After 5 weeks away today we play in Berwick, hosting a decent Annan side. We’ve also had a turn of month, so here’s all the lovely bits and pieces.
Somehow we got 3rd place in Manager of the Month for September with a 33% win rate……
Again good improvements ongoing, Dean Cornelius motoring on (I’ll need to give him more game time). I’m surprised Lewis Barr has a lost a point on Passing though…
xG – A tough month, but it shows that the 2-2 with Peterhead was a good result at the end of the day. Stranraer and Cowdenbeath were very close to xG, but in the Cowdenbeath game we were below on expected shots on target from the total shots we had from the sectors we shot from. Interestingly Peterhead was the Asymmetric 4-3-3, with Tom Sutherland as the AML….Maybe worth keeping in the back pocket.
An overview of the month’s stats as follows:
Passing & Crossing – Dean Cornelius showing well with 2 key passes per game, and all our midfielders completing > 84% of their passes. Our WB’s also doing nicely on crossing – Lewis Faulds completing a third of his crosses over the 2 games he played in September.
Heading, Tackling & Interceptions – OK, but unremarkable defensive numbers – Sean Slaven stands out with almost 2/3rds completion up front (McGrath was just over 50%). Good Interception numbers in September, Munro especially with 5 in the game he played in.
Fouls, Mistakes & Corners – Lewis Faulds was a bit mistakey – 3.21/90 mins is a bit high. Also Kieran McGrath strays offside a bit much – 2 a game isn’t too bad but needs keeping an eye on.
Dribbling, Goals, Assists & Chances – Dunsmore is a dribbler – over 2 per game which is nice to see.
So to the Annan Athletic game, our first of the 2nd set of matches. We beat them 1-0 back in August, Liam Watt with an 80th minute goal.
We go with a ‘Wingenpress’ – A wide pressing wingplay, trying to get our best guys on the field in an attacking manner – we should be dominating games and we’ve not done so for the last month. Cameron McGinn (19 yo, ex-Ross County Newgen) starts up top as a pressing forward, while Balde & Healy try to both get low crosses over and get in on goal themselves. Cornelius is coming in over Turner, Faulds starts as the left wingback. I’m going to allow the boys to play pretty expansive football. Annan are playing a 4-4-F**king-2. Lets do this.
HT Berwick 1 (Nanitelamio 3) Annan 0
Its absolutely bucketing it down today on the North Sea Coast, but Berwick made a good start, and after just 3 minutes Big Rod Nanitelamio headed home at the near post from a Dunsmore Corner – 1-0 Berwick. McGinn scored in the 20th minute after a lovely ball again by Dunsmore, but was a yard offside. Berwick (From the comprehensive highlights anyway) seemed very much on top but Annan did have a clear cut chance when Buchan broke the offside trap, but wasn’t pacey enough to get in a good position to shoot from – Allison saving well. 1-0 at the half. Feeling McGrath as an impact sub at some point after 55 mins. A few tweaks as well, wide boys both as IF’s, both CM’s to Mezzala’s, Tom Sutherland as the AP.
FT Berwick 3 (Nanitelamio 3, Barr 55, McLaughlin 80) Annan 0 Att 429 (21 Away)
An OK start to the half, and we went 2-0 up in the 55th minute – a ball in by Big Rod, headed down by Healy to Sutherland, a short ball through to Barr who stroked the ball home well. McLaughlin on for Healy, McGrath for McGinn on 65. Gardiner on for Barr with 15 left. And it was 3 after a period of sustained pressure, McLaughlin capitalising on a Balde blocked shot and stroking it home. Lovely play boys!! I felt this was coming at some point this season. And that’s how it finished – very convincing, 3 pts, clean sheet, a tactic (2nd half) that I think will do us very nicely for the rest of the season. I especially liked how the centre mids work as twin Mezzala’s on support when Tom Sutherland is an AP.
The top 3 all won, but Brechin slipped back with a 1-0 home loss v Stranraer.
Next up in 8 days is our game-in-hand – An away trip to Forthbank Stadium to play a Stirling Albion side that sit 9th, just 2 points off bottom – That if we win will put us back to the top of the table. See you then.