Derry now very wary of County crumbling
SHAUN Derry admits he is beginning to look over his shoulder at the wrong end of the League One table after Notts County were beaten by ten-man Fleetwood.
The Magpies had looked on course to bounce back from their defeat to Sheffield United in midweek when Garry Thompson gave them the lead with a terrific strike early on.
But Liam McAlinden equalised in the 25th minute when he converted an Antoni Sarcevic cross at the back post.
David Ball wrapped up the win for Graham Alexander’s side converting at the near post before Stephen Crainey saw red for picking up a second yellow card.
The defeat left Notts 17th in the table and after a wonderful start to the campaign, Derry admits it’s now starting to become tense.
“I’ve said to the players that as well as we have played in the last two games, you have to be ruthless,” he said.
“We are in it now. In the space of two or three games I am now looking over my shoulder.
“It’s getting tighter and tighter at the bottom end. I feel the year we have had up to now people would ask ‘do we deserve to be there?’ I would say yes.
“I would rather play ugly and win than play pretty and lose.We did the latter.
“We’ve not been clinical enough in the chances we created.”
Derry’s side were good
value for their 1-0 lead when Thompson latched onto Mike Edwards’ s knockdown from a long free kick and thrashed in from just outside the box.
But Fleetwood responded well and they equalised in the 25th minute when Sarcevic ghosted into the box and McAlinden was left with his easiest goal of the season.
Ball then put the Cod Army 2-1 up when he benefited from some charitable Notts defending to tap in at the near post.
But Graham Alexander’s side were rocked when Crainey received a second yellow for a crunching tackle on Curtis Thompson.
It was backs to the wall from then on for the home side and Shaun Harrad came close to snatching an equaliser for the visitors but what was thwarted by Chris Maxwell.
Alexander’s side moved closer to the top six as a result of this win and he was pleased with his players’ determination to protect the lead.
He said: “It was a good win against a Notts County side who ask you lots of questions.
“I don’t want to talk about the sending off.
“I want to talk about how good my players were because they were fantastic from start to finish. In the last 20 minutes after the dismissal it was all about heart.”