Gan­non’s pride in County show

Stockport Express - - Sport - SAM BYRNE

COUNTY boss Jim Gan­non re­flected on a “proud day” as his Hat­ters side bowed out of the FA Cup in a 1-0 de­feat at Na­tional League side Bar­net at the Hive Sta­dium on Sun­day.

Backed by an in­cred­i­ble County fol­low­ing of over 1,600 trav­el­ling sup­port­ers, County nar­rowly missed out on a third round berth thanks to Dan Sparkes’ sev­enth minute header – but Gan­non ex­pressed his “great pride” at The Hat­ters’ FA Cup jour­ney, be­fore chal­leng­ing his side to kick on in the Na­tional League North play-off race.

“It’s one of those days where you have a mul­ti­tude of emo­tions,” he said.

“I’m so proud to see that im­mense turnout of fans, and so proud to see the ef­fort and pur­pose of our play­ers.

“I’m ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed for ev­ery­one that we weren’t able to pro­vide a mo­ment or a goal where ev­ery­one could jump about and cel­e­brate, and that we didn’t get a goal or a re­sult that per­haps the ef­fort of the lads de­served.”

With the BBC on hand pro­vid­ing na­tional cov­er­age of the all non-league af­fair, the spot­light was firmly on the bois­ter­ous County faith­ful, who made up well over half of the to­tal gate at The Hive – an of­fi­cial Bar­net record at­ten­dance in cup foot­ball.

De­spite the early goal, the TV cam­eras fo­cussed much of their reportage on the noise from the trav­el­ling fans, and Gan­non – who was met with a huge ova­tion along­side his play­ers as The Hat­ters both en­tered and ex­ited the field – was quick to praise the “loyal” fan­base.

“I’m just proud of the club and proud of the fans. There’s big dis­ap­point­ment that we didn’t get some­thing for those fans that trav­elled down.”

“The na­tional me­dia are sur­prised at our sup­port, but none of us are. I’m so dis­ap­pointed for them, but they made it like a home game for us.”

“I’m sure they’ll have the same emo­tions of dis­ap­point­ment that we all have, but they’ve been bril­liant. Whether it’s been Maiden­head away, Yeovil away or mid­week games, the fans have been loyal and al­ways turned out in force and it makes me re­ally proud.”

De­spite a sus­tained spell of pres­sure and pos­ses­sion af­ter the in­ter­val, County only had one shot on tar­get, with striker Frank Mul­h­ern also go­ing close af­ter fol­low­ing in a spilled El­liot Os­borne ef­fort and bundling it wide of Mark Cousins’ goal.

And Gan­non, who threw on at­tack­ers Nyal Bell, Con­nor Di­maio and Matty War­bur­ton as The Hat­ters sought a route back into the tie, ad­mit­ted that his side had failed to test the op­po­si­tion goal­keeper as much as they could have done.

“I lament a lit­tle bit the lack of con­nec­tion be­tween the front play­ers in the first half and the lack of qual­ity on set-plays which meant we weren’t re­ally able to get the ball into a good area and pro­duce that clear cut chance.”

“But we cer­tainly asked a lot of ques­tions of their back four, and I think the pos­ses­sion in their ter­ri­tory and the ef­fort de­served more than to not find a goal.”

“It’s a dis­ap­point­ing day but it shows what we can do and what we’re ca­pa­ble of. We want to be where Bar­net are in the near fu­ture and look­ing to kick on from that league too.”


●●Dar­ren Stephen­son looks to keep the pres­sure on Bar­net dur­ing the week­end’s FA Cup clash

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