Tag Archives: Kelvin Bossman

AFC Wimbledon v Brighton & Hove Albion – A (Friendly) Match Preview

As we welcome our friends from Brighton to Kingsmeadow, lets just consider what they have achieved since a large contingent turned up at Kingsmeadow for our second ever home league game against Cove nearly seven years ago. Ok, on the pitch The Seagulls have dropped from what is now the Championship to League One (and only just scraped to survival there last season), but I really meant the progression regarding their new stadium at Falmer.

falmerLeague positions are temporary and can only be built upon from solid foundations, as Brighton themselves know only too well from their recent Championship experiences. We will hit that glass ceiling ourselves once we gain promotion to the League and expand Kingsmeadow to its physical limit. Once then we will find ourselves in a similar position they were in that glorious sunny August day when we defeated Cove 3-2. Like our delight at finding ourselves a stones throw away from the Merton border, I’m sure Brighton are desperate to get away from the Withdean. For all Kingsmeadows faults (primarily its too small) at least we didn’t have to throw up scaffolding around the Athletics Stadium to make it happen (although if we did I’m sure Lee Sidwell would have come in handy…).

And like Wimbledon, Brighton isn’t an easy place to find a site for a decent sized ground. Yet they persevered, clearing each hurdle before seemingly every time another appeal was thrown in front of them. Yet as we speak Falmer is six months into construction. It may take us twenty year or more to find land and finance to build a stadium as grand as the Albion’s new one looks like being, but we will persevere. Besides, what worse? Wimbledon in Kingston or no Wimbledon at all?

I’ve got myself in trouble before being overprotective of KM, so I won’t go further than that. I’m sure Albion fans won’t welcome me reminding them of this, but the first time I saw a Brighton team play was at KM, when the Tenants beat them in the FA Cup thanks to an overhead kick from a hungry young striker called Jamie Ndah (brother of ex Palace and Wolves George Ndah), who promptly killed his career in Torquays reserve team, then Horsham before dropping off the radar altogether.

bhaOn the pitch Albion will be hoping for a much better season in League One than last year. Priced by most bookies at odds suggesting they will be there or there abouts as far as the playoffs are concerned, Russell Slade will be looking to put together a side to spring a surprise or two. In fact, he still is, giving a run out to ex-Millwall and Palace man Paul Ifill. Sadly he is also giving the time of day to former Dong mercenary fuckwit scumbag Alan Navarro, who I sincerely hope will be given the welcome he deserves tomorrow (even though it’s only pre-season and most of us haven’t found our lungs yet…). Talking about mercenary scumbag fuckwits, Albion have also signed Mark Wright…

One scumbag fuckwit franchiser who shares a .wordpress.com address with me (but nothing else) has this opinion on Wright… ‘His end product is awful. His running is awful. His distribution is awful. His ball control is awful… I genuinely think Brighton fans think they have signed Jason Puncheon’. Which probably means Wright will have a storming career with Albion for all this fuckwit knows. 

I’m not going to give the guy the credit of a link here – he might find a few hundred people click through and think he’s popular all of a sudden – but he goes on to quote Wright – ‘I am sure he (Ince) will do well back at MK, but I’ve got no regrets at all about making the move I have. It was time to move on. I’m a Brighton player now and I just hope we can push up the League. A lot of people think MK have got bags of money, but I don’t think they have got so much this season. It should be interesting and I hope we finish above them.’

Which makes me feel a lot more positive about Wright’s move, albeit that this is the sort of quote any footballer would give when he knows the club he has moved from is reviled. Chances are Wright won’t even be on the field tomorrow anyway, so we won’t get a chance to ‘thank’ him personally…

By the way some of you may have seen the Seagull have taken Carl ‘Jon Main Replacement’ Rook on trial from the Angels but he won’t be playing against us this time. By the way Albion, I notice he’s still under contract, for your information Jon Main cost us twenty big ones, or less than £500 a goal and two promotions… don’t get ripped off!

bossmanghanaSo. What about Wimbledon? Well, as I mentioned in my last update, Terry is looking at giving certain players a full hour before switching, then reversing the starting XI against FCUM. One man on a last chance for a contract is Kelvin Bossman, who really needs to show us he can be relied on to hit the back of the net, as well as his physical prowess after he seemed to lose every aerial challenge against Duberry last week. I didn’t see him at IOM unfortunately, so cannot draw the conclusion that He Failed To Score = He Was Unconvincing. He drew the short straw of playing in the Ramsey duckshoot, and for all I know he could have laid on half a dozen. Perhaps he failed to hit any fish in the barrel because he was loading the gun for his colleagues?

Maybe the news that Terry is still looking for another hitman could buck his ideas up. The news from the Informer that Terry is chasing Ross Montague of Brentford should be taken with a little pinch of salt. After all I still remember their ‘Wellard to sign next week’ headlines that ran for about eight weeks until they finally got it right.

I know some of you see this as the most mouthwatering friendly of the pre-season, and I’m inclined to agree with you. With all due respect to Wycombe, this is a League One side that has very recent experience of actually playing in League One. This is a ‘proper’ League One side. I’m sure Wycombe will prove they are worthy of their status. In fact that’s a dumb thing to write… they deserved their status by winning promotion last year… but hopefully you know what I mean. After all we still have to prove ourselves as a Conference club in a few weeks time.

I seem to be drifting from the point once again. Hopefully playing the same side for an hour will give the team (or at least those starting) a chance to show a bit of cohesion that was missing against Wycombe due to it being our first game. In fact the full games they played in the IOM, and more training sessions, will have given them an understanding of how each other play. I presume Terry has started early work on pattern of play by now, so we should be in for a good game.

Finally, I may not have gone to the Isle of Man, but many others did including the legend that is Paul Raymond, who very kindly gave me permission to use images he took at the tournament. While I’ve restrained myself from doing so, here is a link for those of you who haven’t seen them yet… http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulnray/sets/72157621625049085/.

So enjoy the game tomorrow, and for those of you who can’t be there remember WDON is running commentary as usual…

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AFC Wimbledon 0 Wycombe Wanderers 1 – A Match Report

img115Football is back! Kind of… Thinking back through my supporting life, I’ve probably been to a good sixty or seventy pre-season games, and they never fail to disappoint, so long as you have very low expectations to begin with. At least you’re normally alright for some good weather. I remember burning myself on jaunts to Bognor and Sutton a few years ago, although the Sutton incident was partly down to my own stupidity, attempting to sit on a piping hot barrier in shorts. Perhaps they should have put up a sign – Caution, barrier gets hot when exposed to direct sunlight.

No chance of that yesterday. Although warm, it was very muggy and wet, meaning I had to bring out my rainy day clothing, in other words the same old waterproof that I managed to collect a series of strangely coloured beetles on a trip to Cobham a few years back while attempting to take a short-cut back to the station. Not that it put me off. I need my football fix, becoming sick of waking up on a Saturday morning with no plans, spending hours asking each other ‘What shall we do today?’ before eventually settling on going down the pub.

Those new steps...

Those new steps...

But the Wycombe game held equal importance for me as it did for the players. Pre-season games don’t just help the players get up to speed, they help amateur reporters like myself get back up to speed. The last time I wrote a match report was my epic London Senior Cup effort on the short lived Control>Shoot blog, gratefully received by approximately a dozen Hendon fans, yet this was over two months ago. The season finished at a bad time for me, I was at the height of my writing powers, and two months of updates along the lines of ‘Erm, we signed someone today, I don’t know too much about him…’ have made me go stale.

So it was with great excitement I stepped into Kingsmeadow, partly because I’m an absolute football geek, and seeing an extra step in the John Smiths and the newly re-profiled KRE, as well as The Wall, drove my excitement levels to a factor even the release of the fixtures could not match. There was one downer – as I took my place on the terrace I noticed a portion of chips, barely touched, had been left on the ledge.

So which inconsiderate bastard left those here?

So which inconsiderate bastard left those here?

Now as those of you who know The Anonymous Don, even if just by sight will know, I have put a little bit of weight on. Now my wife has been ‘encouraging’ me to return to my formerly svelte physique over the summer, and I have been doing quite well, but the project has been hindered by the fact I need lager, curry and the like to make me feel good. Extended periods of healthy eating depress me, but I was trying to be a good boy yesterday, so I limited myself to one treat, a full fat bottle of coke. Seeing those chips sitting there, mocking me, was too much. I could almost hear them whispering to me ‘Come on fat boy, you want some of this don’t you’…

Now obviously I’m not from Bromley, so wouldn’t have dreamt of taking the cold unwanted chips, but it took a great deal of self control to not carry my podgy self round to the tea bar to pick myself up a portion. I suppose the moral of this tale is, ‘Throw your unwanted food in the blue bins in case it tempts fatties to eat unhealthily’. Although I suppose it could have been a masterful piece of marketing by the club to encourage higher food sales…

The new wall would have looked great if some vandal hadn't written on all the bricks... and who stole one?

The new wall would have looked great if some vandal hadn't written on all the bricks... and who stole one?

All thoughts of chips went out the window, as what appeared to be a game of football broke out on the pitch. Plus who was this lining up for Wycombe? Well it looked like former Dons prodigy Carl Cort, indeed the tannoy even announced him as such. But this couldn’t be our Carl Cort, surely? Our Carl Cort was a pacy, alert, agile striker, hungry for goals. This impostor just seemed to wander around, occasionally sticking his leg out at a loose ball, never really getting into the game and when he did, never looking threatening. In fact he was probably only given a trial for a laugh, as Peter Taylor attempted to field the largest team ever to set foot on a field. Seriously, Peter Crouch would feel normal lining up with some of these boys.

Not that they looked entirely dominating to begin with. In fact the biggest early threat to the Dons goal was triallist keeper Sebb Brown. I would imagine through the warm up Brown was telling himself internally not to panic, to stay calm and relaxed. Sadly he looked almost asleep when miscontrolling a back pass, before hilariously losing sight of the ball despite the fact it was just behind him. Brown was robbed of the ball after what seemed an eternity, and to his credit he refused to follow the secret goalkeepers directive in this situation of immediately giving away a penalty in order to take everyone’s mind off the error, instead smothering the ball at the feet of a Wycombe player, presumably with a great amount of relief. Brown would go on to make several fine saves, but found touch with a couple of kicks, to the point I was inspired to write ‘He’ll do for us!’ in my notebook.

Danny Kedwell strays just offside

Danny Kedwell strays just offside

Wycombe had the better of the first half, creating the games proper opening chance, their 24 slamming the ball over the bar. Now I have to confess, it was hard enough keeping track of our new boys, and we were only advised of Wycombe’s 1-11 before the game, meaning even some Wycombe fans near me couldn’t identify him. In fact, seeing my camera and notebook and perhaps mistaking me for someone slightly more professional, they even asked me who he was. Oh dear.

The Dons weren’t outclassed, they just weren’t creating chances. There was still some good interplay, especially when Hatton and Luke Moore combined down the right for Sam to knock a decent looking ball over that caused Wycombe keeper Shearer all sorts of problems, sadly the ball was ruled to have curled out of play. Moore really impressed me during his 45 minutes. He always seemed to want the ball, and knows what to do with it when he receives it. I don’t think he will really become a fans favourite if only because there’s something about him which reminds me of Martin Randall for some reason… perhaps just in the looks department? 

At the back, Wycombe had a better quality of ball in the final third, and with Browns lack of height preventing him dominating his area from crosses, Paul Lorraine had to stay alert to flick a ball away under pressure at the back post. Then on 28 minutes whoever the Wycombe number 23 was… lets just calls him Wycombe 23, slashed a volley across goal and wide at the second attempt. Plus the Wycombe number 2 (hang on, I know him, that was George Daly I think…) was giving Chris Hussey a torrid time in one on ones, always finding a way past the youngster to knock a decent ball into the danger zone.

wwfc 017Finally around the half hour mark, The Dons fashioned a chance. Young striker Peter Rapson was sharp enough to pick up on a Wycombe error at the back before skipping across goal, beating two men on his way. He laid the ball off to Lewis Taylor 25 yard out, who perhaps could have let fly but instead intelligently picked out Danny Kedwell with a chipped pass. Kedwell could have perhaps guided his header across goal, but instead planted it straight into Shearer’s arms. Sadly this was the only time Wimbledon even tried to break the Wycombe defence down in the first half despite looking good on the ball entering the final third, especially down the right.

Wycombe took the game back up the other end, Leon Johnson crashing the ball against the near post from 25 yards from the left channel, the ball ricocheting off Brown for a corner. Then from the same position a minute later, Wycombe 23 hit a rasping dipping volley that Brown did brilliantly to palm over. The keeper did his confidence no harm by pulling off a smart save from the resulting corner. I still think he’s a bit short though…

Towards the end of the half Wimbledon had a couple of chances, the impressive Rapson mishitting his volley wide from 20 yards, before Kenny Adjei tried his luck from further out only to see the ball fizz over the bar. This brought the half to an end, wholesale changes meaning the second half would be almost a completely different game.

Rapson strikes.... wide

Rapson strikes.... wide

The Dons could take plenty of positives from the half though. Lorraine and Judge looked impressive in the air at the back, plus the midfield three, plus Moore in a roaming role, looked good with the ball. The standout performance came from Lewis Taylor. He showed great confidence and awareness with the ball at his feet, rarely getting robbed and consistently picking out colleagues with a range of passes. No wonder Terry Brown has been waxing lyrical about his standards in training. Taylor was one of the few Dons completely unfazed by playing a higher standard of opponent, to the point we must start to think perhaps if Wimbledon don’t manage to make it to The League in the next couple of years Taylor will on his own. Next season will tell us all we need to know about the lad.

Another huge positive was the performance of Peter Rapson. He really didn’t look out of place lining up alongside Kedwell; with Moore just behind, and while not the extra striker Terry Brown has been looking for is certainly one for the future. We saw the kind of player Brown wants in his squad in the second half, the previously mentioned Kelvin Bossman. Bossman has been listed in the programme for the two games it covered (Brighton being the other) suggesting he is going to be on extended trial with the club. He took the field alongside Main, neither wearing a shirt number yet neither really needing one, with Elliott Godfrey just behind wearing his familiar number 20 shirt…

In fact the only player to survive the half time cull was Jay Conroy. The new new keeper was a guy called Kieran Thorp, and we saw debuts for Brett Johnson (partnering Inns at the back), Derek Duncan, Gregory, Wellard and Cheeseman as well as the aforementioned Bossman. The large striker found himself up against Wycombe triallist Michael Duberry, who you will be relieved to hear still has a massive head.

The lads stretch it out at half time

The lads stretch it out at half time

Wimbledon looked much the better side in the second half, creating a chance immediately when Jon Main found space in front of the Wycombe defence before striking for goal. Unfortunately he completely mishit it, only to see it turn into a defence splitting pass for Elliott Godfrey, clear on the right, to screw his effort across goal. Derek Duncan, at left back, seemed to be having few of the problems Chris Hussey had in the first half. Facing up to a Wycombe man on the right edge of his own area, he expertly stole the ball of his foot before haring forward down the left. He then had the vision to pick out Bossman, clear down the left but with no one in support, only to side foot at the keeper when lashing it high towards the near post would have been a better option.

In fact Bossman and Duberry seemed to cancel each other out in a series of aerial challenges, meaning unfortunately that was all we saw of the man they are already calling The Tank (perhaps because he seems to be wider than he is tall?). Although he did have a freekick unfortunately blocked later in the half by the unfortunate Derek Duncan, meaning we are still unsure of quite how deadly he is from set pieces. Bossman will probably get chances to show what he can really do against Brighton, but he blew his chance today to earn himself a contract. The more time that passes until he does, the more time Terry Brown has to pick out a better option.

Bossman keeps an eye on Duberry

Bossman keeps an eye on Duberry

Prior to that Jon Main had a call for a penalty turned down (although as Jon Main always seems to find himself on the floor in the box I’m not quite sure how good it really was). Main found himself sent clear by Godfrey shortly after only to see his effort well saved by the replacement Wycombe keeper. Wimbledon were well on top despite Johnson having to match Lorraine’s effort in the first half of heading away under his own crossbar.

Of course this was when Wycombe showed their class when they needed to. If you were only watching Brett Johnson and Matt Harold it would have appeared as though Johnson had stepped forward perfectly catching Harold offside. Unfortunately ‘a Wimbledon defender’ (possible Ryan Jackson at right back) had dawdled, allowing Harrold a clear run at Thorp, who almost did enough to push Harrold wide only to see the man who gunned us down in the FA Cup last year to net the winner from an angle.

It was tough look on Wimbledon and tough on Thorp, who really had little to do in his second half turnout. As far as goalkeepers are concerned I suppose it’s now down to Thorp to prove himself in training, as presumably Pullen and Turner will take their positions on the Isle of Man.

Ricky Wellard still had time for one more Dons chance when, 22 yards out and central, he smashed his effort over the bar. Elliott Godfrey made way for the reserve teams baby faced assassin Matt Harmsworth to enter for a short cameo, before the game ended. So an unfortunate defeat for Wimbledon set against the background of early preseason. Wycombe looked slightly stronger as you would expect due to their full-time status, but Wimbledon didn’t embarrass themselves. In fact there is much to look forward to. Jon Main looked dangerous, especially when linking up with Elliott Godfrey who himself showed he isn’t going to settle for a place on the bench for Luke Moore’s benefit.

Terry Brown has some tough decisions to make, but judging by the very little we have seen so far, this can only be regarded as a positive. Now for some team bonding in the Isle of Man before Brown faces the task of turning this group of twenty-odd footballers into a team. And I face the task of remembering how to end a match report properly… 

CORRECTION

As you all know, Bossmans nickname is not ‘The Tank’, that was allocated to Damian Spencer who trained with us last week and has now signed for Kettering. Thanks to Old Isthmian on the Guestbook for pointing that out. This is what comes of having no internet for a week and failing to do my own research by turning up at training…

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AFC Wimbledon v Wycombe Wanderers – A Match Preview

Slowly but surely it crept up on us. Football has returned, and just my luck it happens during an extended period where I’m suffering from of lack of internet. Therefore this Match Preview will be a truncated effort compared to last years efforts… although as it’s only a friendly it would have been anyway. I only kick in to ‘proper’ mode from the Luton game onwards. Plus I have to knock this one out in my lunch hour, so excuse any spelling/grammatical errors, and a complete lack of research.

To be fair though I did have a stumble around a few Wycombe websites and it seems they are just as excited about tomorrows game as we are… in other words I could find no mention of the game apart from a couple of cut-and-paste efforts from their official site. It’s not surprising, it’s effectively an open training game, but it provides us, the supporters, with a chance to get back into the swing of things.

wwfcSo what can we look forward to? Well, we have a few new signings to recognise… and, uhm, that’s it. Don’t expect to see players flying around the park, I remember thinking during the Brentford game last year a few of our players were looking a bit too committed, and that was our third/fourth game. I’m sure I’ll spend most of the afternoon in a state of panic whenever one of our players breaks into something like a sprint, or attempts a sharp turn.

Added to this its going to chuck it down, meaning a slick pitch, the possibility of slips and strains. We don’t want to wait until our penultimate away game to see a player make his debut this time around. Although hopefully we will be seeing Luke Garrard back in a Dons shirt, which will be like having a new player (on top of all the actual new players we have).

With no real news or any desire to write about the game tomorrow I’ll switch my attention to recent news, mainly that Terry Brown is looking to extend the current year long contracts of both Hatton and Hussey. I like that Terry rates them so highly, and some Football League sides share this admiration, but it’s a key season for both of them. I said Hatton was still a season away from being a brilliant Blue Square South midfielder last year, so this term will be a real key one for him, particularly with the competition he has for  his position. And after a promising start last year Chris Hussey started making a few errors towards the end of the year.

Hussey has the advantage of not having much in the way of competition for his place, meaning he can get his head down and show why the manager has so much faith in him. Don’t get me wrong here, I’m a huge fan of both players, but while I recognise the technical abilities of them, there’s still something missing. It seems to happen to players their age, that out of nowhere they turn up one summer, and in their head something has clicked. They seem to magically transform into a dominant player. Whether it’s a confidence thing, I don’t know, but think of the players we have had who leave us young then blossom into the player we thought they would – Robin Shroot being a classic example.

And with that I’m out of time! Darn internet connection at home… enjoy the game tomorrow, and look out for some kind of match report on Sunday as I spring a surprise visit on family then spend most of the time their using their computer…

****UPDATE****

Perhaps I should point you to this preview on the O/S.

http://www.afcwimbledon.co.uk/news.php?Psection_id=2&Psub_section_id=1&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=xml&Open=4236#tar4236

So we won’t be seeing Luke after all, bah!

But we will be seeing some of this guy…

http://www.fifa.com/u17worldcup/news/newsid=590243.html

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