| - 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 a good away point at Havant and if you'd said before the games against Ebbsfleet and Havant we'd have had four points we'd have taken it, but at half time we felt it was going to be six because we were exceptional in the first half and deserved to be two up and maybe should have been three up, because Ricky Wellard had a great chance, but again we're back to talking about officials and decisions. The sending off didn't really help us because they didn't really change their shape from what they had at the start of the second half, and then he gave a penalty which we've just watched again on video, and that's proved what we thought at the time that it should never have been given. It was the key to the whole game, because they were petering out at that point and I think we'd have seen the game out comfortably, but the referee's given them a massive leg-up with the decision and that's the main reason it ended 2-2.
It's encouraging that Dan Fitchett has come in and given us something that we've been missing this season, and his partnership with Jamie White will be a good one. Dan had four efforts on target last week, and two more today which went in, so that's pleasing and what's also good news is that you could see that we were back to the old Sutton today and the team was back, and I don't think we'll lose too many between now and the end of the season. To come here and be disappointed at not having won, after deservedly beating Ebbsfleet last week, if we can go and be positive at Hemel Hempstead and get something from that game then I think everyone will view us to be back at the level they would expect us to be.
We walked on the pitch before hand and our feet were sinking just when we were walking on it, particularly on the sanded bits, so I thought both teams put on a really good Conference South game. The away support was good, the home support was good, and both teams can take from the weekend that they contributed to a great game on a really difficult surface.
We were disappointed with their second goal because we felt all second half that we didn't put the ball in the right area to turn them, and Shaun's pass was one example when it was cut out, but the finish from Hooper was probably up there with the goals of the season. He meant it, and for it to hit the inside of the bar and post and go in, sometimes you've just got to applaud that sort of goal, even thogh you're disappointed.
Dan Wishart put in a great shift this afternoon and was shattered with ten minutes to go so we brought Dale on, and we were still looking to win the game at that stage so wanted to get Micky Spillane a bit further forward to see if he could provide that pass or piece of magic that would give us the decisive goal, and with Louis John as a natural defender we just changed the full backs, we didn't alter the middle of the defence, so it wasn't too much of a disruptive change. Jamie White's worked really hard, he's been doing outside work with conditioning and strengthening coaches, and he now needs a good end to the season to get himself ready for the next one.
You're always sorry to see players eave the club, as three have done this week, but Jack Evans wanted to play regularly in midfield and I couldn't see him getting in front of Southam, Gomis, Spillane or Dundas, but having said that he'd played a lot of games for us. Alan Julian unfortunately had a succession of injuries with us and then lost form, but I backed him coming in to the side when he was fit and that obviously affected Tom Lovelock, so in the end I had to let them both go because one was disillusioned with how he'd been treated and the other was out of form and injured. We mustn't forget the save that Aaron Howe made today just after we'd gone two up, a tremendous save down by his post that gave us what we thought was the impetus to go on and win the game. He had no chance with either goal, and having played only two games in the last few months, to have done as well as he's done is a massive bonus.