On a really cold day the visitors started the game playing uphill, in more ways than one. Without Darren Wheeler and Ashley Lloyd due to family commitments together with Charlie Hutton and Liam Roberts being suspended and Rory Sellick and Chris Wales still recovering from injuries they were always going to find it a struggle. I doubt they expected to have to cope with so many poor refereeing decisions on top of everything else.
The G’s started with Oneal Garnes in goal, Will Hutton sitting in for his brother at right back, Chris Musgrove continued in partnership with Graeme Purdy and indestructible Nick Hutchings at left back. New signing Julian Sill joined in the midfield with Louis Hutton and Steve Laidler with Piers Oldland wide on the right and Iven Kumanda on the left and Joao Andrade up front. Danny Bassett was on the bench with Pacha Tayo Walker.
In the first five minutes Joao was elbowed in the face, which left him needing treatment for a fat lip and bloody nose. Soon after Iven was forced to run 10 metres or so while being held in a head lock, and Will Hutton received a late tackle in front of the dugouts, all of which received not even a talking to from the ref. Graeme Purdy received a yellow card for a pointless nudge on a Barton player when the ball was well out of play. Otherwise he had a good game in the defence.
The first half was fairly even without too many chances on goal from either side. Barton had more of the possession without really threatening, apart from one effort from the edge of the box which Oneal saved well.
Iven was showing his power and pace out wide(when he was not being held in a headlock) and played a part in a build up at the end of the first half when the ball found it way to Louis inside the penalty area where he seemed to take forever to find space to get a shot in, which finally hit the crossbar.
The only other highlight of the half was a very slick bit of ball control by Chris Musgrove to match that of Louis in the Rushden and Diamonds match that was caught of film. Not in the defensive training manual.
0-0 at half time.
With the hill and the wind in their favour in the second half the G’s began to dominate proceedings. Iven again being a threat from wide linking up with Steve Laidler on a couple of occasions and bringing a good save from the Barton keeper which he palmed round for a corner. Steve made a number of good supporting runs forward into the box.
Will Hutton then got a yellow card for pointing out to the referee at a free kick that he had not moved the Barton defensive wall back the required 10metres (or ten paces which Will kindly demonstrated for him). The ref then did the same thing minutes later when he took only 9 paces when the G’s were awarded yet another free kick on the edge of the area blatantly far less than the required 10 metres as could be seen from the proximity of the penalty spot and the D.
The G’s kept pressing and dominated possession as can be seen from “Stats Man” Michael’s figures below, but could not turn possession into goals. Danny came on for Piers midway through the second half.
Oneal had a good game securing any high balls well, Nick Hutchings as ever was steady at the back and made several attacking runs into the area, as did Steve Laidler, Louis Hutton and Will Hutton who did well at right back. The whole squad put the effort in and at the end of the day you might have thought they were the home team when they were applauded of the pitch. The travelling G’s supporters probably making up half the attendance. All in all they put the effort in but in the end they have to be content with just a point.
Man of the Match – a tough one, but Chris Musgrove and Iven Kumanda were both impressive for me.
attempts 7 10
on target 3 3
corners 2 6
fouls 21 [2os] 17 [2os]
poss 1st [est] 57% 43%
2nd est 31% 69%
yellows 2 4