Date: 22nd March 2015 at 8:51am
Written by:

I was back on the Kop yesterday afternoon with my son hoping for a change in fortunes with the results in this the latter half of the season.

We got there early to see the new kit unveiled, and was a bit surprised when the players came on the pitch with what looked like an all-white shirt on! I know there`s thin red pin stripes, but there was a bit of a mixed reaction on the Kop with a lot of fans not happy about the move away from the thick red and white stripes, and one fan behind me even saying “we might as well play in black shorts and call ourselves Derby!”. That made me giggle. It must have brought good luck though as we won yesterday!

I thought we started brightly, there were even long shots on goal throughout, rather than the usual prancing around the edge of the box! We put a lot of pressure on Port Vale early doors, however after Baxter slotted home the penalty we seemed to back off. This has been constant throughout the season – dropping back deep to try and keep the goal difference. A few people were getting annoyed with this, we should be more attack minded.

Davies had a goal disallowed, which was a shame, but I couldn`t see the circumstances as that was at the away end.

A few in the team had upped their game though, Done, as usual was still making a nuisance of himself and harassing the opposition defence. Davies was constantly holding up the ball well and putting in some decent turns. Brayford did better at centre half alongside Basham. Coutts seems to play better in the centre of midfield rather than on the wing. The only criticism I have is with Harris and Baxter. Harris was still making text book mistakes, he`s quite frustrating at times, and even though Baxter had put the penalty away, he seemed to slack off towards the end of the first half. Some of his long passes were far too heavy, and he seemed like he wanted to get rid of the ball quite often as well. It appeared he still had his boots in the box with some of the passes which were not directed well. He came off in the second half, I think NC could tell he was flagging. He seems to be off his game for some reason – last season his passes were crisp and game changing. Clough went a bit too defensive in the latter stages, bringing on a defender and two midfielders, I think when you`re one-nil up you need to kill the game off and go for a second. There have been some recent games where we`ve been behind and he`s brought on more defensive players and taken off attackers.

The ref seemed “fair” this match I think, some decisions were incorrect, and however, at least he gave decisions both ways. I would have liked to see the ref get on top of the constant complaining from Port Vale players after fouls etc. I`ve seen this happen loads in recent matches where the decision is given against the opposing team, then their players surround the ref and constantly argue the decision. I know we all don`t agree, however, the ref`s decision is final and should be adhered to. I`m not sure I`d make a good referee as I`d lose my temper too easily and end up booking half a dozen players in one go! I am impressed with our team though, I was always taught “play to the whistle”. A lot of opposing teams will always look for the stoppage of play to slow things down, however, it`s nice to see United pushing on and not waiting for a possible whistle.

Looking back at the match stats on the BBC website, it looked like a close game with regards to shots taken, corners, and cards. I think this is a fair reflection, although I think we just edged it with quality.

Anyway, Scunny next on Tuesday evening, let`s hope we can repeat the result, bag three points and close the gap on the teams above us.

As always, UTB!!


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