‘Tuttiesta’ (sigh) was everywhere as we made it three wins in a row, and no, I’m not counting a glorified friendly dead rubber win against kids in the stuffed crust Pizza cup with an entire second string. That’s like saying you’ve got a degree when it was in fact your twin brother who went to Uni, while you bummed around at home watching Netflix.
Anyhow, the wily Scouse midfield destroyer was omnipresent and put in so much work, I wondered if we were going to have to put up with Tom White for the last portion of the game (only joking Tom, I’m sure you’ll do a Santos and come good!) as Tutte rested his weary legs but he saw out the almost 97 minutes of action with impressive concentration and reserves of stamina.
The fact Scunthorpe couldn’t build any real forward momentum in the second half to put pressure on our goal was down to a number of encouraging factors.
Solid performances again in the back line from Baptiste in particular, with Santos again imperious in one-on-one duels. Delaney was a little hit and miss again and lost the ball needlessly on a couple of occasions but really comes good when backs are against the wall and took control with some big clearing headers.
Peter Kioso was energy personified again and took his goal with a calmness and composure that is great to see. Nathan Delfouneso’s contribution was pivotal but he continues to frustrate and flabbergast opposition defenders in equal measure, sometimes dwelling on the ball too long when a teammate is in space.
The main factor in being able to see this one out and maintain our newly established winning impetus was the constant harrying and countless interceptions from our midfield pairing of Antoni Sarcevic and in particular the performance of the ex-Bury, Rochdale and Morecambe man.
His reading of the game comes from a decade in and around these leagues and playing these opponents in these less-than-glamorous stadiums, week-in-week-out. Experience is an underrated attribute in modern football and his positional sense, timing of the challenge and footballing intelligence really do make this team play with a purpose and cohesion that was sadly lacking in September.
It is now clear and obvious to all fans that his presence is a must for the midfield balance to work, which in-turn leads to the whole team clicking.
That Evatt thought that wasn’t necessarily the case and persisted with Brandon Comley for so long was certainly puzzling, with Tutte making only sporadic appearances until the draw at Cambridge United, where he seemed to nail down his place in the team, albeit following that up by being one of the fall guys at half-time at Leyton Orient.
Maybe it was a case of getting up to speed fitness wise after missing a chunk of pre-season, or a willingness to give Comley enough chances as to be fair with him, I’m not entirely sure but with a W5 D2 L1 record with him starting, then that’s pretty clear to us all and now seemingly Evatt, that this is promotion form and his should be one of the first names on the team sheet moving forward. The spine of this new side continues to take shape and its components are really starting to shine and long may it continue.
Southend at home is another huge opportunity to press home this new-found confidence and record another win that would see us within touching distance of the play-off places, something that looked an awful long way off at full-time at Brisbane Road.