Before we entertain Dalbeattie Star from Dumfries & Galloway there have been a few doings occurring since last time.
Firstly Ross Guthrie (Our only influential player) isn’t happy not playing – I’ve said I’ll give him a few starts (Most probably the South Region cup next up v Leith) but with Hainey in form and Garden also scoring he’s only really 3rd choice as striker so may have to go.
Secondly we’ve signed a 2-year kit sponsorship worth £500/year – big money!
Thirdly as the month has turned I’ve run the data into the database – we only had 1 person have 1 attribute decline in September (Josh Donaldson Determination) but we’ve had a few ups
Kev Waugh & Kyle Fee making back some previous falls, Josh Donaldson getting stronger, Hainey & Churchill also increasing in a few areas. Very pleased after a 7-game month which saw quite a lot of missed sessions through rest.
Our Reserves won 6-1 Away at Hillfield Swifts Reserves, Jordan Hopkinson with 4 goals, Jordan Garden & Andrew Mackay with the other 2. I think that puts Jordan Hopkinson ahead of Ross Guthrie as well!!
I though it good after 9 competitive games to have a quick look at the player stats to this point.
I’ve sorted these on completed/90 mins. Murray is understandably top as the starting playmaker in most games, but Neil McVitie really stands out (Highest key Passes at 2.64/90 mins). As he has been playing as a BWM usually at DM with Clappers (4th) it might be that the DM position always gets involved in more passes as the conduit between defence and midfield. Big Kev Waugh dominates the heading charts as expected with more than twice the completed headers of anybody else. 2nd is (maybe surprisingly) Andy Mair at AML, though he is 6ft 1 so maybe not so surprising, getting in at the back post (He and Andrew Mackay have over 1.5 key headers per game from that position). Neil, Kev and Mark McConnell have > 80% completion which is good.
Neil McVitie tops the crossing charts for Completed/90 Mins with just under 3 (From BWM!!!!!), with Right Wing back Tom Kelly next – this corresponds with Andy Mair/Andrew Mackay having the highest key headers as he’d mainly cross to them. Andrew Mackay is definitely a better crosser than Andy Mair, but this may be due to the games he has played in. Alieau Faye attempts the most dribbles, the only person over 2/90 mins, and in central areas Johnny Devers is not afraid to run with the ball.
Clappers tops the tackling Completion/90 Mins charts with just under 2.5 – As BWM in DM that is to be expected. Andrew Mackay in 2nd is interesting as an AML – maybe again the result of the games he has played in. Interestingly our Centre Backs haven’t been called upon to do much tackling, though Kev Waugh has the most Key tackles with 2. From a fouls standpoint James Hainey both draws and concedes the most as the lone striker, which is to be expected. Clappers concedes pretty much twice the fould he has drawn which is also to be expected in his role in DM.
Our rightback Tom Kelly is top for Mistakes/90 mins with just over 2. there has only been 1 mistake leading to a goal – Kev Waugh misjudging the ball over the top in our 1-0 loss to Spartans. Our centrebacks are the interception kings – over 7 per game between them, Big Kev showing his 14 Positioning and Mark his 11.
James Hainey is top of the Offsides understandably as the lone striker – though his 0.65 is very good. He is also 5 goals in 6 games so far which is superb. Andy Mair is the assist and chances king – almost a chance per game created and 2 assists every 3 games.
What do I draw from these figures – Keep doing what we are doing, plus get Neil McVitie involved more!
So onto today. Dalbeattie Star ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalbeattie_Star_F.C. ) have been ever present in the Lowland League since the leagues’ inauguration in 2013, finishing 3rd in the first season but slowly declining in stature over time, finishing 14th in the 2017/18 season (They finished the 2018/19 season IRL 14th as well). The scout report shows their best player Lewis Sloan (4* current) as injured, with only 1 other player at 3* or above. The pre-season preview had them finishing bottom but they find themselves 11th currently with 5 points from 6 games.
The front 3 and back 5 stay the same. McVitie (And his key passes) comes in as DLP, Balfour as Mezzala and Clappers back from his ban as BWM/DM. Ross Guthrie will need to wait – he can come on in the 2nd half if the opportunity presents itself. Dalbeattie line up with a 4-5-1, lets break that wall down.
HT Civil Service 1 (Hainey 45+1) Dalbeattie Star 1 (Foster 37)
A very closely fought game, Dalbeattie opened the scoring with a clearly offside goal from a free-kick in the 37th minute. Up to that point we had had no shots, but it sparked the Strollers into life, James Hainey equalising in injury time at the end of the 1st half with a side foot volley from a McVitie corner (Definite touch of offside in that as well as Faye looked to be interfering ). Still it was quite disappointing, and the hairdryer treatment will be forthcoming. Dalbeattie have been the only team to go toe-to-toe with us from a possession and passing standpoint – it may be we need to go Gegenpress to try to rush them in their possession. I’ll leave that until 60 minutes if there is no breakthrough.
FT Civil Service 2 (Hainey 45+1, Guthrie 87) Dalbeattie Star 1 (Foster 37) Att 52 (3 Away)
The half started well with a few chances coming our way until the 62nd minute when Clappers got a second yellow – his 2nd sending off in 3 games and now a 2-game ban – to put us under the cosh. I changed to a Gegenpress, bought Ross Guthrie on as a Pressing Forward and David Churchill as a Carillero (As opposed to a BBM – might change to that later on), changing McVitie to a defensive BWM. I moved back to Balanced as well. We were properly under pressure but a break in the 87th minute led to Guthrie placing a volley from a lovely cross from Mair into the bottom right for his first goal for the Strollers. 2-1. We defended brilliantly for the final moments to see the game out. A massive win. The next game is in 11 days (Leith in the South Challenge Cup 3rd Round). See you then.