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178 Lost Souls
By: Black Haddock
THAT is how many Town fans witnessed our latest defeat. A cold, windless, dry, winless evening in Cheshire, all 178 travelled in hope more than expectation, only for our heroes to yet again become zeros.
We started off with the following team, in a 4-4-2 formation and looked quite bright.
At times we played some delightful football, back heels, little flicks, cheeky one two's and well worked cross field pieces of play. Our old style of playing on the ground and to feet had the faithful purring at times. Sadly just before the moves could produce a goal-scoring chance a foot or thigh would get in the way, or our final ball was poor. Time and again we gave the ball away, only for a very poor Macc side to give us it back. Trotter and Kalala being the two guys most likely to break up their play and start us off again, Clarke and Boshell playing as wingbacks, normally receiving the ball once we had regain possession.
We truly had some great flowing moves which deserved better. Jarman hit the post, Proudlock, Clarke and others had shots blocked or chances snatched away before they could get a shot in.
In the whole first 45 minutes I can only remember Macc having one shot, a speculative thunderbolt which just skimmed our crossbar. Their number 12 (Thomas) was a thorn in our side for most of evening, but was contained fairly well, in the first half anyway. Otherwise we completely bossed the game until the break.
There was only one team in it and as half time approached you just knew we wouldn't score.
I (correctly) said at half-time we could well get caught out and sure enough the second half was a totally different game to the first. Whatever big Keith said to his lads during the interval turned the game on its head.
They came out fired up and took the game to us for the first time of the match. Where we looked assured we became hesitant, our confidence seemed to ebb away and Macc came more and more into the game. We still tried to play football, but we were now playing on the break and they were ruling the roost.
Barnes who must have been as cold as us in the first half suddenly had to be at his best, a ball looping over his head was palmed over at full stretch and then a fantastic one handed block as he dived to his right saved us from going behind. Macc were now completely over-running us and a nice little move started by Thomas was worked to our left where their number 27 (Brown), who hadn't made decent contact with the ball all night until this moment, hit an unstoppable shot past a diving Phil Barnes in our goal.
We then looked a beaten side, but there was over 20 minutes left. Very little was seen of us as an attacking force until we were allowed to leave for home.
Not one player had a bad game, the ref wasn't very good, but he wasn't to blame for our defeat. Our inability to get shots away and how we allow other sides who are poorer footballers than us to press and overpower us is the problem. The back four almost coped, the midfield almost controlled the centre of the park, our forwards almost had shots. I almost enjoyed the match.
We could have been 3 up by half-time, we could have lost 3-0 by the end.
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