more can be said about City this season that hasn't already been said
on many other occasions. Another dire afternoon of suffering for the
City faithful ended with another defensive lapse. The bottom line on
our display: unacceptable.
City's line-up showed
only the one change from Tuesday's defeat with Baylo recovering from his
knee strain and replacing Callinan in a reshuffled line-up. Kacey Johnstone featured again,
suggesting his return from Bishops Cleeve may be permanent.
City started quite
brightly with Johnstone fitting in behind Bayliss and Cox and causing
Rocester a few early problems. As the match settled City even put
together a few slick moves, with one seeing Jenkins and Abbott cut in
down the right flank only for Bayliss to put his sharp shot into the
side netting. Baylo had other chances as reward for his hard work up
front, but he couldn't make any of them count. He almost connected to
a Cox cross, and then saw another effort charged down. Marshall also
saw a good cross go begging as it eluded Cox and Johnstone.
By the second half though City were running through syrup and the game
had degenerated into a totally forgettable occasion. Griff seemed to
have watched Gerrard earlier in the afternoon, but his shooting from
distance threatened passing satellites more than the net. The referee
missed quite a few things through the afternoon, but had reason to be
grateful for his poor observation when Baylo had an off the ball kick
at one of the Rocester defenders.
seemed to deteriorate through the second half and Rocester had several
opportunities to pull level. Sharp goalkeeping saved City twice as
Hines was forced to dash off his line and smother at the feet of
strikers allowed clean through on goal. Another low save spared the
blushes of Matt Parnell who seemed out of sorts at the back although
Tucks seemed more assured in his defensive role than he has in some
games recently. Both Abbo and tucks made timely interceptions as City
found themsleves coming under more and more pressure.
Things did improve
slightly when Medcroft came on. Just about our only flash of football
came when Cox's persistence won a corner which was only half cleared.
Medcroft pinged over a quality cross that was met at the near
post by Cox, but the shot went high and wide.
Although both sides had
created chances this was a poor match between two deeply unimpressive
sides. Fans taking the long view were comforting themselves with a 0-0
draw, a point and the prospect of a first league clean sheet. Even
with only minutes left we should have known better.
From no where a horrendous mix-up between Ally and Parnell let
Rocester through, and the ball looped up off the bar to leave
Ejiofor to nod in the winner from inches. The young forward can't have
believed his luck, only a week before we'd presented him with a
This was a performance that will have
left City fans fuming. Whatever the difficulties off the pitch there
can be little excuse for such a gutless display. The more people there
are putting in time and effort off the pitch the more there are who
will expect greater things from those carrying the fight on the pitch.
We lacked leadership, shape and most disappointingly passion. Any lack
of ability can be forgiven, but lack of effort is less
Someone needs to get a
grip of the players and inject some inspiration and desire. Things
need to be shaken up, lets hope the Adders feel the effect of that on