shrimp @ Aug. 25 2004,15:22)]OK, serious question here folks... What do people think of the following two-word suggestion for the solution to our currently inability to score goals:

Lee Boylan

rock.gif
I personally would say no.

Sure the guy can score a bunch of goals for Canvey in the Ryman and has notched 3 so far in the Conference, but I think, if given the oppurtunity, Lawrie Dudfield will prove to everyone that he is a 20+ goal man. His shooting yesterday was good, and his all round play means that he creates chances.

Give the partnership of Drewe and Lawrie a decent run in the team from the start of games, and if it doesn't work swap the pair for Tes and Wayne. We can't stick with a partnership that isn't working, and shouldn't go out of our way to add another forward to the squad who will turn out to not score a large amount of goals either.
 

Hong Kong Blue

Guest
IMHO Boylan wouldn't cut it at the league level. He'd be another Mark Salter.

I'd far rather see Corbett and Dudfield paired together up front and sign a genuine left-winger instead.
 

fbm

Blue tinted optimist⭐
Joined
Oct 28, 2003
Messages
9,274
Location
Cloud cuckoo land
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Matt the Shrimp @ Aug. 25 2004,16:22)]OK, serious question here folks... What do people think of the following two-word suggestion for the solution to our currently inability to score goals:

Lee Boylan

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Serious answer...

The strikers are not the issue. Broughton excepted I think they will all score when given the service. We could have Michael Owen and he'd draw a blank.

As said numerous times before, a midfield of Gower, Maher, Hunt and Pettefer (as per Cheltenham) has only one goalscoring midfielder in it. Double team Gower and the attacking threat is nullified because Hunt, Maher and Pettefer are all defensive midfielders by nature.

The addition of Bentley for Hunt has improved matters slightly but Bentley is not creative; however he is box to box and will score goals. The (non-creative) midfield of last night were nonetheless able to create chances in the second half because of the style of West Hams play. However they can't play with pace and flair when there are 10 men in front of them and that's when you need the ability to create other opportunities.

With the introduction of Smith or Corbett in place of either Maher or Pettefer then we have continuous goal threats and creativity in midfield. Then Gray, Dudfield and Bramble will score goals.

As for Drewe - I think he'll always be more of a creator than a scorer.
 

Shrimper JK

Guest
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Matt the Shrimp @ Aug. 25 2004,16:22)]OK, serious question here folks... What do people think of the following two-word suggestion for the solution to our currently inability to score goals:

Lee Boylan

rock.gif
I personally think he'd do well with us. After all the goals he's scored in his carrer he deserves a chance at a higher level, but even if we wanted him its unlikely we would get him he's probably on more money at Canvey than he would be offerd here anyway.
 

Technician

Guest
[b said:
Quote[/b] (Matt the Shrimp @ Aug. 25 2004,15:22)]OK, serious question here folks... What do people think of the following two-word suggestion for the solution to our currently inability to score goals:

Lee Boylan

rock.gif
Matt... I have just travelled 300 miles to my Dad's [British West Hartlepool] and taken on board my "weekly" quota of alcohol in one hit... so I thought I would have a laugh on SZ [whilst waiting to drain the "lizard!" before bedtime...  
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]

I thought the same thing this morning about Lee Boylan... and as they say! "the greatest minds usually think alike!" not that I am trying to steel your thunder you understand!  
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I agree with some comments about the fact that in the main our strikers are fine, but it is the distribution that is the problem... furthermore, Tilson knows all about Boylan and would have gone for him during the summer, if he thought that the lad would be an asset to us?.

Now, whether King warned Tilly off, or Boylen's wage demands were too high? that is another question! I think we need to see what sort of impact he makes in the conference before making that sort of decision personally!!!

Great thoughts though!  
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