Stansted (2018-19) – The Tree Surgeon

Today we welcome top of the table Stansted. They have had a tremendous season so far and have to be considered favourites for the title, despite all the chasing pack having games in hand.

They added to their fire power a few months ago, when they signed our former marksman, James Peagram and he has carried on hitting the net, but, at least we know what we are going to be facing today.

Well it all went disastrously wrong on Wednesday when we fell to defeat against Hullbridge Sports, by two goals to one.

We were missing influential midfielder, Reece Conway and also Remi Nelson not available, manager Ryan Maxwell had to pick himself, but, that meant we had no midfield players of the bench.

Despite all the controversy, mainly in the second half, I felt that we suffered a big blow, when, after Correy Davidson scored the opening goal, we only managed to hold the lead for sixty seconds and so all the good work was wiped out instantly.

I cannot help but feel that sides now are desperately trying to either wind us up or intimidate referees, or in some cases, both.

The defeat on Wednesday was especially annoying as West Essex had done us (and all the others in the top six) a favour by defeating Saffron Walden in a match that saw a Walden player lucky to get just a yellow after elbowing an opponent, the home management team and the bench involved with the opposition bench and a couple of Saffron Walden supporters threatening an opponent verbally (now where have we seen that before).

Without debating the decisions on Wednesday (and there did seem to be quite a few that went against us), I just felt we allowed ourselves to get involved in so much nonsense, off the ball.

After Jaffa’s dismissal and the unfortunate second goal for Hullbridge, even the Hullbridge Twitter page had to concede how good our work rate was and they were struggling to hold on, we allowed ourselves to get involved in loads of niggly incidents which completely destroyed the momentum we built up and played exactly into the hands of Hullbridge, we helped them see out the game by slowing things down and taking the steam out of efforts.

Without wishing to be too defeatist, we have left ourselves so much to do, to catch the teams currently in the top four places.

It will need for quite a few teams to drop quite a few points, for us to have any chance of getting near promotion – I am not saying that we cannot do it, but, it is certainly nowhere in our hands now and we have to rely on others to help us out.

Today is hardly the perfect day to start our run, but, I suppose if are going to make a run, today is as good a time to start as any.

We will be seeing quite a lot of our opponents today, in the coming weeks, as we meet them in both the Errington Cup and the Gordon Brasted Trophy.

So still plenty for us to play for this season.

My one worry is that the heavy rain before and during the game on Wednesday will have put the game in doubt.

In which case you won’t be reading those notes and that last sentence was a waste of ink.

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David Chapman