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  Liam McDonald Previews the Braintree Game
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9th Mar 17
Liam McDonald Previews the Braintree Game
Moors Steel Themselves to Match the"Iron"

  

As you know I was really happy and impressed with Saturday’s performance against play -  off contenders, Dover Athletic. We knew they had scored in every home match this season and had every intention of being the first Club to come away with a clean sheet.

 

The game plan worked well and we stuck to it even after the unfortunate injury to skipper Liam Daly. Ricky Miller’s opportunities were few and far between and I was frankly disappointed to read Dover comments to the effect that we simply put ten men behind the ball. We dominated the mid field in the first 20 minutes and could well have taken a deserved lead. Nortei’s added time effort was so close to sealing all three points. We had the right shape and the result was a mark of our defensive qualities.

 

Ashley Sammons had an eventful day starting for the first time since Lincoln and ending the game wearing the Captain’s arm band. I asked him to put in as many dangerous balls as was possible against the big Dover defence and thought he acquitted himself really well.

 

We have put in a lot of video analysis in preparation for this Saturday’s home game against Braintree  - they are a formidable side and I expect the toughest of matches. The “Iron” are just three points behind us albeit with a worse goal difference and have played one game more - they will be fighting to move further up the league to safety.

 

They have recorded some good wins so far this year: 5 – 0 away to Bromley two weeks ago and home victories against North Ferriby and Eastleigh. In amongst recent games is an away draw at Forest Green Rovers and they will not have forgotten Harry White’s last minute penalty which gave us all three points at their ground. Tuesday's home defeat against league leaders Lincoln will only make them more determined this weekend.

 

From our perspective another three points would be massive as we look to secure out first season in the top flight. There is, however, no pressure from me on the team   – the points will come!

 

I am sure Liam Daly will be ready for action on Saturday despite limping off at Dover. His no nonsense approach on the pitch is certainly being noticed and I was delighted to see him included in last weekend’s Non League Paper’s Team of the Day. He is such an influence both on and off the park and he will not wish to miss a match through injury.

 

That said I was delighted with the way the players plugged the gap when Liam had to leave the pitch. Calum Flanagan is naturally a central defender although I am asking him to fill the gap at left back occasioned by Connor Franklin’s injury. So he fitted in perfectly with Joel Kettle towards the end of game and our defence was rock solid. I am now in the fortunate position of having two ex captains (Calum and Joel) playing alongside our skipper.! 

 

The fifty or so travelling fans made a real difference to the lads performance – think what several hundred will do at home. 

 

Liam

 

 

 

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