If you need a perfect example of how frustrating it can be watching the beautiful game, simply show Saturday afternoon at the County Ground to anyone.
Our 1-0 defeat to Crewe Alexandra included all the ingredients needed to send any mild-mannered football fan over the edge, and it simply escalated as the day went on.
Firstly, the back five was still in favour with Head Coach Scott Lindsey after not reaping many rewards last weekend.
I was hoping for more attacking intent when welcoming 16h in the league to the County Ground. Ideally, we would’ve seen the 4-4-2 diamond system used away at Mansfield on display at the County Ground.
With Jonny Williams over in Qatar, we do miss a vital piece of what made that formation work at Field Mill, but Ronan Darcy could move into the space left by Williams behind the strikers, move Saidou Khan forwards to partner Ben Gladwin, and start Louis Reed at the base of the diamond.
The whole situation surrounding Louis Reed is one that’s left me perplexed every weekend when he’s named on the bench.
After our par performance last weekend, I was certain this would see the former Peterborough man back in the starting eleven, but it’s now seven league games without a start, with his last coming 4th October when we beat Newport County 1-0.
If he doesn’t make it into the Head Coaches’ first eleven soon, I’m sure in January he’ll be looking out for a new club, and we’ll lose a valuable asset in our race for promotion this season.
Another frustrating aspect of the afternoon came just after the 20-minute mark when after being the better side, Town failed to clear their lines, leading to a clumsy tackle from Darcy and a penalty to the visiting side.
Watching the away side convert their spot kick took the wind out of Town’s sails for the rest of the first half.
Thankfully Town came out with a point to prove in the second half and went close to an equaliser a couple of times before another painfully frustrating moment.
The afternoon was another to remember for Remeao Hutton as put in what should have been a Man of the Match performance for his non-stop running and delivers into the box, as he was the main outlet for balls into the box, and it was his involvement which led to Town’s best chance.
When his cross was missed by the Crewe keeper the ball landed at Ellis Iandolo’s feet, his first attempt was well saved, and he was given a second chance but ballooned it over eight yards from goal.
Then the frustration levels began to rise into the County Ground, as it was clear the team needed changes, Lindsey ignored calls for a change until the 82nd minute, when Tomi Adeloye replaced Luke Jephcott and Marcel Lavinier came on for Ciaran Brennan.
But they weren’t given enough time to make an impact, the real nail in the coffin on an anger-inducing afternoon, came when Louis Reed was only used to take a free-kick in added on time.
When the final whistle went, the Town faithful let Lindsey and his side know they weren’t impressed after a limp performance at times against a poor Crewe side.
With Town not making it to the F. A Cup Second Round, we now have a two-week break in fixtures, with our next game coming in December when we visit Crawley Town.
With this break in the season, it makes you look back on our opening five months of the season, and overall, we have enjoyed a decent season, as we sit seventh in League Two. A position I would’ve happily taken after all the upheaval in the summer.
Our performance at the weekend was worrying, and it makes you question if a top-seven place is achievable, but with the right signings in January, and an injury-free Williams returning from the World Cup, I’m confident we can maintain our playoff push heading into the next phase of the season.