First up, surprise and no surprise, Jon Main. Main was given the start again for Histon, and I made a comment that was something along the lines of ‘Main was more of a hinderance than a help’ or something like that. Now thats not strictly true, he didn’t spend his time on the pitch wandering round fouling opponents or tackling his own players
There was something I spotted in Jon Mains eyes after he sat down following being withdrawn from the Crawley game, he looked away at no-one in particular and raised his eyes for a split second. He wasn’t happy with his contribution, thats for sure. Has this become a complex for Main? The guy that could possibly steal his first team place has scored more times from open play in his four substitute appearances, including contributing a lot more than just goals, than Main has in the many starts he has made.
The problem is in his head, thats for sure. Is the best answer really to send him on loan to a BSS club? What will that tell him (and us for that matter)? That he can score goals in the BSS? We already know that. And by extention we know that there are goals in him in the division above. Perhaps not as prolific, but he can score goals. Its not so much of a leap that a player that hit 34 last season now cannot score at all in the Conference.
On the contrary, his goals dried up in the new year, Jon Main is going through the sort of nightmare that all goalscorers have at some point in their careers. But hang on, it seems like whenever the subject turns to Jon Main, I seem to be writing the same old things. Its his confidence… proven goalscorer… needs a couple of goals… In effect I’m just making excuses for Main, in reality he shouldn’t be in the team right now. If Ross Montague is ready for it, we should see him start to build an potentially exciting relationship with Keds. I’m probably drifting into the grey area between the Histon review and the Rushden preview, not that it really matters but more on this tommorow.
Another player suffering this season is Sam Hatton. Once again, its the same old excuses for Sam, I said his only productive period on the field against Crawley was the time he spent at right back. This time round, he’s given the position as his own (as lets be fair, even his most keenest supporters, and I count myself as one, have known this was coming). Yet, he didn’t quite justify his selection. Great going forwards, but his positioning left a lot to be desired when paired up with a speedy forward on that side who had him for pace and beat him in the air on most occasions.
And I have to say, we got away with it really. It could have been a potentially tricky situation, but no harm was done. All we really learnt was that Hatton looks great going forward on that flank, but doesn’t have the pace of a Lewis Taylor who can launch quick counter attacks. So moving Taylor inside isn’t really an option.
Which leaves us with Sam’s best position, centre midfield, where he can make a nuisance of himself, pick up the pieces, pass it on quickly and hopefully get himself into a shooting opportunity now and then. When he does this its not a problem. When he falls down on his passing, or strength of tackling, people really notice, and that stigma continues with him for the next couple of games.
The problem is, if he is having a poor game every three games or so, as he seems to be right now, then the criticism builds momentum. He can give himself a break by simply putting in a couple of good shifts. Thats easier said than done though, and at the moment he seems to be keeping the shirt through a lack of anyone else capable of playing there. With Wellard just not ready yet, Adjei is probably his biggest threat as he seemed to play Sam’s position well on Saturday.
Another option would be to move Adjei back to the holding position and let Steven Gregory move forward. But Adjei has proved to be something of a liability in a position where if you give the ball away, you create trouble for your team. And Gregory has been an absolute revelation so far this season. Which brings me to…
Steven Gregory. I love watching him play. It all seems too easy for him, as if he can see two steps ahead of anyone else on the pitch. We have heard people mention that Hussey, Kedwell, even Luke Moore might be the subject of scouting visits, and maybe they were. But anyone who has been sent down would have done themselves no harm by putting a good word in for this unflappable midfielder.
A players performance cannot be measured on goals alone, especially for a position where getting forward and scoring goals isn’t really in the job description, but as its something that most of you would have seen, lets examine it as a microcosm of his footballing mentality. Now the ball bounced to Hatton fast, and if anything it was more ‘cop out’ than vision that saw him nod it Gregory’s way. In a beat Gregory had worked out not only that having a shot was his best option, but floating it in the corner would be the most efficient way of doing so.
Watch this goal again, on AFC Wimbledon TV. From my angle it looked good, but as you could tell from my description of it I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing it from the angle that did it most justice. I know I haven’t provided a link, except for the one on the right, but you should know where it is now. In fact you should all have it bookmarked…
For the rest of you, what you’ve been waiting for; Match Ratings!