Andrew Abbott's Blog

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Second half drama doesn’t gloss over a poor display.

It says something when a player who put in a cameo appearance fairly late in a game takes the man of the match. In truth though, as we were summing up performances prior to the announcement of the award, as you do, there was only one player who measured up despite his relatively short time on the pitch, Alan Power.

Power said after the match he wanted to let the fans and particularly the manager know he was still around. He certainly did that. The manager in turn and rather tellingly said that Power had trained well in the week and had distinguished himself in the loss to Grimsby. The inference being that presumably there had been times when the player had not impressed him, so Powers absence wasn’t all about team tactics and formations then.

Talking of formations, which I wouldn’t normally do here because I’m a fan and not the manager and therefore not qualified, It was obvious that City were trying a new line up as the game commenced. Those of us who were wondering who would be left out as a result of Thierry Audels return, meaning a third centre half in the matchday squad, got their answer. They were all going in. Miller and Newton pushed well up and it’s my guess Gary Simpson was hoping the three centre halves; Audel, Brown and Anderson would be well capable of taking care of the Wrexham attack leaving the full backs to maraud up the wings creating chances.

Maraud they did and chances were fashioned but not taken, a fact that was to dog City as the game progressed and in fact it was the Welshmen who were to take the lead and dominate the later stages with quite an audacious goal which was well taken. Wrexham’s frustration was there to see at the end as they were denied by Power’s own outrageous run and well taken effort.

Before that City went back to the usual four defenders, not by way of an admission that the tactics weren’t working but due to Audel complaining of cramp at half time. That meant Powers return and the game started to take on a different perspective after that and fans began to entertain the notion that a City goal could spark a revival that might even take all three points but it was not to be and in the end I would imagine most supporters, like me, were just grateful that the Imps had a share of the points and did not suffer a home defeat, with all the gloom and negativity that seems to bring these days.

There are several players who usually provide the candidates for the man of the match award, just to make it a bit more difficult for the sponsors who of course expose themselves to the derision of the crowd if they get it wrong, as the fans see it. Some of Powers previous MOM’s being a case in point but not this time. The likes of Newton, Miller, Sam-Yorke, Nolan, usually such solid performers never succeeded in lighting the blue touch paper. One player who stood out for me for all the wrong reasons, and I wouldn’t normally single out any team member but I do so because he’s my favourite and will find his way back into my good books next time I’m sure, was Tomlinson. He, as they say, had a ‘mare.

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