Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dungannon Swifts 4 Linfield 0

IPL, Stangmore Park, Saturday 27th October 2007.

Team: Mannus, Douglas, McShane, Lindsay, Murphy, O'Kane, Mouncey, Gault, Dickson (Stewart 58), G.Ferguson, Thompson Subs not used : Bailie, McCann, Ervin, A. Ferguson

Attendance: est 1500 (1000+ Linfield fans)

From our best performance of the season to unquestionably our worst, as the Swifts recorded their first ever win over us, and fully deserved.

Being brutally honest, that was pathetic, embarrassing, and a long time coming. Let's be honest here, Tuesday night was a blip in an otherwise under-par season. Dungannon could have done the same to us at Windsor earlier in the season with a bit more luck. Granted, they did have a bit of luck and everything came off for them, but you make your own luck, we were singularly second to every loose ball and in every tackle, and they wanted it more, pure and simple.

NONE of the players, nor the manager, come out with ANY credit whatsoever for that excuse they served up today. We didn't have a shot on goal worthy of mention in the 1st half, when the wet windy conditions were screaming for shots from all angles. No, instead we served up our favourite tactic on tight pitches when we're given no space like Tuesday night, hoofball up to Spike and feeding off the scraps. But when Spike's having an off-day, we've no plan b. There was one time in the first half when Lindsay tried to come out and play it from the back, had NO outlet (badly let down by our anonymous midfield), played a loose pass, gave possession away and then got booked for a bad recovery tackle. Nobody wanted to know, or had any idea what else to do when it was clear Spike was off-colour. This makes me fearful for the future, Spike's not going to go on forever, and when all we have are workmanlike runners lacking inspiration, and no discernible idea of tactics from the bench, we're in trouble.

One of those days. Embarrassing.

We left shortly after 3-0, when it was clear we had given up the ghost and were never getting back into the game. Our folly in having 4 defenders on the bench, none of whom naturally came on despite all of the back four having shockers, was painfully exposed.

I thought it was a nice wee ground, and decent social club, although the away fans' bar was more like a beer hall, and 2.50 a pint is a bit steep for a provincial club, even Linfield is much cheaper. The fans mixed well, only the weather and my own team's abject performance put a dampener on things. The next few weeks will tell whether it is the rocket up our asses that kickstarts our season, or a worrying portent of the season to come.

Goals to come.

No comments: