Redcar boss Carl Jarrett offers his take as the Steelmen succumb to title-favourites, Bishop Auckland.
Jarrett expressed his distaste at a sluggish opening half hour, but praised his players’ response in the face of the near insurmountable table-toppers.
Two weeks without a minute on the pitch, Redcar’s start was nothing short of abhorrent by Carl Jarrett’s high standards.
An unfortunate rebound so neatly tucked away by John Howard, a dizzying run complete with the tidiest of tight angle finishes from Louis Johnson, and a defensive mistake punished by the lurking Dean Thexton left the Steelmen staring down the barrel of an utter thrashing come the half hour mark.
Bishop Auckland’s dominance necessitated a tactical rethink from a Redcar pursuasion, and come a change in shape, Jarrett’s men proved much the better side.
A clever give-and-go between Adam Boyes and Brad Mills left the door open for the fallback to squeeze home his first goal for the club, denting the Two Blues’ superiority before the break.
With ten minutes to go, a seeking ball from Layton Watts offered Boyes the simplest of opportunities, to which the forward retained his composure in providing the finish to match.
A number of spurned chances left the Bishops scrambling to survive as the clock ticked into stoppage time, but as Redcar’s offensive pressure mounted, Louis Johnson capitalised on a slick breakaway to scatter any lingering doubts over the final result.
Excited at the challenge posed by the league-leaders, the Redcar boss admitted Bishop Auckland’s quality was far too much for his side undergoing a grave transition.
Boasting a record of only nine dropped points in the Northern League this season, the Two Blues’ superiority is undeniable, yet for Carl Jarrett, their victory was offered up on a plate through sporadic moments of carelessness.
I was really looking forward to coming here today.
Like I said to the lads before the game, the table doesn’t lie.
They’re sitting top because of a reason. One defeat all season, sitting eleven points clear: they’re a very very good side.
We knew it was going to be a tough test.
What I was really looking forward to was just seeing what these lads were going to be about, because obviously, it was a big test.
I learnt massively in the first 30 minutes, that’s why we changed the shape.
People weren’t doing the roles we wanted them to do, people weren’t doing the jobs.
I was bitterly disappointed, I thought we were miles off them. We just gave them too much respect.
But as I said, we changed our shape, and things started to pick up more positively towards half time.
I made a couple of subs, obviously with Isaac and Fergie coming off, just because of the shape.
I thought Belly came on and dictated the midfield, he got close to people. I thought he did really well.
THE POSSESSION GAME
One area where Jarrett found concern with his side’s first half play was possession, as the boss lambasted Redcar as wasteful in the face of a Bishop Auckland outfit who revel in control of the tempo.
Under the management of Chris Hardy, the Two Blues seek to dictate the flow of the game, and thrive on extended periods of possession. For the Redcar boss, his side were too lackadaisical with the ball to boot, gifting Auckland the chance to hurt them with poor decision-making.
I think we had a little bit more quality in the second half.
In the first half, on the possession side of things, I don’t think we touched the ball more than four times before we gave it back to them.
A team like this, that thrives of possession-based football like Chris (Hardy) has them playing? You can’t afford to give the ball back to a team like that.
When we had the ball, we broke them down a few times. If you look at the chances that we created, I mean, Boyes has chipped one over the top of the bar, he’s hit the bar, then he’s missed a one-on-one, Donny’s missed one, we hit the post in the first half, Isaac from the edge of the box…
There’s chances there that we could have taken, but they’re all ‘ifs and buts’.
We’ve got to learn from that performance, and there’s a lot of positives to take from that game.
The star of the show for Bishop Auckland, Carl Jarrett was keen to heap praise on Louis Johnson, a instinctive forward known to him through time at Marske United.
Johnson struck twice in an unyielding performance, headlined by a sensational solo goal inside the first half hour.
I had Lou at Marske. He’s a great lad and a great player.
He’s come on absolute leaps and bounds, he’s top drawer.
He’s had a great game, and I’m glad it’s going well for him here (at Bishop Auckland), because they’ve got an absolute diamond.