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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Big Match Analysis - Bury 3 Accrington 0

In a new strand concentrating on defending in the Football League, Turls analyses the action from our Big Match.

Bury 3-0 Accrington Stanley
Saturday October 9, Gigg Lane, (Att: 4,164)

Welcome to the first Big Match Analysis. It's going to be a hoot. Imagine slicing open a cadaver with a meat cleaver. Got that image? Good, because it'll be nothing like that.

Forget everything that CSI taught you, because this is the real world now. If I don't analyse these games then no-one will. Admittedly, it wouldn't really matter if it didn't get analysed because internet users have bigger fish to fry - like 'Do I have Bieber Fever?'

Bury took on Accrington Stanley this weekend and, fortunately, it didn't end up 0-0. The Shakers won 3-0 and looked very comfortable - even before the Stanley Knives imploded and got two men sent off.

Bury 1 Accrington 0

The Bury defender hoofed the ball as hard as he could down the pitch. These types of balls should be dealt with by any defender worth his salt. They really should be dealt with at Sunday League level.

What makes this any different to the ones that are routinely mopped up? If you look closely, you'll see the ball bounce once. This is important because it represents the exact moment when the Accy defence lost control of the situation.

The defender panics and fails to get any real contact with his header - allowing the striker to run onto the ball and smash it into the net.

You do see it a lot in modern football - defenders waiting for the ball to bounce before reacting. In this instance, it may have been difficult for the defender to reach the ball before it bounced but, if that was the case, he shouldn't be committing himself to a header that he may not reach.

The worst thing he should have done was wait for the ball to bounce a second time before hoofing it into touch.

Bury 2 Accrington 0

A little bit of novelty defending here as well. The defender fails to clear the ball quickly - allowing the striker to nip it off his toe and steal the ball.

No worries, he's on the touchline and doesn't look like he'll pose too much of a threat. Hang on a minute, what's this? A runner from deep not being followed?

The ball is slid through two defenders into the path of the darting attacker. This guy waltzes into the box and has a choice to make.

Shoot - under no pressure, but at a tight angle? Pass it to a team mate who is also under pressure but at a glorious angle? Or pass it to another team mate who is under no pressure and further away - making the pass a little more difficult?

Unsurprisingly, the attacker passed to the guy closest to him, who blammed it into the back of the net.

Ultimately, the ball should have been cleared from the beginning but, even allowing for that, Accrington were very slow to react - thus letting Bury seize the initiative and put themselves 2-0 up.

Bury 3 Accrington 0

Goalkeeper smashes the ball down the pitch in the general direction of the lone striker. It was quite accurate and deserves a little moment of applause.

Finished? Great. This time the Accrington defender was caught between two minds. At one point he thought he would let the ball bounce and then deal with it afterwards.

However, he had a sudden change of mind. Maybe he remembered what happened earlier in the game. This indecision saw him run towards the ball and before you could shout "stop" the ball had bounced past him and into the path of the grateful striker.

The defender looked like he was trying to stop it with his crotch before realising he might want to have children at a later date. If this defender is incapable of having kids, then I can only apologise.


The Accrington gaffer must be fuming at his team for allowing three goals to be conceded in this manner. Three stupid mistakes were punished and the mistakes could easily have been cut out.

Having said that, Stanley seemed to be very open at times, allowing Bury a lot of space down the middle. All the stats indicate Bury were dominant and the mistakes were bound to happen at some point.

Still, it doesn't entirely justify such sloppy defending.

To top off a miserable day for the Milkmen, they had two men sent off. One was for an off-the-ball incident that I didn't see, and the second for a studs-up challenge.

Obviously the players were frustrated and getting beaten so comfortably, but this is the last thing the manager would have wanted to see.

Seven goals conceded in two games. They are certainly a little bit rubbish at the back and, if they don't sort it out soon, they could find themselves getting beaten by a few more against the shining lights of the division.

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