Town’s underwhelming start to their league campaign looks to be firmly in the rear-view mirror, as Luke Jephcott’s second goal in three games secured another three points on Tuesday, and take Scott Lindsey’s side within one point of fourth place in League Two.
Last night’s win is Town’s fourth win in their last five games and is a huge turnaround from just over a month ago when the Head Coach and his players were booed off the pitch at Priestfield.
As I’ve mentioned in previous weeks, a lot was riding on the Sutton United home game, a defeat and poor performance it might’ve been hard to get people to back the new Head Coach, but Jacob Wakeling’s goal has been the spark to lift off our season.
One of the main reasons is the brand of football Scott Lindsey wants to play has been fully adopted by his squad. It is similar to what former Head Coach Ben Garner introduced, but there are some differences.
The biggest is the tempo in games is quicker, under Garner, at times, it could be far too slow, when he should’ve been looking to kill sides off, he’d play far too safe, but over the past month, Lindsey’s side has looked to take the game to the opposition.
The biggest example of this is in our performance against Gillingham, which was slow and sluggish, to last night’s game. We’re much better in and out of possession, the side looks like they know each other’s games much better, resulting in Town sitting 8th in League Two.
This was the case last night as we started the game on the front foot, but couldn’t make the breakthrough. At the start of the second half, after peppering the Newport goal it was third time lucky for Ronan Darcy, as his shot was pushed out by Townsend to Jephcott, who made no mistake.
Town could’ve added a second, with a few more chances coming their way, but held on for a huge win, it could’ve been very different, as, in added time substitute, Lewis Collins’ had the chance to steal a point, but his shot was incredibly cleared off the line by Remeao Hutton.
When the ball fell to Collins it looked to be a certain goal, and heartbreak for Town, but for the second time in three games, after doing the same at Grimsby, Hutton was positioned perfectly to preserve another maximum.
The former Barrow full-back has had a topsy-turvy start to life in Wiltshire, as he started the season as a wing-back, and the first choice, but when Town changed to four at the back, he found himself out the side.
With Town bringing in Marcel Lavinier in that position on deadline day, he looked to be the first choice, but an injury picked up against Sutton gave Hutton a chance back in the first team, and he hasn’t let that opportunity pass by and has become of the most important players in the side.
Another player who has had to bide his time and take his opportunity is Ronan Darcy, and like Hutton, he’s in undroppable form, with another superb display this week.
The former Bolton man is now the first name on the teamsheet with the amount he brings to the side, a huge amount of creativity in the side comes from Darcy, and was brilliantly supported by Ben Gladwin again last night.
After the game, Scott Lindsey confirmed he had given the 21-year-old more freedom in the side, and pushed him further forward, to play behind Jephcott, and it worked perfectly, as it was this freedom that led to Town taking the lead.
This weekend Town faces one of the division’s surprise packages in Stevenage, as Steve Evans’ side sits in second place, after winning five of their last six games in League Two.
But this might not be a surprise to those at Broadhall Way, with Boro’s fortunes turning round quickly at the end of last season when Steve Evans replaced Paul Tisdale in March, and won four of their final seven games and keeping them clear of relegation.
That form has travelled over to this season, which now sees them nestled nicely inside the automatic promotion places.
It will be a tough game for Lindsey’s side, but if we again start on the front foot and can keep our former striker Luke Norris quiet, there’s no reason why another away win shouldn’t be on the cards, to finally lift us into the promised land of the top seven in League Two.