It will come as little surprise to read that The Shots have failed to win more than two league games in a row this season thus far, and after Saturday’s “performance” against a competent U’s side, there’s no wonder that supporters patience is beginning to wear thin.
The change from watching a comedy of errors has mutated into a macabre affair and but for the East Bank making their own entertainment for the afternoon, there was little else to smile about.
While the atmosphere was building pre-match, the team announcement set the tone for the rest of the day and with players out of position and two new centre-backs who were yet to learn each other’s names, things were always looking a little shaky, and so it was to be.
Although The Shots perhaps just edged the opening five minutes of play, their end product was yet again far too blasé and as has been the story for a large part of the season, it only took the opposition one half chance and they took the lead.
While Jon-Paul Pitman’s seventh-minute strike may have come out of the blue, it will have hardly caused surprise to those looking on.
With heads-down, the Shots went on the attack once again, but it was short lived and the visitors began to gain a foothold and although the game swung in each sides favour, there was always that cutting edge missing from the Shots game while the U’s players appeared to be always one step above their hosts and grabbed their second on thirty-seven minutes with another sucker-punch.
The impressive James Constable set up a spectacular ball for the hard working Simon Heslop who saw his fantastic strike acrobatically saved by the impressive Ross Worner, but the resulting corner saw the Shots defence all at sea and after the ball hit Michael Duberry on the leg, it managed to beat Worner and it was game, set and match to the visitors.
Now in the ascendancy, it was a case of damage limitation as the sorry Shots limped their way to the break, but deep into injury time, nobody bothered to pick up Jon-Paul Pitman again and he had time to lay it off for Peter Leven, who made no mistake in slotting it away for number three.
The second half was a disappointing non-event, with less effort being displayed than you’d expect in a pre-season friendly, and although the U’s scored no further goals, it appeared to be a case of them taking their foot off the gas – more than content to take their three points home and easily soaked up everything – which wasn’t a lot – the Shots could muster.
The new Shots Trust scoreboard glistened bright on an otherwise dismal display at the EBB Stadium but the scoreline it displayed after 94 minutes, hardly told the whole story of yet another miserable Shots performance.