We have waited since New Years Eve for a home league win, and it arrived in comfortable fashion against Stockport last night.
To ther credit Stockport tried to attack and used a 4-3-3 formation against us. They however lacked any cutting edge so there play resulted in aimless shots from distance with Clayton Ince only troubled a couple of times. On the other hand Walsall cause concern in the Stockport ranks almost everytime they went forward, Martin Butler could have quiet easily added to his single goal of the night, whilst Dean Keates and Hector Sam both saw shots come off the bar.
The first shock was when Dickie Dosh announced the return of Ian Roper in defence at the expense of Alan Picken who was the defensive star on saturday. Otherwise the team was the same as against Rochdale with Westwood, Keates, Constable, Ishmel and let to play for the youth team reserve keeper Mckeown.
The saddlers started brightly gaining the ball from the Stockport kickoff to push forward. Mark wright looking very dangerous early on, this was solved later on when County switched to a 4-4-2 to try and counter act the threat.The first goal never looked far away. So when Martin Butler was played through with only the keeper to beat Saddlers fans expected the gola but as he closed down on goal he slowed down and drew the foul from the defender, penalty so we thought however Mr Shoebridge waved the protests away.
Martin Butler didn’t have to wait long, Sam Played him through on the edge of the box and he controlled and drilled low past then keeper who went down a bit slow. The Keeper was almost beaten again when Hector Sam found space to try a spectacular overhead kick only to see it come off the bar. Bad finishing and good keeping kept the score down inn the first half, although the pace of Liam Dickenson and running of Mark Robinson caused some problems but they had no end result, even a series of corners was dealt with without concern.
Second half and County held out for three minutes when De-ja-vu hit a goal from the corner almost exactly the same as the one conceeded against Hereford, Liam Dickin son lost Roper to give the centre half a goal in his first game of the season.
To there credit Stockport still came forward, but the inability to break through the back line meant that Clayton Ince was hardly troubled and when he was he dealt with it without concern, he was beaten by a Tony Dinning shot who had found himself free on the far side of the box, the defence covered and cleared off the line. Despite falling back the saddlers still looked like scoring when going forward and only the cross bar and some good keeping stopped the saddlers getting the third they probably deserved.
At the end the saddlers were reduced to ten men having already used there subs, skipper and man of the match Michael Dobson was caught by a County stud/blade on the head, reports suggest the cut was bad enough to require a trip to hospital so Michael Dobson must be considered doubtful for Hartlepool and perhaps a little bit longer.
Looked a bit bored!!! did every thing needed of him, nice to see a keeper managing the back four, his ability to get crosses will be invaluable this season.
Solid some mistakes, some of his own making some caused by Mark Wright taking up poor options, but we should not be over critical. Although replaced by Chris Westwood maybe a change for saturday.
Every time the ball was in the air it seemed like Ropers head was on the end of it. His first game of the season and also a goal…excellent
Read the Roper report, only missing the goal. He staked claim to that centre half spot, Alan Picken must be wondering if he will get back in the side, and that is after that performance at Rochdale.
Looke comfortable at full back with Foxy playing in front of him, got forward well and should have scored after an exchange of passes left him with just the keeper to beat.
A solid performance but less of an attacking threat than we are used to on the wing. However getting more used to the role.
Star Man will be missed if ruled out.
Replaced by Keates as the legs started to go, less effective than saturday but well worth his place, a calming influence and a lot of the flowing moves came through him.
I still find him frustrating and still find the fact that his end product is inconsistant, and his descission making some times flawed and sometimes out of position…but thats why he is in league two, we must remember that in this league not many defenders will cope with him.
Ran him self into the ground, and was replaced by Constable, linked up well but was less of a threat than saturday. Still needs games to see the best of him and a goal to regain the edge. Lack of pace could be his only weakness.
Wrap him up in cotton wool Martins goals will be the key to our season. Ran Ran and ran tonight. He could have had more but as he said in the press he(and the team) need to get more clinical….league 2 watch out
came on for Pead and was defensively sound, also came forward well but as would be expected his distrubution isn’t as good as Pead,he will have to wait to see if he starts on saturday.
Came on and did everything asked, almost scored but the keeper tipped his chip onto the bar.
Battled well and created a couple of opportunities although nothing fell to him. Didn’t show the same awareness and hold up play as Sam, but he is only young.
Good signs that the team is starting to gel, and getting this first home win in a year will help. Richard has some questions to answer for saturday, Right back,pead or Westwood. Does Picken come into the picture, the need to get more attacking threat down the left, and of course midfield if Dobson is out.
Stockport dumped at the bottom of the league, and Jim Gannon will have some sleepless nights ahead. Solid and tried to play football, but playing 4-3-3 was madness a 4-5-1 I would have understood, but the 4-3-3 left the full backs exposed, did he have any scouting reports on us.
You could give Stockport the ball all night and there lack of a cutting edge will mean that goals look hard to come by for the hatters on last nights showing. This along with defensive lapses means it could be a hard season at Edgeley Park this season.
Saturday, Family fun day against HARTLEPOOL.
The monkey hangers have not brought any new players in but have the nucleus of the squad that was there last year. It is to be remembered that they reached the league one play off final year before last so will provide our hardest test so far.
They picked upp there first point away at Macclesfield last night, having lost to Swindon at home on the first day of the season despite missing two penalties.