Ten days on from the wretched performance at Priestfield, Town knew they had to respond with not only three points, but a positive performance for the Town Faithful, and show promotion is firmly the objective in this campaign, and not a pipe dream.
Sadly, it wasn’t an ideal start as Sutton United took the lead moments after new arrival Luke Jephcott missed a glorious chance to put Town 1-0 up.
As former Town man Will Randall-Hurren opened the scoring, then despite lots of huffing and puffing, it was a stroke of fortune that turned the game on its head, as a tame Tyrese Shade shot crept under Jack Rose in the Sutton goal to level the contest.
Then it was time for our Welsh magician to work his magic, as he brilliantly worked the ball forward leading to another defensive mistake, as they failed to clear their lines, and the ball fell nicely for Williams to give Town the lead.
But, some sloppy play at the back gave Randell-Hurren the chance to level the game, and he took his chance well.
The second half saw the visitors again on top and were the better side for large parts of the half, Town did have some half chances which weren’t put away.
Before a superb 92nd minute cross from Frazer Blake-Tracy picked out Jacob Wakeling in the box, and he put away his header to give Town the three points and a much-needed win.
After a somewhat drab second-half showing, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who was pleasantly surprised to see Town leave the County Ground with the maximum, despite the win, it wasn’t an entirely harmonious atmosphere inside the County Ground.
With the main focus of frustration coming from Scott Lindsey’s substitutions, as on the 60th minute, both Luke Jephcott and Ronan Darcy made way for Jacob Wakeling and Saidou Khan.
As frustration came from Town being level at home and the idea of taking off a striker for another striker, not keeping on Jephcott and partnering him with Wakeling, and Darcy, who had enjoyed a fruitful evening taken off for a more defensive-minded player in Khan.
These changes provoked a negative reaction from the Town End, and some parts of the stadium.
In his post-match interview, the Head Coach explained our on-loan striker didn’t have 90 minutes in him after not playing much football, which makes total sense, sadly he didn’t address the other substitute directly but explained he felt the game needed something different after a flat period in play.
I agree the contest was drifting into a nothing game, but I still don’t see why he took off Darcy, who was enjoying a great game and was one of the brightest sparks when he had the ball at his feet.
I would’ve rather seen Gladwin make way, who enjoyed a good night, but he wasn’t as effective in the second half as Darcy.
Thankfully the changes paid off with Wakeling scoring the winner, but this Saturday, instead of playing either the former Leicester City striker or Jephcott, play them together.
Give Wakeling the task of playing either wide left or right, his role would be more of an inverted winger, something Harry McKirdy used to thrive on.
When it comes to the frustration over the substitutes, with some fans I’ve spoken to, it runs deeper than just the changes inside a match for Scott Lindsey.
A vocal section of fans believe he isn’t up to the job after watching his side play the eight league games.
And this is causing a small split, with some fans remarking he’s only won two league games, and the football hasn’t been positive enough, and others who point to seven games unbeaten, and the fact we’ve scored three goals in both the last two home games.
I was frustrated with seemingly negative substitutions on Tuesday night, and I haven’t been overly impressed in some of the games we’ve witnessed, but I also think it would be unfair to judge Lindsey on a small sample size of games.
If the football isn’t improving and we aren’t near the playoffs come November, tough questions will have to be addressed by the higher ups at the club.
The Head Coach and his players have to, simply have to build on this result if they want to try and unite the fanbase behind them.
After the 3-0 win over Rochdale, we failed to build on a good result with two disappointing draws against Stockport County and Gillingham, with the latter being a dreadful performance.
If he can build on this result with some positive results, shows he wants to play on the front foot in games, things can and will change inside the County Ground, but if we go back to our performance from Priestfield this Saturday against Doncaster Rovers, then the vicious circle of negativity will continue to gather pace.
Finally, I wanted to pay my respects to HM Queen Elizabeth II who passed away last Thursday.
Like the majority of the UK, and the World, I was incredibly saddened at her passing as she is now with her Saviour. Currently, the UK feels like a very different place without her, as she was one of the final links to the past, and our family members who are no longer with us.
My thoughts and prayers are with her family and those mourning her loss at this time.
God Save The King.