Okay, he didn’t score and missed some presentable chances but I think the majority of you will agree that a certain Mr Doyle deserved the theoretical bottle of Home Bargains’ finest bubbly for his sheer determination to try and get us back on level terms and the quality that ran through each aspect of his game (well maybe not his finishing on this occasion).
Our esteemed manager’s almost weekly assertion that we dominated the game before and after the Crawley goal made little actual sense to my eyes anyway, as I’d describe it as an even game lacking in quality with the Red Devils getting on top before their opener. There’s no doubt the chances we created in the final half hour meant that we deserved at least a draw from the game but the most worrying aspect of this to Evatt should be that it always seems to take us falling behind to provoke the type of response we saw yesterday afternoon and instigate the style of football that our newly-anointed gaffer believes is so sacrosanct and non-negotiable to his philosophy.
Notable mentions again go to George Thomason, whose lack of physicality at this level, while understandable, is pertinently an issue but always shows for the ball. He exhibits a composure and never-say-die attitude that are such great commodities while his passing has the kind of ingenuity, weight and purpose that you just can’t teach.
Also to Reiss Greenidge for me, who despite a comical fall over the ball (sorry for my vid/tweet Reiss) and the lack of stamina and/or match fitness which led to a lazy and reckless challenge and a second yellow card, I felt displayed an encouraging willingness to drive forward, thus opening up the game. His passes, mainly to Gethin Jones at left wing-back, for the main part hit their mark with precision and pace. Yes he looks clumsy and cumbersome at times but that may be a little down to his height and I think there is something there that can be built upon.
Doyle was head and shoulders above anything on our team though and I just dearly wish to see what he could do with either:
a) a proper hard working strike partner or
b) actual wingers supplying him with bullets
Maybe even both! Four-four-f*%#$g two anyone?
Yes, it’s true that his shooting from distance is frankly piss poor and only slightly more accurate than his fellow ginger on the bench, Ali Crawford but give Doyle a sniff in-and-around the area and generally he’ll make the keeper work.
His unrelenting willingness to get on the ball and make things happen with selfless running and clever movement is really encouraging.
The header against the underside of the bar was unlucky and set the tone for a desperate last 20 minutes or so when gilt-edged chances went begging at the rate of knots and you could wearily sense it was just not to be our day.
A break now until Exeter away on the 12th.
Time to rest a little. To reflect. To perhaps implement a new formation on the training ground.
But mainly to bring in some quality and ship out some of the shite we signed in the summer...