(ANOTHER) EVENING POST FEATURE ON BATH
VICTORY IS IN THE HANDS OF STAGS
by Ian Wilkerson, Evening Post, 13 November 2002
When I was a student, I was disorganised, failed to keep my shape and found that a lot of my play lacked penetration.
However, the same accusations cannot be made of Team Bath, who I watched give away a two-goal lead to Lymington and New Milton in the FA Vase on Saturday.
Despite the 3-2 defeat, there will be plenty of food for thought for Mansfield Town boss Stuart Watkiss as the team prepares for the FA Cup first round clash on Saturday.
No team that reaches this stage of the world's greatest club competition is going to contain a bunch of mugs and it was interesting that they were quick out of the blocks and ahead in the opening ten minutes.
The fact the goal was a close-range header from left-back Mike Wisson demonstrated the adaptability of their 4-4-2 formation.
Their second goal was netted by centre-forward Guiseppe Sarbora and he was Team Bath's liveliest player, combining well with Barry Lavety, the archetypal non-league No. 9, who will provide a tough physical challenge for the Stags defence.
While the defence demonstrated enough solidity, two of the Lymington goals came from free headers, so attacking their full-backs should be a priority.
Also, the second Lymington goal was a result of a lack of organisation at a free-kick, when a quick one caught everyone off guard.
Overall though, the attacking went through the tried and tested routes.
Free-kicks were either bombed towards Lavety and central defender Tom Stocco and should be easily smothered and their corner routines were similar, even if the taker received a short return to enable him to change the angle of delivery.
But two other players who need to be closely guarded are Luke Prince - who turned up at times on both wings and showed enough on his runs forward to be classed as the best player on the pitch - and Matt Lewis who, playing in a similar role, also showed a number of good touches.
But, basically, it all comes down to Stags doing their jobs properly and following the messages that Watkiss has been drumming into them all season.
They have to work hard when they haven't got the ball, play the game at a quick tempo and move the ball around to dictate the pace of the game.
Only if they don't do that will there be any problems.
Latest | November 2002