NOTTS COUNTY..1 Flynn is ready for Bees
DONCASTER’S promotion party may have been put on ice, but manager Brian Flynn has backed his side to respond in the only fashion acceptable next weekend in what will be a season-defining 90 minutes.
Although hindsight is a beautiful thing, a win for Rovers would have kept them top of League One and needing only a point to seal automatic promotion away at promotion-rivals Brentford next Saturday.
But Joss Labadie’s first-half freekick, his first goal since being recalled from a loan spell at Torquay, ensured an instant return to the Championship for Flynn’s men will be decided on the final day.
And despite bemoaning possibly the worst first-half performance he has seen in his managerial role at the Keepmoat Stadium, Flynn is adamant there will be no such repeat in a week’s time.
“The second half was a lot better, although anything would have been better than the firsthalf performance,” said Flynn.
“I thought that was the worst 45 minutes since I’ve been the manager that we have produced and it was not the time to do that.
“It was the last home game which made the atmosphere great, the keeper made a couple of good saves and it wasn’t to be for us but now we have to go to Brentford and get a result there.
“I always thought that it would go down to the Brentford game and I would have taken that when I took over. It has turned into a 90 minute season, that’s what it is next week.
“We will recover from this, we will come in on Monday morning and we will be bright and sharp and we will be ready to go to Brentford on Saturday. We can’t change things now, what is done is done.”
County started well as Neil Sullivan comfortably dealt with Alan Judge’s eighth-minute strike but the veteran keeper was helpless six minutes later when Labadie’s fierce strike flew past him from range.
Dean Furman saw his header ruled out for offside soon after and County keeper Fabian Spiess had to deny both John Lundstram and Paynter before the break.
After a tenacious second-half, Paynter had a great chance to grab a draw with 14 minutes left after he rounded Speiss but with the goal gaping Krystian Pearce got back to clear his effort to safety.
And County manager Chris Kiwomya revealed his joy at seeing his side prove they are now capable of grinding out results in different scenarios – a sign of progression under his rule.
“I think four weeks ago I think we lose this game but here we saw a team and everyone of them battling for each other,” said Kiwomya. “Everybody played their part and that is the most pleasing part.
“We came here and in difficult circumstances we’ve won the match, not drawn, but won it and we could have scored more at the end on the counter attack.
“I saw him [Joss Labadie] shooting a few weeks ago and I’m surprised how well he hits the ball and that was a great goal. Joss can do that and he needs to keep improving and moving on from there. This win taught me we can win ugly.” JEAN-YVES Mvoto’s dramatic stoppage-time winner ensured Oldham’s League One survival at the expense of Crawley Town’s play-off hopes amid joyous scenes at Boundary Park and silenced boss Lee Johnson.
Mvoto pounced just seconds from the final whistle after honours had looked destined to end even with Mark Connolly cancelling out Matt Smith’s classy opener with 13 minutes remaining.
But the burly French defender had other ideas – defying manager Johnson’s demand for his defenders to stay at home for a late freekick – and heading home leaving the boss to look back on having steered the club to safety by taking 14 points from his eight games in charge.
“It wasn’t vintage but the lads have put in two monumental performances over the last week,” Johnson said.“They stuck to the game plan and we were pretty sound defensively all game. I didn’t want our defenders to go forward for the corner at the end but scoring the winner is the best way to shut your manager up.
“We have been on a good run and it is fantastic that we are safe now. I am really proud of the players and pleased for the club that we have stayed up and hopefully we can kick on.”
Smith should have done better than to head over
PARTY POOPER: Joss Labadie (C) of Notts County scores the only goal of the game KRYST
WINNER: Jean-Yves Mvoto of Oldham