Captain’s View: Richard Bunting’s weekly look inside The Walks
- Credit: Ian Burt
To say the past few days have been bad would be putting it mildly. Have we become a bad side? Have we become complacent? Have we taken our eye off the ball? In my opinion, none of these can be answered with a yes.
What I do know is we've had two really bad performances and results, and the only people that can put it right are the ones inside our changing room.
At this level any team can beat an opposing side on any given day, and if we don't turn up – for whatever reason – we will get found out. And that's exactly what has happened in our last two matches at The Walks.
On Saturday we welcomed Southern Premier Division and same-level Cambridge City in the FA Cup first qualifying round. To be fair, the game was over before we ever really got going – if we even got going at all.
We really gifted them two of their first three goals (scored by Chris Bacon and Iuean Lewis). The third, to be fair, was a wonder strike from their right back (Jackson Ramm), that happens sometimes.
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But right from the front to the back we didn't defend properly and as a team we don't need telling it wasn't the standard we have set ourselves over the last 12 or so months.
People might think it's the back four's job to keep clean sheets but they only come from everyone in the team.
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Working hard and stopping the opposition playing plays a massive part in this. I think over the past few weeks we have stopped doing this and it's costing us.
We found ourselves 4-0 down at half-time thanks to Adam Marriott finding the net before the break.
We did pull an early goal back in the second half thanks to a Duffers' (Rob Duffy) penalty but the job was already done as far as Cambridge were concerned.
To make matters worse for us, Quigz (Dan Quigley) picked up two yellow cards resulting in a very soft red.
The ref told me it was for persistent fouling. But one thing is certain. We will miss Quigz when he is suspended as he gives the team real energy when he plays.
Our nightmare continued in front of our own fans on Tuesday evening as we returned to Evo-Stik Premier Division action after a very quick break to take part in the English game's biggest cup competition.
This time Matlock Town were the visitors and we had full intentions of putting right a few wrongs.
But the night soon went from bad to worse for us. Although we did show some early promise, with a quite bright start for about the opening 10 to 15 minutes, we soon gave away three sloppy goals – well, from our point of view at least.
We didn't make the opposition do anything special for any of them, which is so disappointing for us.
Lewis McMahon, Darryl Thomas and Danny Holland found the net to the cheers of the visiting fans. It wasn't the same for us though and it can seem as though the whole world is jeering and booing the side right now. But we know we have to do better.
Like Saturday, we had a go second half only to concede a further goal (Holland's second). The night was made even more frustrating for myself as I picked up a calf strain during the first half and was replaced at half-time.
We must now look forward to what will be a tough game at third-placed Chorley on Saturday before we visit Ilkeston Town on Monday.
We have to go into the games believing we can get something from them. One thing is for sure though, everyone from within the four walls of our changing room will stick together through thick and thin.
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