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Opinion: The View from the Abbey

Cambs Iron provides his player ratings from the Iron’s defeat at Cambridge on Tuesday night.

Rory Watson – Produced a superb reflex save in the first period at what was a key time in the game. This was followed up with a number of other decent saves but his handling wasn’t at its cleanest. Avoids criticism for any of the three goals, but was welded to his goal line at set pieces and with crosses coming into the box. Distribution got wayward towards the end of the game. Not yet a commanding or vocal goalkeeper which inspires confidence.

Harrison McGahey – Looks heavy in his physique. Limited on the ball and in his mobility. High in effort, but low in quality and was poor defending the back post for the Cambridge equaliser. A real weak spot with and without the ball on the night, exploited well by Cambridge. Not a right back, never will be.

Kgosi Ntlhe – Diminutive and barrel chested Ntlhe gave as good as he got. Read the game well for the most part and showed flashes of attacking width and purpose. Suffered from limited cover at times in the second half and from a lack of real pace in his recovery and closing down to stop crosses in the box.

Rory McArdle – Two well taken and goals from set pieces and whilst limited on the ball he kept it simple and played to his strengths to decent effect. Struggled with defending crosses for the goals, not alive to second balls and needs to defend the front post.

Andy Butler – The most vocal of the back four and the only recognisable leader on the pitch. Like McArdle, he is restricted in his movement and work on the ball. Not yet the standout performer and organiser supremo Scunthorpe desperately hoped for. Brave and passionate, but has now has limitations.

Alex Gilliead – Provided direct pace, athleticism and a decent physical presence out wide, but very limited in terms of tangible outputs. Rarely in the final third and didn’t provide any real threat on the night. Competed well off the ball and was committed to the cause. Looked like a proper League 2 standard winger.

Adam Hammill – Understandably disappointed to be subbed earlier on in the game, but the theatrics that followed were embarrassing and frustrating given the situation. Was bright for the time he was on the pitch, but big question marks if he really wants to play for Scunthorpe.

Matt Lund – Provided quality in his passing (excellent weight of pass) and work on the ball, also showed tenacity to break up play and recover the ball in the midfield battle. Could provide more in the way of leadership given his experience and ability. James Perch – A harsh sending off, but an unnecessary tackle. More evidence of ill discipline and seems to have picked up from where he left off last season….. at least he is consistent.

Abo Eisa – Provided the only real attacking threat, in open play, on the night. Electric pace and showed good 1v1 dribbling ability. Distribution and final ball was mixed, but signs of promise to excite the fans when out wide and on the counter attack. Still learning the game defensively and unreliable in his defensive work. Eisa could provide a ray of hope, if his confidence can stay intact. Raw potential.

Kyle Wootton – Slow reactions in his attacking movement and poor at reading game unfolding before him. Struggles to protect the ball consistently when in possession and rarely found attacking the penalty spot. Needs constant guidance and encouragement from the bench and players around him. Work rate and application cannot be questioned, but unfortunately Wootton is currently some way off the standard needed to carry real consistent attacking threat in League 2.

Sub Regan Slater – Two brilliant assists from set pieces and catches the eye with his energy and running. Looks a bit of a luxury in a midfield two and perhaps was culpable for not tracking the midfield runs of the influential Paul Lewis for Cambridge.

A performance which showed the expected levels of commitment and work rate, but a lack of: quality, leadership, organisation and options from the bench.

At best, without quality attacking additions, this bloated and imbalanced squad is a proper bottom half L2 squad and at the worst….lets not go there… Chesterfield suffered back to back relegations 2016/17- 2017/18…. it happens. Hurst needs time and the necessary backing to bring in 2 or 3 new players and to ship out those he deems surplus to requirements (very unlikely to happen but it could be as many as 5 or 6).


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Written by Will Montag

Will Montag is an English Literature graduate of Manchester Metropolitan University. He is an avid reader of fiction, and a lifelong Iron fan. Will enjoys various outdoor pursuits in his spare time.

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  1. Excellent re view of the players performances on Tuesday. Pretty much spot on I think. Much prefer this to the points based reviews which at times feels exploited to bash certain players over the head with.

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