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'One Point Not Enough': Three things we learned - Macarthur vs City

Though undefeated in four games, City fans will be disappointed with last night’s 1-1 draw away from home against Macarthur FC.

The boys had several chances to take the lead in the first half but it wasn’t until Connor Metcalfe’s 59th-minute goal that we were rewarded for our efforts.

Just as it looked like City would be able to see out the game with the 1-0 lead, a calamitous defensive error from Kerrin Stokes enabled Macarthur’s Michael Ruhs to finish one-on-one past Tom Glover to equalise for the Bulls.

With the boys forced to head back home with just the single point, here’s what we learned from the encounter:

Stokesy, Stokesy, Stokesy…

You wouldn’t know it from the abuse he’s copping online, but Kerrin Stokes is still one of the best prospects coming through at Melbourne City.

For the most part, he’s put in some mature and relatively composed performances, utilising his ball-playing abilities to fire off some quality long balls to Noone and Nabbout on the wings and has largely done a respectable job winning his aerial battles.

Of course, Stokes has now cost City five points in his last two appearances for the club, with both of his major mistakes owing to inexperience and perhaps nerves.

That said, Tilio’s hospital pass which forced Stokes into a compromising position contributed equally to City’s conceding of the goal.

The flip side of the issue, which featured in Talking City group chats after the game, is whether Stokes should have fouled Ruhs and taken the red card. With just 13 minutes of regular time left at that point and centre-back option Alec Mills waiting on the bench, do you think City could have survived to see out the 1-0 win with 10 on the park? Let us know in the comments of our social pages.

Is Connor Metcalfe City’s best midfielder?

Following another Man of the Match performance against Macarthur last night, Connor Metcalfe well and truly deserves to be in the conversation as City’s premier midfielder, even at just 21 years of age.

With 1510 minutes to his name, the youngster has featured more than any of City’s other midfielders and also leads that particular group for goal contributions.

Whilst the 2020/21 campaigns of Adrian Luna, Aiden O’Neill and Rostyn Griffiths have been disrupted, and with Florin Berenguer continuing to rediscover his best form, Metcalfe has stepped up in their absence and become a versatile and potent asset in the heart of City’s engine room.

The best in the league needs to be better

It’s a touchy subject because the bloke scored a casual five last week but Jamie Maclaren’s recent record in one-on-one situations is starting to become a real concern; at this point, his inability to finish big chances is costing us points, as it did again last night.

Aside from the goals scored, Maclaren had the game’s highest-probability chance (per Infogol) with his volleyed-miss in the 18th minute, with that opportunity normally being a sitter for someone of his quality.

Between that miss, his multiple passed-up one-on-one opportunities (with some defensive pressure, we’ll admit) and his countless offsides, Maclaren’s performance against Macarthur may have been one of his worst of the season – probably a testament to the incredible standards he’s set for himself.

The bottom line is that if we go on to win the Premiership, we won’t even remember that last night happened. Until we achieve that, the disappointing result – and Jamie’s misses – will play continue to play on our minds…

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