1st fixtures: 30th July

kieran_vale

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I still think league 1 is being oversold and obviously one good result doesn't change that but to win with still plenty left in the tank bodes well.

I think this month we have Bolton, MK and Portsmouth so will see how we can measure up in them games as a good guide regards the step up in quality.
 

Luke Imp

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I still think league 1 is being oversold and obviously one good result doesn't change that but to win with still plenty left in the tank bodes well.
Depends where you're aiming to finish. Relegation places, probably oversold because last season it was 40 points for survival, but on the other hand it was 83 points for the final PO place, which is the highest it's ever been I think.
 

TractorBoys

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First game of the season and won't be getting carried away. First half I thought we struggled to impose ourselves on Bolton. Second half I thought for extended periods it was attack vs defense. I thought Bolton were a little more direct than I expected but both sides were pleasing on the eye at times.

I felt it was important today for us to show up and maintain the optimism that is around our club at the moment. Ultimately; 1-1 draw on opening day against a Bolton side that will almost certainly feature in the top 6... is not a bad days work, but on balance I thought we did enough today other than to stick the ball in the net second half.

Side note - We scored a goal from a corner, a fucking corner. Something we achieved twice in 50+ games last season.
 

valefan16

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I think this month we have Bolton, MK and Portsmouth so will see how we can measure up in them games as a good guide regards the step up in quality.
Yeah I think it’s a case of trying to win as many of the games against teams outside that top 10 like today and then try a nab the odd big scalp so to speak.

Today settled the nerves we didn’t want a bad start at home with some tough home games to come.

Mega pleasing to have our biggest crowd for a season opener since 1998 as well. Just under 8000 home fans when many will still be on holiday for example is positive as well. Does seem like we’ve hooked a fair few day trippers from the last few games of last season.
 

Gassy

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You were indeed surprisingly awful to be fair.
However FGR undereducated you today and without your awesome keeper could have easily lost that 6,1!
Thought we started the game wel and pretty dominant tbh, but the cracks very quickly showed. I never like fans when they lose and say the opposition weren’t that good, because you did what you needed to at the end of the day.

However it was frustrating to be sliced open by simple balls over and over again. Barton said we’ve been mostly focusing on defensive shape in pre-season (i assume to account for the lack of good defenders/midfielders) and it did not show at all.

Got to get through Burton now ( any chance of a Covid call off?) and I’ll feel much more confident with Coutts & Finley back in CM. Should have at least another CB through the door then too. If Barton has shown us anything, it’s that we need to be patient for the signings he brings in. All our best players from last year came in either late window or January.

Still, doesn’t make it any less annoying right now though
 

The Jovial Forester

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Thought we started the game wel and pretty dominant tbh, but the cracks very quickly showed. I never like fans when they lose and say the opposition weren’t that good, because you did what you needed to at the end of the day.

However it was frustrating to be sliced open by simple balls over and over again. Barton said we’ve been mostly focusing on defensive shape in pre-season (i assume to account for the lack of good defenders/midfielders) and it did not show at all.

Got to get through Burton now ( any chance of a Covid call off?) and I’ll feel much more confident with Coutts & Finley back in CM. Should have at least another CB through the door then too. If Barton has shown us anything, it’s that we need to be patient for the signings he brings in. All our best players from last year came in either late window or January.

Still, doesn’t make it any less annoying right now though
Lot of wayward final balls in from you too, I thought, which relieved any pressure we might have gone under.
 

Sydney Posse

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Happy with a point away at Lincoln. We played well overall and were pretty comfortable in patches, especially early on. I think we may do a little better than a few people think. The key for us is avoiding injuries to 1 or 2 key players but think we will hold our own. Vale at home to come, we played each other in some close contests last season
 

Kenny senior

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First game of the season and won't be getting carried away. First half I thought we struggled to impose ourselves on Bolton. Second half I thought for extended periods it was attack vs defense. I thought Bolton were a little more direct than I expected but both sides were pleasing on the eye at times.

I felt it was important today for us to show up and maintain the optimism that is around our club at the moment. Ultimately; 1-1 draw on opening day against a Bolton side that will almost certainly feature in the top 6... is not a bad days work, but on balance I thought we did enough today other than to stick the ball in the net second half.

Side note - We scored a goal from a corner, a fucking corner. Something we achieved twice in 50+ games last season.
Very fair assessment I thought we started brightly which I was surprised at since it was a massive failing last season. We played good football at times but ipswich came into the game the longer it progressed. We still tried to play football but had to resort to the odd long ball and balls down the flanks. Ipswich looked a good team and will definitely but up there come may. Overall a good result though at one of the harder awaydayd this season and first game so can't complain. At home is where our season will be won.
 

Boletus Edulis

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I wonder if yesterday was a template for how we will be throughout the season. Created lots of chances, just did not take them. Like the new system. With two holding midlfielders we are more robust, yet playing essentially two creative number 10s makes us very attacking.

A nervous win and should have been more. The highlights on ITV made it look more even than it was.

Barnsley have some decent individuals, but as a team they did not seen to gell. I got the sense that they were not confident in each other yet. They were a bit toothless up front too.

From the outset they clearly had a deliberate strategy of targeting our skill players with some agricultural tackling, and the fouls were 15-2. However, Mr Breakspear dealt with this well.

Look out for Finn Azzaz, he looks very exciting. Bad news for us was the serious leg injury of on fire LWB Mikel Miller on Friday. However, MOM Bali Mamba who took his spot also looks very tricky. Watch out for 21 year old midfielder Adam Randell, think this will be his break out year. He does have an eye for a pass.
 

Gassy

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Lot of wayward final balls in from you too, I thought, which relieved any pressure we might have gone under.
Yep, just poor all round. The one bit on confidence I can try and take is that we only lost to a last minute screamer, otherwise we’d have take a point. Still, 0 points is 0 points
 

bigfatron

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U's starting with a deserved 1-0 win over MK Dons.
We started with an eleven that didn't include any of our six new signings; I think that helped with our cohesion and organisation.
We had some really good passages of play, especially in the first half, but what really pleased me was how solid we looked second half when MK Dons had a lot of possession. No shots on target for MK tells a story, and that stat was more about our structure and concentration than any Dons' ineptitude.
Dons looked strong and skilful, but still working out their best formation and only starting to build partnerships around the pitch - lots of balls going astray and crossed wires. I suspect we were lucky to play them today and still fully expect top six/seven for them, as you can see they are strong in all the key positions on the pitch. They do miss Twine though...
Shout out for Harvey Knibbs' excellent run and goal, and our new boy Janneh's ten minute cameo at the end - he was superb and I hope will be a huge asset off the bench.
 

Stripes

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On holiday, and only followed via livescores, BBC etc. I think we have approached the season logically from a fans point of view, not too many expectations. So naturally thrilled for the three points, but had just enough extra to gain the win maybe. But still not a huge amount more clear than we were, so patience I guess. Ipswich will give a better indication, being used to the level already.

I guess our four friendlies against higher league opposition will have significantly helped our preparations, even though we got beaten in them all, it will have significantly pushed our learning curve. That tempered supporters expectations, so probably not a bad thing. But as nice as it was to win yesterday, and gain some confidence, were still on the defensive mentally right now.
 

91SPP

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As it was the first game of football, at least regular season football, I’ve ever watched in League One - it was quite the introduction.

The first 20 minutes were great, but we really needed a goal. Oxford were very effective at putting the ball behind our back line for their forward players to chase but ultimately struggled to create clear cut opportunities. We would get into the final third and then make a poor decision for the final ball. In hindsight, it was exactly what I was expecting. I do believe a lot of teams will go to put the ball over the top against us for players to chase as the CBs aren’t the quickest so it was truly a blueprint for what we will see a lot this season.

Oxford we’re extremely good at the dark arts in the first half, which I have absolutely no problem with, so it was good to see us more than match them in the second in that regard. The referee was extremely poor, though, and made a rod for his own back. It led to a lot of challenges on both sides flying in and (again) probably was a good introduction to League One officiating. When Sibley came on and took two heavy tackles in the first 5 minutes, I thought he’s either going to score the winner or get sent off. Fortunately my phone signal wasn’t working in the ground as I desperately tried to put a bet on him getting sent off as I know he’s a player who definitely likes to give as much as he gets to his own detriment.

He was the game changing substitute, took a few players out of position and set Hourihane up for the match winner.

Considering we started back to preseason 2 weeks later with 5 contracted players, it was an exceptional performance. A lot to work on, players need to get used to each other, there was countless times runs were being made that weren’t spotted. Players were coming short when the ball was going long, etc.

Collins battled hard but he was very guilty of that in terms of just being on a completely different hymn sheet. I’m sure it will come together.

Charlton next week, not sure what to expect from them at all, but I do know this week will be invaluable to the players getting more comfortable with each other.
 

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Yep, just poor all round. The one bit on confidence I can try and take is that we only lost to a last minute screamer, otherwise we’d have take a point. Still, 0 points is 0 points
Thanks to your amazing keeper again.

I am sure you will improve big time and will sign a lot more players.
You will certainly need too, as FGR who ever Man and his Dog states is the worst team in League 1 gave you a lesson today.
 

FGR-Star

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On holiday, and only followed via livescores, BBC etc. I think we have approached the season logically from a fans point of view, not too many expectations. So naturally thrilled for the three points, but had just enough extra to gain the win maybe. But still not a huge amount more clear than we were, so patience I guess. Ipswich will give a better indication, being used to the level already.

I guess our four friendlies against higher league opposition will have significantly helped our preparations, even though we got beaten in them all, it will have significantly pushed our learning curve. That tempered supporters expectations, so probably not a bad thing. But as nice as it was to win yesterday, and gain some confidence, were still on the defensive mentally right now.
We were the much better team.

If it was not fir their keeper we would have won by at least 4,1.

I am not getting carried away though, as it could just be that Bristol Rovers are incredibly poor for this league.
 

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great performance from vale after a nervy first 10-15 mins. we are desperate for a couple more strikers on the bench though as i think we'd have struggled if we needed to change the game late on.

on a side note, nathan smith getting booked for simply being a hard bastard...I hope their lad is ok though, he was a handful when he had the service.
 

valefan16

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great performance from vale after a nervy first 10-15 mins. we are desperate for a couple more strikers on the bench though as i think we'd have struggled if we needed to change the game late on.

on a side note, nathan smith getting booked for simply being a hard bastard...I hope their lad is ok though, he was a handful when he had the service.
Looked an awful collision but Smudge just stood his ground, he is hard as nails though just trotted off whilst their lad couldn’t carry on. He is a nutter, still remember Jamille Matt punching him at FGR last season and he just laughed.

Need strikers though and can see we’d had less options as the game went on up front as we had to sit back and see it out.

Delighted for Rory Holden to get 30 minutes too. When we took him on trial Walsall fans suggested he wouldn’t play football again so credit to him for getting right and the medical support we’ve seeked to get him.
 
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Bartonyellow

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Thought we started the game wel and pretty dominant tbh, but the cracks very quickly showed. I never like fans when they lose and say the opposition weren’t that good, because you did what you needed to at the end of the day.

However it was frustrating to be sliced open by simple balls over and over again. Barton said we’ve been mostly focusing on defensive shape in pre-season (i assume to account for the lack of good defenders/midfielders) and it did not show at all.

Got to get through Burton now ( any chance of a Covid call off?) and I’ll feel much more confident with Coutts & Finley back in CM. Should have at least another CB through the door then too. If Barton has shown us anything, it’s that we need to be patient for the signings he brings in. All our best players from last year came in either late window or January.

Still, doesn’t make it any less annoying right now though
Don’t worry about next week. We are in a charitable mood. Our best player ( John brayford ) looks like he had a very good pre season in an all inclusive hotel with no limits on alcohol.
And our manager likes to put players in positions they have never been in before to look clever and all pep like.
Notice the massive open gaps on the popside ( to your right of the away end ) and see how many of us are not going until he has gone ( like me, and about 8 people in my village alone ).
Enjoy the beer, the hospitality and the 3 points.
 

Boletus Edulis

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As it was the first game of football, at least regular season football, I’ve ever watched in League One - it was quite the introduction.

The first 20 minutes were great, but we really needed a goal. Oxford were very effective at putting the ball behind our back line for their forward players to chase but ultimately struggled to create clear cut opportunities. We would get into the final third and then make a poor decision for the final ball. In hindsight, it was exactly what I was expecting. I do believe a lot of teams will go to put the ball over the top against us for players to chase as the CBs aren’t the quickest so it was truly a blueprint for what we will see a lot this season.

Oxford we’re extremely good at the dark arts in the first half, which I have absolutely no problem with, so it was good to see us more than match them in the second in that regard. The referee was extremely poor, though, and made a rod for his own back. It led to a lot of challenges on both sides flying in and (again) probably was a good introduction to League One officiating. When Sibley came on and took two heavy tackles in the first 5 minutes, I thought he’s either going to score the winner or get sent off. Fortunately my phone signal wasn’t working in the ground as I desperately tried to put a bet on him getting sent off as I know he’s a player who definitely likes to give as much as he gets to his own detriment.

He was the game changing substitute, took a few players out of position and set Hourihane up for the match winner.

Considering we started back to preseason 2 weeks later with 5 contracted players, it was an exceptional performance. A lot to work on, players need to get used to each other, there was countless times runs were being made that weren’t spotted. Players were coming short when the ball was going long, etc.

Collins battled hard but he was very guilty of that in terms of just being on a completely different hymn sheet. I’m sure it will come together.

Charlton next week, not sure what to expect from them at all, but I do know this week will be invaluable to the players getting more comfortable with each other.
welcome to league one refs, and especially linos. You’ll get use to this, there are some decent ones, but some very poor ones too. Much poorer than what you are used to, it is part of the “delight” of playing at this level.
 

91SPP

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welcome to league one refs, and especially linos. You’ll get use to this, there are some decent ones, but some very poor ones too. Much poorer than what you are used to, it is part of the “delight” of playing at this level.

I can imagine the frustration. Yesterday wasn’t necessarily due to the decisions but just how his leniency on bad tackles led to a number of players getting frustrated and going in hard.

We could do with avoiding it given the size of our squad and the likelihood of injuries. We’re still 5/6 players short for a suitable squad.
 

UppaTowen_ITFC

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Ipswich look a much improved team, glad to get of there with a draw
As I said on another thread, we were good second half but your lads played very well first half I thought. Youll be in or around the playoffs I’m sure. Very well organised outfit.
 

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Fantastic result against a side who didn't drop many points at home last season. Considering we have no real wingers at the club and before Tuesday the only fit CB we had was 19... 3-3 drawn at Sheff Wed was very good. Typical terrible performance by the ref. Firstly even though we didn't bring the physio on after Ogilvie was hit in the face by the ball which led to us being out numbered to defend a corner which typically was their 3rd.. Young Scarlett gets kung fu kicked in the face in the area, but no penalty given. Morrell brushed Oxford lad in the chest with his foot and got a straight red. Ref would have given it if it wasn't in the area. Gutsy performance by Michael Morrison who has no pre season and Sean Raggett who had to have injections in his back to play. Piggott and Bishop between them will give most defences a tough time. Once we get in some fast wingers think we'll be have a decent season. Watch us lose at home to Lincoln Saturday! Lol
 

Floreat Salopia

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We battered Morecambe 0-0. Should really have won that by 2 or 3 but we were let down by our finishing, final ball and decision making in the final third.

We did hit the crossbar but to have 16 shots and only get 1 on target is appalling from us. Didn’t help that we had Udoh out injured and O’Brien only came on for the last 5 minutes as he’s not fully fit. I think if those two started the game we’d have been out of sight by half time.

First game though, we played well albeit against a dire Morecambe side and we should only improve as the games go by. Onto Accrington next Saturday.
 

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Fantastic result against a side who didn't drop many points at home last season. Considering we have no real wingers at the club and before Tuesday the only fit CB we had was 19... 3-3 drawn at Sheff Wed was very good. Typical terrible performance by the ref. Firstly even though we didn't bring the physio on after Ogilvie was hit in the face by the ball which led to us being out numbered to defend a corner which typically was their 3rd.. Young Scarlett gets kung fu kicked in the face in the area, but no penalty given. Morrell brushed Oxford lad in the chest with his foot and got a straight red. Ref would have given it if it wasn't in the area. Gutsy performance by Michael Morrison who has no pre season and Sean Raggett who had to have injections in his back to play. Piggott and Bishop between them will give most defences a tough time. Once we get in some fast wingers think we'll be have a decent season. Watch us lose at home to Lincoln Saturday! Lol
Should have been dead and buried by the break but Cowley got it spot on after the break, seen the penalty claim and it looked stone wall a foul however where it was was more contentious as it looked to be outside or on the line
 

nelsonpfc

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Should have been dead and buried by the break but Cowley got it spot on after the break, seen the penalty claim and it looked stone wall a foul however where it was was more contentious as it looked to be outside or on the line
Sounded like we couldn't get near your midfield in the first half. Bannan takes the piss playing in league one. Just sees things sooner than anyone else on the pitch. Think Marlon Pack will do the same for us.
 

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Enjoyable start against mk and a deserved 3pts, mk started brightly and hit the bar but other than that we held them back, we was solid and took our chance when it came, nice finish from knibbs, mk passed and they passed but never really created anything of note.

We look like we’ve got a few more options this season and Jennah’s comeo was awesome!!

Onto to Oxford.

KTF
 

GEORGE

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Well that was a pleasant surprise. Clearly we caught the Gas at the right time given their shortage of centre backs, but we put in a solid performance nonetheless. Belshaw in goal for the Gas was superb and kept the score down.
Can't argue with any of that assessment.
 

Boletus Edulis

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I can imagine the frustration. Yesterday wasn’t necessarily due to the decisions but just how his leniency on bad tackles led to a number of players getting frustrated and going in hard.

We could do with avoiding it given the size of our squad and the likelihood of injuries. We’re still 5/6 players short for a suitable squad.
There are, I believe, three core components to reffing. First, being fit enough to be in the right place to make a decision.The vast majority of refs at this level meet that criteria, though far too many of the linos are not. Second, making the right decisions. While us fans, especially in the heat of the moment, might disagree they do get most right. The third element is the one you refer to, namely game management, and that is where they can let themselves down. And is probably the factor that stops them going to the next level.

There is a potentially fourth aspect, how they as a team work, and as noted above not all the linos help here.

Enjoy the ride.
 

Bone Idle

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I wonder if yesterday was a template for how we will be throughout the season. Created lots of chances, just did not take them. Like the new system. With two holding midlfielders we are more robust, yet playing essentially two creative number 10s makes us very attacking.

A nervous win and should have been more. The highlights on ITV made it look more even than it was.

Barnsley have some decent individuals, but as a team they did not seen to gell. I got the sense that they were not confident in each other yet. They were a bit toothless up front too.

From the outset they clearly had a deliberate strategy of targeting our skill players with some agricultural tackling, and the fouls were 15-2. However, Mr Breakspear dealt with this well.

Look out for Finn Azzaz, he looks very exciting. Bad news for us was the serious leg injury of on fire LWB Mikel Miller on Friday. However, MOM Bali Mamba who took his spot also looks very tricky. Watch out for 21 year old midfielder Adam Randell, think this will be his break out year. He does have an eye for a pass.
Told you when you signed Azaz you had the best AM in L1!! no disrespect but he is much too good for you or any other team in L1 he should be at a top half championship side before moving up to Villas 1st team squad next season.
 

WhiteRussian

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I didn't get to the match but I gather we weren't really at the races. I'm not suprised, it takes time to gel. Well done Cambridge, Wednesday will be a big test for us.
 
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