Part 3: August (part B)
August is ludicrously busy with 8 games in the month, so with the last 4 coming in 11 days starting with Tranmere in the cup and a healthy lead from the first leg I choose to rest a few players and bring in some youth, Ian Gray looks decent in goal, Nelson Da Costa at right wing back, and new signings Smith and Wright get a go, Keegan tactics carry on.
Well you certainly get your money’s worth watching Stockport. An absolutely ridiculous first half somewhat assisted by neither goalkeeper actually saving ANYTHING meant that we go in all square at 3-3. Second half a bit dull in comparison, only 3 goals and a sending off for Tranmere. A big plus was Nick Wright’s man of the match performance, on the other hand I don’t think Neil Edwards will be quaking in his gloves. Onward to three league games in a week, and they have the nerve to complain about fixture congestion in the Premier League!
And the reward is a big draw, but of course 2 extra games, why did they think it a good idea to have 2 leg ties so early on?
Huddersfield away next, a comfortable win such as the one in pre-season would be very welcome, however a few players are knackered, should have rested more against Tranmere, so a bit of a rejigged team.
I can’t really leave Nick Wright out, but the front two have been excellent all season so I’m going to give him a go behind them.
A really dull first half, we have the better of it, but the words ‘cow’s arse’ and ‘banjo’ spring to mind.
In the crowd Stan the unlucky but fanatical Stockport fan has his Bovril at his seat at half time, and endures a pretty boring first 14 minutes of the second half before feeling nature taking its course and decides to pop down to relieve himself, after all, bugger all has happened for almost an hour, so he won’t miss much.
As soon as poor old Stan retakes his seat, normal service for this match resumes and we all go back to snoozing. Still, Stan goes home semi-happy with 3 points at least, a man of the match performance from Alun Armstrong in an otherwise pretty boring match. The travelling support got their money’s worth at Tranmere so they’ll have to endure the odd game like this, keep the results coming and we might do a little more than stay up though so they won’t mind too much!
Games are coming thick and fast as they do in this division, but everyone has recovered so we revert to the ‘full strength’ side, Cavaco returns for Wright who was a bit rubbish behind the front 2, but his time will come. Charlton will be a stiff test, but then again every game is.
Another pretty terrible first half, but Alun Armstrong is a class apart and thanks to Luis Cavaco’s 4th assist in 4 and a half games we have our noses in front. The second half is far more entertaining and it is all 1 way traffic, it looks like It might be one of those games, Mike Salmon leaping all over the place to deny my strikers, but Jim Gannon pops up late on to make the game safe. Disappointing crowd of less than 9000, I assume that the people of Stockport have all taken their kids off for the last week of the summer holiday, either that or Corrie was particularly gripping this evening, this being the era of Les Battersby after all…. Maybe he could do the half time draw for us next week.
Just another 42 games to keep this up:
We’re top of the league Luis, top of the bloody league, just sign up dammit! Out of contract at the end of the season too, but I’m going down the Arsenal/Sanchez route, gambling on him doing the job for us rather than cashing in. Who knows, he might change his mind, I reckon a trip to the Stockport Hat Museum will swing it.
Manchester derby against Bury this Saturday, and half my squad are knackered. Having said that, Bury have a tiny squad, are bottom of the league and have an injury crisis with only 1 fit striker, so knowing this game we will get battered. Heidenstrom, Gannon, Armstrong and Connelly have to drop out, I am trying to sign a couple of reinforcements but no news on those yet, so its Smith, Da Costa, Wright and McIntosh in. Da Costa is a bit of a worry really, but I don’t have many other options at right wing back with the other fitness issues, and given the form of the team I am loathed to change the system.
Well that went well, considering the changes forced upon us the replacements did well. Anything Bury did came through Gordon Armstrong on their left, Da Costa struggled, his time may have come and gone. The squad depth up front is far better though, with both reserve strikers scoring. Routine wins are becoming the norm at the moment, if this lasts I’ll be a very happy County manager…. 3 points clear!
The injury Charana sustained in the game isn’t too bad, although the cover up front means I don’t worry too much.
Isn’t this traditionally a kiss of death? I am ever the optimist….. but we shall see in the next instalment, another very busy month to come.
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