Topic: Braintree Town at home....
FT: 0-0 Att: 1302 (26 away)
According to a report from The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health published this week, contrary to what had become perceived wisdom on parenting forums and daytime chat shows, there is no good evidence that time in front of a screen is ‘toxic’ to children’s health.
What they’d make of time in front of FC Halifax Town this season is anyone’s guess.
Given the relatively clean bill of health tablets, phones and laptops have received, I didn’t feel so bad about the youngest (James joined us today) watching two American pre-teens play Minecraft on a YouTube channel rather than endure the last 30 minutes or so of today’s game.
Ah, YouTubers. Another one to add to the list of ‘things I just don’t get about the modern world now I’m pushing 50’ along with flossing, Fortnite and the chart success of George Ezra.
This particular pair are something else. When modern Western civilisation falls, as it inevitably will, and they write the definitive account of our decline (in Mandarin naturally), they could easily use the ‘Sis v Bro’ YouTube channel as a signpost of where the rot truly set in.
Don’t be tempted to look.
Seriously, don’t be.
Just accept from me that Canada natives, ‘Karina’ and ‘Ronald’ (the kids of another YouTuber ‘FreddyGoesBoom’, I know, a grown man called ‘FreddyGoesBoom’, and guess what, he’s probably richer than all of us put together) have millions of subscribers and have undoubtedly made fortunes from screeching (boy, do they screech) about video games, cooking and slime recipes.
Also accept from me that I’d have gladly watched 90 minutes of their saccharine inanity if it meant avoiding what began to look increasingly like a relegation dogfight.
Braintree Town have won just four of the 29 games of football they’ve played so far this season. A goal difference of -28 befits a team that’s propping up the fifth tier of English football and is six points adrift of the team above them. Before today they’d conceded 53 goals. They’ve still only conceded 53 goals because, even if Town were still playing as I type this and Braintree had headed back to Essex on the coach, they still most likely wouldn’t score.
We should have known. Have seen it coming. Learnt to temper our expectations. But we were optimistic.
We’ve been here before readers.
You know, that optimism that football fans the world over foolishly allow to cloud their minds as they get all that other Saturday stuff like shopping and runs to the tip out of the way so they can go and watch their team urinate all over it. And them.
There were some things to be happy about as we drove to the match.
Jacob Hanson has been a rare positive this year. His loan move from Bradford City became permanent last night. The news was greeted by Hannah giving us an impromptu ‘Hype’ dance (add another to that list) around her bedroom. He’s got real talent I reckon. Most had assumed City would want him back but, even in the face of interest from other clubs, it seems the board and the manager were able to persuade him to sign.
This came on the back of Town securing Scott Quigley on loan from Blackpool until the end of the season. Just like Hanson, other clubs had been after him. A promising attacking fullback commits to The Shay and the team gets the 6’4 striker with two good feet it’s been crying out for. One to stop goals, one to score them. Quigley managed 8 in 17 appearances at Wrexham.
Hanson had the worst first half he's had all year. No dream debut for Quigley today either.
Town’s problem hasn’t necessarily been conceding. Their defence isn’t bad. It’s not always pretty and can be a bit Sunday League in its execution, but it’s been working. Clarke has years of league experience and it shows. Brown is a true club man. Industrial in his style as well as his build. They do a job at centre-half that works more often than it doesn’t.
In some ways, the strength of the defence gives you a window into how Jamie Fullarton manages. And that just might explain why Town can’t win games. It’s cautious. And pretty pedestrian. It never really flows. It seems to be about damage limitation.
It certainly isn’t about entertainment. But we did that already. Wilkinson would approve.
It lacks a midfield that creates and, until that’s remedied, Town aren’t going to progress.
The omens were almost certainly there. The match day routine was off from the start.
No team sheets. I’m guessing the printer had run out of toner.
A restless four-year old.
Hannah’s mate and her Dad deciding this was the game for them to return to the ground.
And a different stadium announcer.
George, the usual voice of The Shay is ill apparently. In place of George’s Working Men’s Club steward tones, we got a bloke in a Hi-Viz doing his best local radio DJ impression.
Add to that repeated bursts over the Tannoy of the deafeningly loud “Green Team Leader report to Stadium Manager’s Office’ automated safety announcements and we really should have known it wasn’t going to work out and just sodded off to The Piece Hall to buy handmade chocolates and healing crystals.
There really was little to write about in terms of the actual football
Quigley will get better. He needs a couple of competitive games and to get to know his teammates but there were flashes of the skill we’re told he has.
What’s becoming increasingly apparent on the pitch is that Kosylo, the skilful one in the team, isn’t happy. I get his frustration but hitting a bloke after he’s fouled you isn’t the way to work through it. Most of the East Stand saw it, but he was lucky that the ref didn’t. He’d have been off. A fate I was convinced awaited Brown when he pulled back their lively forward, Callum Morton. Morton’s on loan to them from West Brom and looks a good player. Definitely one to look out for. To be honest, with hair as ginger as his he’s hard to miss. Brown got away with a yellow and Morton continued to give Town problems all game.
The home side improved in the second half but the frustration remained.
It was nice for Hannah to have her friend there. She plays for Brighouse Town Juniors. I couldn’t resist a line about it being a shame she didn’t bring her boots.
Will they be back? If that’s the standard they can expect, I genuinely doubt it.
Disjointed and ultimately ineffective football, a lack of goals and a booing crowd at fulltime aren’t exactly money-makers for a team struggling for form and cash.
For all that Halifax were the better team, it was Braintree that looked like they might steal three points at the death. They’ll certainly be the happier camp tonight.
Hannah reckons James will be back when he’s nearer her age. He’ll almost certainly fidget less by then but he’ll also be able to ring Childline if I inflict another game like today on him.
Town’s Twitter feed ended their coverage of today with a reminder that this was the first clean sheet since November and that they’re still unbeaten in 2019.