Momentum With Motormen
Adam Dennehey makes a welcome return to Under The League, writing about his beloved Redbridge FC’s recent good form.
It has certainly been a good fortnight for us at Redbridge. Some spectators at our club had felt that we were a side who would be doomed to relegation after some of our early-season performances.
To be fair though who could really blame anyone for these views, as after all we were shipping goals left, right and centre and making what I would like to call percentage-mistakes that were costing us at key points in matches.
Percentage-mistakes are what I like to call basic errors which may get unnoticed to the casual football fan, but will not be missed by coaches around the world.
For instance a percentage-mistake in my book (not that I’m a coach by any means, although it is something I would like to get into) would be a defender switching off at a free-kick and failing to react after a ball has gone over him to an opposition player when it’s in his team’s best interest for that player to try his absolute best to try and thwart that runner as well.
Other mistakes include misplacing simple passes and not tracking runners when nothing looks on as well as full-backs being too aggressive going forward leaving their team-mates open for a quick counter behind them. Anyway before I confuse myself any longer (and you the reader) we were as a team making these mistakes quite often this season.
In no way, shape or form, am I having a go at our players. After all, many of them hadn’t played in the Ryman League and we have one of the youngest sides in the division so it was always going to take a good 2 months or so before the lads (who were still involved in the squad) were going to get to grips with the division and flow nicely as a team.
A turning-point of course was our fantastic home win over Potters Bar in the Ryman League Cup. Thanks to Jacob Cleaver’s stunning strike in the second-half of that game we beat a very good Potters side who just two days short of a month earlier had beaten us 2-0 in the league at the Oakside.
Whilst the result was exceptional, it was the performance that really impressed me. After a goalless first-half it looked like being another ‘one of those days’ when early into the second-half Paul Shave was dismissed after a brawl with Andrew Manitou.
Most people, myself included would have not been surprised to see Potters take full advantage of their numerical advantage but the sending-off seemed to make men of the boys and but for some bad finishing we would have won the game 2/3-0.
It was a great result. Yes some fans may argue that the result was only achieved because the boys had nothing to lose but with 10 men we kept the ball brilliantly and didn’t look nervous of the situation. Our skipper Niki Beale who reminds me a lot of – one of our FA Cup heroes from last season – Dan Trenkel was exceptional that night and he has been building up a great partnership with Shane Lemard at the back, who is looking more and more at home at this level of the game.
Against Maldon & Tiptree the weekend before last we put in an excellent display despite losing 4-0. On paper you would have expected Terry Spillane’s side to have won the game. To be honest I did, after all M&T are not the league leaders without being a good side and having known a vast majority of the lads from last season, I knew that they would be ‘well-up’ for the game.
Of course Billy Sendall and James Robinson had to score against us, it was inevitable a former player was going to score against us. Sendall was exceptional last season and always seemed to get praise from Spillane in our post-match interviews.
He would always be his man-of-the-match which normally had a mockery of who I had awarded that honour to on our website. Sendall is as brave as an Ox. What he doesn’t have in size and physique he makes up for in bravery and his goal, a header from a corner summed him up to a tee.
Robinson’s goal was typical of the man; he received a nice ball from Joe Gardner before cutting into the area with his shot going in off both posts. He has started the season on-fire and looks odds-on along with his strike-partner Jamie Guy to get 20 goals this season.
He was unlucky with us last year as despite scoring 9 goals, he was injured virtually half the year and was only a regular starter for us in the run-in. Robinson was impressed with us as a side and said if we continued to make hard-work for sides we would start to turn our performances around.
That would prove to be the case on Saturday when we defeated Tony Faulkner’s Cheshunt 2-1 at the Oakside. I would like to say I was there to see the game but I wasn’t and decided with much reluctance to stay in-doors rather than go to the game as I was suffering with a bad cold.
I was confident we’d win the game though, even getting the score right (for once!) with my prediction on Twitter. It was good to hear back from our programme/website editor Adam Silver during half/full-time that we had played well and that we had deserved the result.
We are still in the bottom two though but the side have momentum now. They believe in themselves and our managers Steve Portway and Del Robinson are building what looks like a good side.
I write this piece before our Essex Senior Cup clash at home to our local rivals Romford. It won’t be an easy game for us but I hope that we will have won the game by the time this piece has been published. It would be nice to go on a Cup run, after all we haven’t had one of those in….just the 12 months!
Thanks to Adam for this excellent article. Follow him on twitter: @TheMotormen