| - MANAGER'S COLUMN -
Previous columns can be found under the match report of the game to which they refer, while video interviews can be found here.
It was quite hard to summarise the Dover game afterwards - it was one of the strangest games I've seen for quite a while. We were undone by a good bit of movement and a good finish inside the first couple of minutes, then got nicely back in to the game and Bedsi had a great header which we could all see from the dugout was over the line but the linesman didn't see it, the referee backed his linesman and we had clear photographic evidence at half time from Paul Loughlin that it wasn't just a little bit in it was a quite a way in. It's hard enough to score goals at this level and that would have put us right back in it. We then conceded a soft second early in the second half - it was comical defending undone by one straight ball - and then we had to go for it like we did at Eastleigh, and we showed that we can create lots and lots of chances and also showed that we can miss lots and lots of chances - it's four away games on the trot now we could be saying that we might not just have come away with something but might even have won. We were back in the game at 2-1, then they scored with a massively deflected shot that confirmed that the football gods aren't smiling on us. We then missed a ridiculous penalty, and it was a ridiculous penalty, and at the end of the game I'm feeling quite angry. Angry with the way we started the game, because we should have done a lot better, and angry that we haven't come away with something. It's not a fair reflection, but we've lost the game and while we were the better side after the first goal that doesn't mean anything. We can go on crying about things but we've also got to be better.
We were struggling for numbers tonight. Simon Downer picked up a sore hamstring after Saturday's game, and Max Biamou had to fly back to France for family reasons, but he also looks as though he might have brokern a bone in his wrist, which is why he didn't start on Saturday. Ryan Burge's ankle has swollen up again, Dean Beckwith's groin still isn't right and we missed Nicky Bailey and the solidity he gives us in front of the back four. If you take five big players out of a relatively small squad it will have an effect, but it does give those who played a chance to show what they can do. I'm running out of patience with our away performances - we deserve to be doing better away from home but it's only the players that can change that and it's the players I'll be looking at.
The penalty we missed was ridiculous - both the ones we've missed were sidefoots that I could have saved, and it's sad to say that we've got to have Nicky Bailey back in the side to guarantee a well struck penalty. Chris Dickson was the nominated penalty taker but he was off by then and so Roarie and Bradley were discussing it, but really they're fourth or fifth in line if everyone's fit. But that would only have brought it back to 3-2, it wouldn't have equalised.
The big problem is that we missed numerous chances again. I can only remember Ross Worner having one save to make apart from the goals, while their keeper was flying around his goal in the last half hour and made two or three brilliant saves. We're in that position at the moment of needing to win our home games because the away games aren't working out for us and that's got to change.
I thought Craig McAllister gave us a good half hour when he came on and Shaun Cooper will come back in to contention again after a good month at Eastbourne, and we're also looking closely at the Craig Dundas situation. He's got another week at Tonbridge, and has scored three goals in six games and needed that, but the personnel is something I'm going to be looking at because wherever you lookat it we haven't scored enough goals. The wingers aren't scoring enough, the midfielders aren't scoring enough considering the licence we give them to get forward, and the strikers aren't scoring enough, so no-one's safe at the moment in terms of what we'll be looking at.