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Hamlet 0 Bognor 1

By Pink Panther (legacy user)12/10/2014 11:15Sun Oct 12 11:15:01 2014In response to Re: sat v Bognor

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Well, Jason Prior has still never scored against the Hamlet, but this was a poor Hamlet performance against a Bognor side that grew in confidence after taking the lead early in the second half and could easily have won more comfortably.

The first half was fairly even with both sides getting away with unforced errors at the back and Bognor wasting a couple of good chances after an early Hamlet flurry.

The visitors took the lead a few minutes after half time when a ball into our box was only cleared as far as an opponent lurking on the edge of the penalty area and he picked his spot with a well placed shot beyond Brown's reach. Forbes made a brilliant headed clearance off the line to prevent another goal shortly afterwards, and after one horrendous fumble by Brown that dropped just outside the post our keeper made several fine saves to prevent further embarrassment.

Our attacking efforts were negligible throughout, even more so after falling behind. On several occasions Hamlet players looked for another pass when more or less in the clear with only the keeper to beat, sometimes resulting in a teammate shooting hopefully from a less favourable position and some moves fizzling out without anyone having a shot at all.

Perhaps it needed a game like this to put our recent run of good results into perspective and highlight areas where improvement is needed. Oshane Brown is a great prospect in goal who will surely play hundreds of games at this level or higher, but understandably lacks Wilson's presence; his distribution can be a bit erratic and lead to us coming under pressure. On several occasions he held on to the ball for well over six - probably more than ten - seconds. This was in the first half with the score still goalless so it wasn't deliberate timewasting, just indecision and uncertainty, but after the Tim Brown incident last season I was almost surprised the referee didn't penalise him.

Our midfield looks weak when the opposition has the ball and doesn't give enough protection to the back four; I think the experience of Kevin James would have made a big difference yesterday, but we can't afford to be too reliant on an increasingly injury prone veteran. Ibrahim Mansaray might have given us a bit of extra defensive strength had he started.

We still lack options up front. Shawn McCoulsky is a fantastic prospect, but I don't think we can expect a seventeen year old from our youth academy to lead the line effectively for ninety minutes every match.

It wasn't the best game for new Italian recruit Matteo Candolini to make his debut, coming on as substitute for Hibbert at right back, but whenever he had the ball he seemed to want to keep turning inside and looking for a square pass instead of pushing forward or looking to release someone down the flank. Maybe that's a standard tactic in Italy! We seemed to lack width throughout and rarely if ever got behind the Bognor full backs.

Team (4-2-1-3): Brown - Hibbert, Forbes(c), Pinnock, Shaw - Carew, Samuels - Vidal - Clunis, McCoulsky, Graham.
Subs used: Candolini, McDonald, I.Mansaray. (Not used: Hysi, Gonsalves)
Attendance: 1,061

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