When Town left the pitch at Prenton Park after a 3-0 hammering fourteen days ago are season was on a tight rope, it could fall and end up in middle table obscurity, wasting a promising first six months, or concentrate, wake up and find the sweet spot and get back on track.
Thankfully since that awful night in Birkenhead, we’ve turned that corner, and Town now finds themselves 5th in League Two after three straight wins, three clean sheets, and scoring eleven goals, with the new 4-3-3 system working a treat.
With all three strikers scoring at the weekend to brush aside Carlisle United, all three were again on form Tuesday night as we took apart Michael Flynn’s Walsall with a convincing 5-0 win at the County Ground.
Huge credit needs to go Ben Garner’s way as he recognised the 5-3-2 system wasn’t getting the best out of his new squad with our new loan additions, and his change to 4-3-3 has done the job perfectly.
Even though it was a small minority asking for his head after the poor showings against Exeter and Tranmere it confuses me that anyone would want him to leave after such a successful all-around campaign so far, he has made mistakes, but since his arrival, he’s been the cool, calm hand on the steering wheel we’ve needed as a club, and I hope he’s around for quite a while yet.
As mentioned last week, it’s been a joy to see Louie Barry play and flourish in a role more suited to his game, playing wide in a front three, he again looked the talent, we all heard about from Aston Villa as he made it three goals in his last two games for Town with a brace and his first goals at the County Ground.
But the evening didn’t fully belong to Barry as Ricky Aguiar took full advantage of his full home debut for Town, scoring two goals and not looking out of place playing in the Football League.
The former Worthing man has been patient this season by showing what he is capable of with an impressive loan spell at Chippenham Town scoring seven goals in thirteen games for the Bluebirds, before being a substitute option for Town since mid-January, and when given his chance after an injury to Ben Gladwin, he hasn’t looked back.
Hopefully, he’ll be given more games to impress over the rest of the season, but he knows with Jack Payne looking for a chance to regain his place soon he’ll need to keep his standards high.
Josh Davison also looked much improved on Tuesday night since his opening couple of games, with this tactical switch also helping his game, as having to creative players in McKirdy and Barry works well with him holding off defenders and playing them in, perfectly demonstrated with Town’s first goal against Walsall, and his lay off for Agular to make it 2-0.
Replacing a man of Tyreece Simpson’s ability was going to be tough, but in his opening seven games for the club, scoring three goals and improving week on the week he’s made a great start.
This weekend Town welcomes Salford City to Wiltshire with their first-ever visit to the County Ground.
After their rise up the football pyramid since the Class of 92 bought the club in 2014, The Ammies have found life in the Football League a tough prospect, finishing 11th and 8th in their last two campaigns despite having a hefty budget behind them, and currently find themselves 11th, six points from the playoffs.
Garner’s side will know they’re in for a fight this weekend and won’t enjoy the same space and time on the ball Walsall gave us this week, it won’t be a pretty picture but if Town play to the standard we’ve enjoyed in the last few games I’m confident we can come away with another maximum and push the sides currently sitting in the automatic promotion spots.