" Now come on then Owain, these nice people haven't come here to watch you waste time, they want to see a good game of football. Please hurry up and take the goal kick, there's a good chap "....repeat ad infinitum...
Darren Drysdale, Darren bloody Drysdale...........if I never see him again it'll be too soon. When the Addicks aren't playing well against a team with cynical tactics the last thing we need is an incompetent ref but that is of course what we got.
Weak and ineffectual, I'm afraid he really wound me up. A lot of the time he had his back to the action and consequently missed a lot of what was happening. Bizarrely he happened to see things than no one else did ! Clearly the man is incapable of running backwards in spite of perfomring most other things in that fashion..
He even left the pitch without the ball and I guess it's still lying there on the half way line just in front of the East Stand.....I wish the same could be said of Mr D.
Enough of him.........Tranmere were clearly there to spoil and timewaste which Wyn Grant had highlighted in his blog pre-match and I hadn't recalled from previous games but Wyn was spot on. With all the timewasting and cynical fouls it shouldn't have been left until the 72nd minutes for a yellow card to be produced. I'm not sure why Solly got booked and Drydale's bizarre arm gestures a la John McCrirrick gave no clue either !
Sir Chris made the two changes I'd have made save for perhaps resting Stephens and moving Jackson into the middle with either Evina or Wiggins or Hughes covering left back / midfield in some combination.
Green was to have disappointing game although he rarely got the ball in the first half and was to some extent nullified and restircted as Rovers 5 man midfiled limited time and space. They wont be the only team to employ that formation and we must find a way to counteract it. With only one man up front then 4 defenders aren't needed and giving one the freedom to get forward more or simply matching up to the oppo will suffice.
Yann had a curate's egg of a game. He won an awful lot of headers but for the most part they weren't finding BWP who'd either made a run in a different direction or failed to read his strike partner. He did though link up well on some occasions and put Bradley through. I think whilst Yann will win most aerial battles he doesn't hold the ball up as well as Hayes.
Tranmere always carried a threat in the first period and it was no great surprise when they scored. It looked like a deflected shot.......I've yet to see it but can't believe that Hamer wouldn't have saved otherwise.
That left us searching for parity at half-time but sadly the only parity to be found at the interval was Tranmere's boss's cup of cha.
The Addicks started brighter in the second half and could perhaps should have gone on to win it with BWP missing a glorious opportunity late on. I'm not sure about our penalty award but it seems that we should have had one earlier when the aforementioned Mr D ( Grrrr ! ) ruled it outside the area. Jackson dispatched the penalty with aplomb following lengthy delaying tactics from the oppo ( lengthy delaying tactics from Tranmere ? Surely not ? ).
The remainder of the game saw the Addicks press hard for a winner and Yann fizzed one just past the right hand corner from a free-kick that was some way better than his Wednesday night effort. Fortuntely a late mix-up between Morrison and Hamer went unpunished.
I felt that fresh legs were required for the last 15 to 10 minutes but again Sir Chris showed a reluctance to make subs. We need to take a gamble sometimes although not in the way Dowie did away to Newcastle in 2006, the famous incident was referred to in yesterday's programme on page 25. What a plonker !
We are struggling to play well at home but are better away. The inference is that the fans' expectations are high and they get on the players backs and put them under pressure. I sense a few folk get irritated if we don't score after 10 minutes and put teams away easily ( I'm guilty of that on occassion but do keep that to myself and not vocalise it if so ) but overall the vast majority are supportive. The response to going behind was good yesterday.
In addition, I think most of us will accept that a number of teams will use similar tactics to Tranmere to frustrate and to get what they can. As I said we need to learn to deal with it.
A tough away game awaits next Saturday as we face something of an ale-house side in Stevenage....that won't be pretty. Let's hope that the lads have a good week and can stand up to all that next weekend.