Late lev­eller sil­ver lin­ing to bad week

Stockport Express - - Motors - FAN’S VIEW IAN DOO­LEY

WITH vir­tu­ally the last kick of the game Ja­son Oswell sent the County faith­ful home from Dar­ling­ton’s Black­well Mead­ows Rugby Sta­dium with a wry smile on their faces.

That one mo­ment, that one shot was with­out doubt the high­light of the foot­ball week! A week that promised so much but for the very large part failed to de­liver.

Let’s go back a few days. Last Satur­day we threw away a three­goal half time ad­van­tage to FCUM.

That in it­self was both hard to di­gest and un­for­giv­able but we were still in the Cup and had a sec­ond chance on Tues­day night at Broard­hurst Park to make amends, we were still favourites and after all, light­ning doesn’t strike twice.

There was a healthy fol­low­ing in the away end. How­ever, on the pitch things didn’t look so good Oswell, Clarke, Mini­han, Duxbury and Warburton were all miss­ing – five of our best play­ers out due to in­jury (Matty Warburton while wash­ing his hair ap­par­ently !!!! ) which meant a much changed side but still we had a de­cent chance to progress.

It didn’t take too long be­fore things swung our way. The home side seemed in­tent on hand­ing the tie to us, on a plate.

They com­mit­ted foul after foul that led to one, then TWO red cards in the first half hour. On the ter­race we were mak­ing plans for the next round, en­joy­ing life and al­ready lap­ping up the vic­tory in what would surely be a County vic­tory that would last in the mem­ory for years to come.

What hap­pened will go down in folk law as one of the low­est points in County his­tory.

I’ve wit­nessed de­feats and hor­ror shows the length and breadth of the coun­try, Caernar­von, Staines, Gran­tham – but none like this.

We were use­less, gut­less, clue­less, it was em­bar­rass­ing and the FC sup­port, quite rightly took the mickey.

Is this the same team that just a few weeks ear­lier ham­mered six past South­port and four past North Fer­riby? It was hard to be­lieve.

There was no di­rec­tion from the touch­line, no lead­er­ship on the pitch, it was in truth a to­tal fail­ure from all con­cerned, as I said, an em­bar­rass­ment all round.

On Satur­day, at Dar­ling­ton, I was hop­ing for a re­ac­tion, I got one but had to wait un­til the 90th minute for it.

The game was look­ing like a train­ing ses­sion for much of the af­ter­noon. They scored thanks to Scott Duxbury’s at­tempted clear­ance beat­ing Hinch­liffe at the near post while we had to wait for the last 20 min­utes be­fore we got into any real rhythm.

Ben McKenna came on and duly de­liv­ered some pace that ul­ti­mately led to Oswell find­ing the net.

It’s been a hard week and I’m hop­ing Jim has learnt some­thing about his squad.

Www.mpho­to­graphic.co.uk

●●Ben McKenna

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