Derry now very wary of County crum­bling

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Leigh Curtis

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.”

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