Moving swiftly on from the Doncaster debacle, a few of us decided to use a bit of flexi-time and take in the reserves v. Sheff. Wednesday in Belper this afternoon. We used to watch the reserves a lot in our younger days and its always good to see some of the young players and outcasts stretching their legs. The Rams won 2-0 against a very young Wednesday side (the majority weren’t even shaving yet – that’s no exaggeration) and although it could and should have been 5 or 6, it wasn’t the most slick performance. Here’s some thoughts and observations:
- The reserves seem to mirror the first team formation and tactics. Last time we saw them, we were playing a 4-2-3-1. Today we played a 4-4-2, banging lots of diagonal balls. Just as pretty as recent first team games.
- We’ve spoken before about players who have looked good/bad in a 4-2-3-1 with our “Dave Martin – victim of the formation” article several months ago. After the Donny game, my brother introduced the concept of a “Dave Martin in reverse” to describe victims of us reverting back to 4-4-2 (he was talking about Ben Davies, who does not seem a winger). Ben Pringle is another potential victim, playing wide but not being a winger. I thought Connor Doyle would be, having no idea where he would play, but he played well in central midfield and was clearly a class above the kids around him. This could be his future. (Bueno is the most high profile victim of the phenomenon).
- We really are very, very short of defenders at the club with youth team strikers Aaron Cole and Callum Ball playing full-backs. Although those with long memories may recall Nigel Clough regularly playing in defence for Forest reserves during his heyday. Clough could be heard explaining to a fan that it gives young players experience of what causes difficulties for opponents and aids development etc.
- Chris Porter is really out of form. Although he scored, he missed two sitters and didn’t dominate as he should. On the other hand, Boulding looked far sharper, working the channels well and getting involved.
- Lee Croft looks some way off a recall. He had a cracking shot against the bar and put a shift in but rarely (maybe never) beat his
boyman or put a decent cross in.
- There was an outbreak of common sense by the ref at the end. One of their players injured himself quite badly (self-inflicted) and was clearly in need of lengthy treatment. As there were only a couple of minutes to go, the ref just called it a day. As we reached the car, Simon observed that after being surrounded by concerned team-mates moments earlier, the player and medical staff were the only ones left in sight. Whether the groundsman actually did say “here’s the keys, lock up when you’ve done” is unconfirmed.
A decent afternoon in the late winter sunshine. Does this count as a Rams victory?