In the last game before our new Owner and Chairman Clem Morfuni goes home to Australia Town sadly couldn’t produce a winning display as Port Vale left Wiltshire with all the points.
After becoming accustomed to beating the Valiants at the County Ground for many years, it was a new experience seeing them celebrate full-time.
Sadly, it was not only our worst performance of the season so far, but was a worryingly bad afternoon for our reliable defensive backline, with both centre-backs struggling to distribute the ball well and clear their lines when called upon.
Since joining on loan this summer Romoney Crichlow has enjoyed an impressive start at the heart of the defence, but Saturday he looked off his game, as his reliable passing out from the back abandoned him on several occasions, as Town were lucky not to be punished more for our lack of concentration throughout the first half.
Dion Conroy also endured a tough 90 minutes and looked out of sorts most of the afternoon, I don’t think either player should or will be dropped next weekend, and with Akin Odimayo desperate to show what he can do both players know this can’t happen again any time soon.
Looking at some positives from the afternoon and the first name that comes to mind is Alex Gilbert, the Brentford loanee enjoyed an impressive full home League debut and showed why there is much excitement about his prospects at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Once he gets fully settled into life at Town and his role in the side becomes clear, I can only see him improving, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hit double figures in goals and assists combined this season if he can build on his impressive start.
Somebody who has impressed over the last couple of weeks, but has done so for his country and not his club side is Anthony Grant, who at the age of 34 made his international debut for Jamacia against Mexico.
The General gave a good account of himself and showed what he brings to the table, as he played a big role in Jamaica’s 1-1 draw against Costa Rica, sadly the Reggae Boyz suffered defeats in their two other games, and now sit bottom of the qualifying table, but it was a great moment to see The General play some international football. It’s certainly a well-deserved reward for his couple of impressive years playing at the County Ground.
He was certainly missed at the weekend as the visitors were far more street smart with their in-game management as Town lacked that bit of bite in midfield, a role Grant relishes against an aggressive side, but sadly nobody stepped up to take hold of that role, and Town suffered for it.
Sadly, Ben Garner in his post-match interview with BBC Wiltshire confirmed Grant will be missing our next game against Northampton due to quarantining rules.
This is a huge blow for the manager as he’s such a key player on and off the pitch, hopefully, lessons have been learned from the weekend, and Town can bounce back at the first opportunity and continue our impressive away record by taking three points away from Northampton next Saturday.