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Blue tinted optimist⭐
Oct 28, 2003
Cloud cuckoo land
I think we have to bear in mind the quality of the opposition here.  We beat E Thurrock and Canvey and to be honest so we should; Millwall should beat us and did so.

But IMHO it was a far cry from previous pre-season games against superior opposition.  In the past we have been outplayed handsomely by West Ham, Leicester, Tottenham U 19 and Ipswich for 45 mins.

Tonight we defended extremely well, but were very powder puff in attack.  

We gifted them a goal after literally seconds... Maher got caught in possession on the edge of our box and it was a simple ball through for a forward to slot past Griemink.  Otherwise Millwall created little in the first half.

We had some decent possession and probably used 8/9 definite first team starters.  Our best chance came from a Gower free kick which was tipped over the bar.

2nd half we made 5 changes and contained Millwall again pretty well.  We showed a little more promise going forward but were snuffed out most of the time and our only goal attempt of note was a skewed shot from Lewis Hunt.  They had a great move, probably the only one of the match that carved us open and Jody Morris scored with a cross shot into the far corner.

All in all I take heart from the fact that an outsider would struggle to say who the Div 1 team was, and we're not going to get teams like that down here every week.

No ratings but comments as follows;

Griemink - Did ok, some good distrbution, some poor as well.  Very vocal all the time which is great.  Played 1st half

Jupp - played 90 mins - resorted to some showboating 40 yard crossfield passes later on but otherwise looked very solid.  Would have been booked in a league game for an obvious foul.

Nicolau - looked class, played 90 mins.

Edwards - best Blues player on the pitch.  Solid, dependable, and made several great challenges and tackles.  Played 90 mins

Barrett - ran Edwards a close 2nd.  200% better than on Tuesday.  Coped with Dichio easily and surged forward on a few occasions.

Gower - played 1st half and looked much more like his old self.  Had our best effort.

Maher - gave away the first goal and to be honest didn't do a great deal.  Repeatedly took corners and free kicks from promising positions and failed to beat the first man, which is unforgiveable.  Played 45 mins.

Corbett - played alongside Maher in 1st half and up front in the 2nd.  Did well, kept going, showed some very nice touches and as usual his movement is different class.  Played 90 mins.

Husbands - someone else who played 90 mins and is working very hard.  The difference in pace showed - he couldn't outpace the Millwall defence at all but showed promise and endeavour.

Bramble - played 1st half only and did ok.  Looked a little tired but having played 90 mins on Tuesday that's understandable.

"Striking Sensation" "Striking Sensation" Gray - his pedigree fortunately shows something that he has not demonstrated in either of the 2 halves of football he has played.  Millwall completely eliminated his threat and I am struggling to remember him actually touching the ball, although he must of done of course.  If he hadn't have come from a higher league I am sure we would be saying get lost.  Played 1st half.

Flahavan - Played 2nd half.  Could he be learning from Bartman?  Came and claimed at least 4 crosses and made a blinding save from a header.  Some of his distribution was spot on but he still takes too long to get rid of the ball.

Wilson - another solid and impressive 45 mins.  He came on in the 2nd half.  i'm seriously consideing joining the Che Wilson Appreciation Society (CHEWAS).

Hunt - played 2nd half in midfield and did ok. Made some solid challenges and had the best effort of the 2nd half

Kightly - played 2nd half and looked impressive, even if the final ball needs improving

Dudfield - came on for Gower with about 15 left and looked sharp.

Interesting omissions -

Broughton and Prior - Personally I think there's more than meets the eye regarding both.  Watch this space.

The second half was a great strength in depth experiment.  Apart from Flahavan, and the back four everyone else had moved around.

First half midfield -

Gower     Maher     Corbett Husbands

2nd half midfield -

Gower (for about 30 mins)   Hunt  Wilson   Kightly
After Gower it was Husbands

First half attack

Bramble and "Striking Sensation" "Striking Sensation" Gray

2nd half

Corbett and Husbands and then Dudfield

With 15 left Tilly took Mark Gower off and replaced him with Dudfield, who looked very very sharp indeed.

So, I'm still optimistic.  Just.