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Match Discussion: Game 11 - The Stones (H)


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This Friday at 19:45 BST we finally play at a home, in what feels like a lifetime since the last home game. Our opponents, Wealdstone FC.

The game was moved (assumingly on request of the police) to the Friday as a small club across the river were supposed to be playing on Saturday. They're not playing on Saturday anymore, they're playing on Sunday. Additionally, there's no fans allowed to either game anyway. Yet, we still play on Friday. All makes sense, fine logic. Moving on...

Friday's Opponents:

Wealdstone FC are most famous for... well.... 

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Can we have him at the top of the Kop on Friday, screaming 'you've got no fans' to absolutely nobody, before asking Ben Turner 'if he wants some?'. 
 


Almost 17 million views on that video alone. Impressive.

On a serious note, though, they are last seasons NL South champions, finishing on 70 points with 33 games played, less games than anybody else around them in the table, so even with PPG mark up due to you-know-what, probably safe enough to say they were deserved winners. 

They've made a flying start to NL football too, sitting pretty in 4th after winning 5 of their opening 10 games, drawing 2 and losing just the 3. This weekend they were 2-0 down after 11 minutes to Sutton United, coming back to lead 3-2 only to let Sutton equalise in the 90+5th minute, but it certainly shows that they are a team with character.  Formation-wise, it looks to be either a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3, though they are pretty fluid in the middle and attacking thirds. 

Strengths

They look to be a very agile, athletic team with plenty of pace and energy throughout their side. Their players cover a lot of ground and can employ a press at times, especially against teams who are prone to mistakes at the back (ring any bells?): 

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This 3 player press forced an error that the Alty keeper did well to save.

Wealdstone often employ quick free kicks and set pieces to catch the opposition napping, something I've seen work on us a few times before. 

They have wingers that aren't afraid to run at the opposing full back, either getting to the byline or coming inside. Number 11, Dennon Lewis, does this often from the left, combining well with Number 18, Moses Emmanuel. Their fullbacks too, love to push up. 

They have a long effort goal in them. Jacob Mendy scored a cracker against Chesterfield and did so again against Sutton. Given the opportunity, they'll use set pieces to set up Mendy for a long piledrive shot. 

Lafeyette is their focal point up top, a more physical striker. He has scored a few last season and so far this season too, despite being a bit of an older non-league journeymen:

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Weaknesses:

They don't look to be the largest team in terms of size and physicality. Looking at their game against Chesterfield, Tom Denton and long throws caused them no end of problems.  Watching their recent highlights, it also looks like their defence is a bit weak and has more than one mistake in them. This is probably confirmed by the goals conceded column, 20 in 10 games, more than they've scored. At times they are asking for it a bit, they leave their defence wide-open when pushing forward and they'll often leave their defence 1v1 even when winning. 


As for us...

Wealdstone are exactly the type of team we struggle against. Energetic, pressing, creative. However, they will leave big gaps, depending on their tactics on the day, which could be exploited by pace and ingenuity. 

My line-up would be the following:

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From the back, it almost picks itself, but Brindley and DKE are in to cope with their direct, pacey wingers. Tenacity will be a key value for that fullback - wideman matchup. 

I've gone with Doyle (no alternative) and Reeves. Reeves offers that bit more running and athleticism that might be needed in this game, in a bit of a shielding role for him, dealing with the amount  of runners they have from their own midfield. Rodrigues will offer that creative outlet, able to beat men and pick the pass. Roberts is being Roberts. Both wingers might find themselves needing to help out defensively with their fullbacks bombing on.

I've gone for Sam and Wootton up front because they (Wealdstone) might be exposed by a bit of height. Sam is also deceptively quick for a big man, and some of his runs off the ball will provide openings should we be capable of threading the pass. If Thomas were fit, I'd be tempted to swap him out for Wootton, or certainly bring him off the bench if that front 2 isn't working. 

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Enjoying your detailed posts about the games @Super_Danny_Allsopp, keep it up.

I wanted to add the laughing reaction to the Wealdstone Rider or, whatever he is called because I don't quite get the obsession with him. Plus it makes me laugh when I see him mentioned, thankfully we won't get to meet him just yet.

I've seen them play, I watched them on Saturday against Sutton.

First half very poor, but they regrouped in the second half and the match was very enjoyable.

If Notts doesn't learn to close down the opposition, Wealdstone could have a field day with us. They're quite dangerous on the break and in the air, the set pieces being an area where I feel nervous the most.

Quality wise, I do feel we have enough to control any game but only if the performance matches.

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Thanks for the summary! But what is the point in even being in the Conference if you can't take on the Wealdstone Raider? :(

They do sound like just the sort of team we struggle against - high pressing, physical strikers - and we really need to stand up for ourselves and start dealing with it. But they'll also be aware of the danger Roberts in particular poses and I wonder if they'll alter their game plan accordingly. If not, there's an opportunity for us.

I'll be treating myself to a match pass and hope we can get another result.

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Good home performance? I suspect it will depend on the fitness levels.

Winning Chesterfield should be somewhat of a boost, Wealdstone are unknown to me but I have seen their highlights. They look okay when organised but if rocked, they become sloppy. Lets hope Notts can cause them the pressure.

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Did Rodders play on the wing against Chesterfield?

It's all to play for, both teams will want to win and I can't see them sitting back to accept a draw. They pushed against Sutton, so there's a lot more fighting within the squad since the start of the season. I just want to see Notts play some complacent football, if they work hard the result should follow.

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i dont think there is a home advantage bar being used to the playing service, is that enough to help? i dont know. i think whoever will want the result more will win.

it must impact both sides being behind closed doors.

if notts can get that early lead, i think there is room for growth in the game. just need to learn to close them off before allowing the opposition to score.

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On 23/11/2020 at 13:51, Super_Danny_Allsopp said:

Jacob Mendy scored a cracker against Chesterfield and did so again against Sutton.

It was just a strike against Sutton, somewhat of a lucky one.

Issue for Notts is a lack of creativity but if they handle the pressure it should be a good game.

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Wealdstone are 4th and have a goal difference of -1. They have 17 points from 10 games. We have 2 games in hand on them. I'd expect goals in this one. Both sides have their defensive issues. Notts should be winning this game, especially at home. I'll go for 4-2 to Notts. 

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As long as O’Brien, Doyle and Reeves don’t start in a midfield 3 I’ll be happy. I would start with the team that finished the game at Chesterfield. If McCrory & Lacey are fit again I’d put them in ahead of DKE and Turner. Hopefully Thomas will be back soon and I’d like to see Wolfe make the bench and actually get some game time.

Even when we’ve played poorly, which has been more often than not – none of the teams we’ve played have outplayed us. If we can just get back into the rhythm of things we’ll do well this season, hopefully last week's win can kick start us again and we'll be celebrating tomorrow night!

I’ll say: 2-1. Rodrigues and Roberts. 

 

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3-0 win, all hail Enzio, Sam and Knowles.

I still feel Enzio needs to improve in order to warrant remaining here, Sam seems to be making good progress and, Knowles is a typical young striker who might just need game time. It's good all three who have suffered from criticism have helped Notts win.

Oh, not forgetting Neal Ardley but I suppose this win is only the credit of the team.

Looking forward to seeing the highlights. :D 

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That’s the kind of performance we know the team are capable of producing, just put them to the sword and never really let them get into the game. We were just on it from the first whistle to the last.

According to sports mole, we had 27 shots on goal. It certainly felt like we had plenty of chances watching that, didn’t think we had that many though! We should’ve scored more, but their keeper made some great saves particularly in the 1st half.

The switch to 4-2-3-1 certainly helped, got Rodrigues on the ball and really allowed him to run the game - he was superb. And Sam has officially arrived now! Lovely goal, through the defender’s legs and just smashed it home from a tight angle. Roberts would’ve been proud of that one! It was only couple of weeks ago we were doubting his signing…

So yeah, well chuffed with that!

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I thoroughly enjoyed that, it's made my weekend! A confident, dominant, creative display.

Wealdstone were set up in a really attacking and open way. At times I was taken aback how few men they had back, but that's just how they play. Apart from a couple of wobbly moments before half time we nullified their attacking threat while creating ample chances ourselves. The second half was more of a battle, but we were up for that too. I can only take positives from it.

I've been a fan of 4-2-3-1 for a while, it allows you to play two holding midfielders without making you overly dependent on wing play for creativity. Rod is obviously comfortable with the system and Sam was superb - but none of us really doubted him, did we? :D

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Maybe it was the way they set up, but I felt we had a fair bit more attacking intent than we usually do.  I've always thought that we play too many sideways and backwards passes, but we seemed to get the ball forward quicker which made us look much more threatening.  I suspect Wealdstone were in a bit of a false position in the table, but we can only beat what's put in front of us and we did it comprehensively.  Now we need to start dominating games away from home in the same manner, because I think we have the players to do it and are better at attacking than defending.  Dagenham (who have just lost to Stags in the cup in the 122nd minute) on Wednesday is an ideal opportunity to press on.

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