At the end of this first week in the National North league the general consensus is that we need to do better. Both our home games have ended disappointingly and the main reason for that is our glaring inability to break down massed defences and we're going to have to start doing so soon otherwise we're in for a long and frustrating season.
On Tuesday it was Brackley that came to Aggborough and put ten men behind the ball while today it was the turn of Chorley. The main difference was that Brackley also attacked our goal while Chorley hadn't got the ability or the inclination to do so.
Our frustration can also be aimed at the poor standard of refereeing and more none so today as we witnessed an incompetent referee more concerned with drawing attention to himself rather than playing fair to both sides. Fair enough book a player for tugging a shirt but don't walk away laughing when a player almost gets his leg broken and the perpetrator escapes un-punished. Also make it plain to everyone what a penalty has been given for and not leave everyone in the ground scratching their heads looking for a reason.
We started this game with an unchanged eleven for the third game in a row. This was a surprise in itself coming after the praise Andre Brown received, from John Eustace following his sub appearance in the Brackley game, you would have thought he would be handed his first start. On the bench Jono Brown replaced Robert Stambolziev after the Australian had picked up a knock in training.
For the visitors we saw the return of Josh O'Keefe to Aggborough but to be honest he made as much impression on the game as he did with us. Very little.
With Chorleys' spoiling tactics and our inability to break them down it was never going to be a game full of highlights and so it proved. The only one of note being the penalty save by Sam Hornby mid way through the second half.
With both sides just finding their feet we had to face an unplanned substitution after only fifteen minutes when Jared Hodgkiss went off with a foot injury to be replaced by Tyrone Williams. It didn't unsettle the make up of the team too much and we settled down to play our usual style of football. That is pass it around and pass it around some more.
Elton N'Gwatala had a shot on goal that went just wide and then Tyrell Waite fired straight at the Chorley keeper. N'Gwatala then latched on to a ball through the centre of the park but at the last minute he was robbed by a defender who nipped in to rob him of the ball when he should have gone on for a one on one with the keeper.
Did anything else happen? No, apart from a couple of yellow cards for Harriers players and a slap on the back for Chorley players when they fouled James McQuilkin and then Ashley Carter but nothing was done when Carter was scythed down on the halfway line and the referee waved away treatment for him too.