So, a thoroughly frustrating night under the bright lights of the Sky TV cameras as contentious decision making from the referee and the inability to take some gilt-edged chances denied the Wanderers a deserved three points, against a belligerent, if limited, Burton Albion side…
There weren’t any poor displays on show at the UniBol, as every man took to their task superbly, showing a real confidence on the ball, beyond what was a relatively poor first ten minutes, with Burton penning us in well.
446 successful passes to the Brewers 98 tells its own story. In fact it is absolutely pecking my head, as I write this an hour and a half after the final whistle blew, as to how we didn’t make this utter dominance count. The less said about the officiating for Kieran Lee’s disallowed goal and for the late penalty shout the better.
Special mentions go to the right sided Welsh partnership of Gethin Jones and Lloyd Isgrove.
Geth always seems to get stronger the longer the game goes on, and if he could just improve his final ball he’d be one of the best in this league. Izzy was at his industrious best, nipping at defenders heels when purposefully pressing and slaloming around defenders when in possession. We did miss Josh Sheehan’s set-piece delivery, however, as too many of his balls in were just the wrong side of floaty, meaning the 14 corners we amassed barely delivered a presentable chance.
Ricardo Santos was, one badly misplaced second half pass aside, back to his imperious best. Time and time again he swatted aside the challenge of fit-again Burton front man Kane Hemmings with an air of complete superiority.
The fairly obvious MOTM for this ultimately disappointing night at the UniBol, though, just has to be our starman, playing for the Whites. His name is Afolayan and he still is dynamite.
Dapo has been a regular contender for the award, certainly every time I’ve put my hand up to give it anyway! And tonight was no different. He ran Burton ragged with his trickery, balance and unerring determination to run at Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s backline meaning we were always in the ascendency.
To be fouled five or six times inside the first twenty minutes takes some doing; to be dumped to the ground for four bookings alone, including both of John Brayford’s yellow cards, seriously beggars belief!
He is becoming a real marked man in this division now, and they did stem his flow to a degree in the latter stages of the second half, despite lots of encouraging link-up play with Liam Gordon. The left-back was another who did himself no harm whatsoever and Declan John has some serious competition for his place now. Dapo really deserved to cap his display with a goal, his best effort hitting the post on a night where it seemed that the football gods had just decided it wasn’t to be.
I just hope we can hold onto him beyond January, as this man is destined for the very top in my opinion. I’m certain more goals will come for the talented and hardworking wide man, and lots more sleepless nights for League One defenders.
Dapo, I salute you!