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Does Moonshine Investments sound like a reputable institution?
at 12:12 20 Sep 2018

They have lent Bolton £5m.





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If Hurst wants to stay here for very long he needs to be braver
at 08:07 19 Sep 2018

Stick to what he wanted to start the season with, trust players and let them get used to playing with each other. I can imagine the pressure to win a match is telling, he'll be very conscious that he's proved nothing yet at this level, but just chucking a load of names in the air and picking the XI that way isn't going to work.

How long had we spent in training playing the back three? It looked like a couple of hours if that, no-one knew who was supposed to be where and it allowed Brentford to pass the ball around us very effectively. The goal summed us up: two chances to bring the ball out from the back, but given away, Doancien makes a goal saving tackle and we still couldn't get the ball away and then they got a little lucky with the deflected cross. It was some header of Maupay though, calmly placed beyond Pennington on the line.

Brentford were very good, particularly in midfield where their use of the ball was both economical and telling. They probably don't have enough of a predatory instinct to really challenge for the top two but they certainly look a top six side. All this on a budget a little bit less than ours, playing consistently better football and finishing above us. That's the big indictment of Evans' approach, it's only ever been about the first-team manager out-performing the budget.

They should have scored more than the one goal though, that they hadn't was the biggest positive at half-time. It was a mess, a friend described it as having all the creativity of a bad McCarthy side without any of the organisation. And yet, one goal always leaves a chance.

At half-time Hurst reverted to the formation we had started the season with, one that immediately looked more comfortable. The back four was fairly solid although clearly exposed by Brentford breaking incisively but that's a risk with committing players forward. It was Knudsen's fierce shot after Wards's lovely pass that changed the mood, it provided a bit of belief on and off the pitch and the team grew from there, fans forgot the grumbles go the first half.

Yes, Brentford could have scored a second on the break but there was a sense that the equaliser when it came was deserved. The third or fourth phase of play after the deep free-kick (and what wasn't a cynical foul from behind a yellow card there?), the ball kept alive twice - once by Nolan and Knudsen and then by Skuse - and a lovely flat cross and a brilliant flicked header. I loved Jackson's little glance to follow the ball in. Another man with something to prove in this division but that goal goes someway towards that.

So, another draw then. As with Villa after a decent second half but after eight matches we've only been ahead for 29 minutes all season. A win still looks a way off but I don't think we can afford for it to take much longer. We have shown that we can look a side already relegated and a decent mid-table one in the space of a couple of matches but without a win there will only be more performances like the former.

The team selection yesterday came across as that of a man under pressure, you don't have to believe the rumours about Hurst having to win this week to save his job but there have been enough noises about him and Doig having upset several senior players and members of staff to suspect Evans might be having second thoughts. In which case, Hurst has to stick to what he believes in, stop being antagonistic to players in some kind of weird macho posturing and play on the front-foot from the start on Saturday.

Ultimately it will be results that dictate his fate but I think that the most disappointing thing about this season, aside from the carelessness in discarding experienced players, has been the lack of structure and pressing. Things that Hurst set great store on at Shrewsbury haven't been seen here for more than a few minutes at a time. That is a worry.
[Post edited 20 Sep 10:03]
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Some cracking cricket at Chelmsford today
at 11:46 18 Sep 2018




Worcestershire are 60/6.
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Who is going tonight then?
at 08:12 18 Sep 2018

It's been a while since an evening match and it's just starting to turn Autumnal so we'll have the nice feeling of PR under lights for the first time in a while.

There are, of course, two more important things tonight. Most importantly, to pay tribute to Kevin Beattie which I'm sure will be emotional. I did see some talk of something in the sixth minute as well as the minute of applause pre-match, it would be nice to do something fan-organised as well.

And then to support the team. Hopefully the crowd will be as positive as it's been in the three previous home matches and, whilst there are questions about Hurst so far, they can be put to one side for the duration of the match. We will need to press Brentford tonight, give them space and they'll pass round us. Do that and cut out the defensive sloppiness and we have a chance.

The sooner we can get a win, the happier everyone will be. COYFB.
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Pussy Riot member seriously ill in Russian prison
at 09:36 13 Sep 2018

Oh.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/13/pussy-riot-activist-in-hospital-af

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We've all had enough of experts? North Carolina edition
at 14:07 12 Sep 2018


https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/north-carolina-sea-level-rise-hurricane-f

FFS.
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A bit on Bolton yesterday
at 07:56 12 Sep 2018

Not entirely sure from this if they've repaid the money or just restructured the debt. One to keep an eye on.

https://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/16835432.wanderers-back-from-the-brink-as-i

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Cricket: Making hard work of winning this Test at the moment
at 15:10 11 Sep 2018

All of a sudden 194 with five wickets in hand is a possibility.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18018/game/1119553/england-vs-india-5th-test-

Equally, one wicket will probably bring several.
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One for connoisseurs of poorly chose photos in news articles
at 07:51 11 Sep 2018



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Cricket: good first hour then
at 12:01 10 Sep 2018

England steadily building a good lead, now 209 ahead.

http://www.espncricinfo.com/series/18018/game/1119553/england-vs-india-5th-test-
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Cricket: This is another really good Test match
at 15:59 9 Sep 2018

Jadega this morning was every bit as good as Butler yesterday in dragging his side towards a respectable score. One day players adapting their games to Test cricketer, and the match situation, superbly.

England 60 ahead at tea. I presume we'll want to be at least 300 ahead. As much as the Oval pitch normally lasts for five days I think this one is doing a bit too much.

Highly tempted by the e-mail I've just received from Surrey, tickets tomorrow are £35 but I shall need to work unfortunately.
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Book thread
at 11:11 7 Sep 2018

Because we haven't done one for a while, what's everyone reading at the moment or read recently that they would recommend?

I'm out of new books at present so looking for suggestions and it would be nice to change the subject on here.

First up Pale Rider an excellent account of the Spanish Flu Pandemic, part history, part science and part anthropology. It's very good and thought provoking about the impact of a similar mutation now.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30335530-pale-rider

Guardian article on it.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/jun/04/pale-rider-laura-spinney-spanish-f
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Grauniad piece on loan clauses
at 11:42 6 Sep 2018

Nothing radically new but the Bradford chairman is very wrong about feeder clubs:

https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2018/sep/06/football-league-loan-deals

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An Emirates plane has arrived in New York with a lot of sick passengers it seems
at 15:32 5 Sep 2018

Flight from Mecca which is currently experiencing a flu outbreak.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-05/urgent-plane-quarantined-at-j



[Post edited 5 Sep 15:38]
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Check your bank statements people
at 08:00 5 Sep 2018

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-45400234

I had a double payment in a pub but it had been corrected by the following day before I could go and ask them about it.
[Post edited 5 Sep 9:22]
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Nice slightly offbeat report from Sunday
at 15:39 4 Sep 2018

Includes a picture of the Hurst flag and several gratuitous digs at Norwich:

https://trippingovertheball.blog/2018/09/04/ipswich-town-1-norwich-city-1/

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Cycling balls
at 14:41 4 Sep 2018


https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/devon-town-rude-awakening-after-196762

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RIP Moose
at 17:11 3 Sep 2018

Still some people got some photos though.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/03/moose-swims-vermont-new-york-drown

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Cricket: Alastair Cook retires after the next Test
at 12:00 3 Sep 2018

Thanks for everything Alistair.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/sep/03/alastair-cook-retires-england-inte

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Very good long piece from 200% on terracing and standing at football
at 09:14 3 Sep 2018

I'm quite happy with the current de facto arrangement in the lower North. I think it works and rail seats are broadly a variation on the same theme - just legalised. Can't see why there is any problem with it, as long as there is a choice for those who want to sit.

http://twohundredpercent.net/long-read-great-terracing-dilemma/

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