County 4 Worcester City 0 : Conference North 5.10.2013
Circa 17.35 tonight, I peered through my front room window to see a ball bounce by onto Range Road, followed almost immediately by two young lads both wearing current County away shirts. It was not a sight that I have seen a lot of recently, but good to see nonetheless, and probably not unrelated to what had just gone on at EP where County gave us the equally unaccustomed sight of them dominating a game completely from whistle to whistle before running out 4-0 winners. It`s true to say that Worcester City, their opposition, looked a very ......very poor side indeed today, but we badly needed a win, of any type, notwithstanding the quality of the opposition, and County gave us that with knobs on ,clinching the County hot seat for Alan Lord in the process, with an exhilarating display of football.
It was a fine performance from the off as everyone harried and chased anyone in green- the result being total domination and a flurry of excellent goals that had the Edgeley Park faithful purring with contentment come the final whistle.
Tunji Moses walked off with the M.O.M award which rather mystified me, as a whole host of others played better than him, in my opinion......Jevons who gave us two terrific goals and a game long exhibition of precision passing......Gosset who chased, harried and generally got in the face of anything that moved- not long before he`s off back to whence he came I guess, and good luck to him! Then there was Jacobs who chipped in with another fine goal, the first of the game that set the ball rolling for the blues......Turner who was a constant threat used on this occasion as a central striker........Howard who was busy from the off to the games last gasp- only a decent finish was missing from his game today. And then there was Duxbury who had another outstanding game –his pin point passing a constant feature for County- to say he looked the part , is to grossly under state the facts- he`s a massive find! Any one of them could have got M.O.M , but it matters not that it went elsewhere, when the quality of the overall performance was so high and the result so deservingly excellent!
Injury and illness rather dictated AL `s choice of starters – Moke and Dennis were still injured whilst others were absent for a mix of reasons, as County faced up to the game against a side 2 points and several positions above them in the table.
The sun shone brightly as the teams took the field – amongst them was Jose Veiga, the Dragons keeper, and( I could be wrong) he appeared to be wearing a Stockport County Supporters Cooperative high viz top- it was a stunner....a real must for any fashion monster in our midst!
Straight off it was clear that Veiga`s game was in good order though and he dealt with an early cross , pinged over by Jacobs, with considerable ease.
Not to be outdone however, Ian Ormson immediately followed suit, snaffling a cross from Ellis Deeney neatly, after good work from Daniel Nti and Danny Glover.
That was an interesting start, but County already looked in a determined mood, harrying their opponents constantly and winning possession more often than not.
A break from Turner promised much, 4 minutes in, the ball eventually reaching Jevons who immediately passed it inside to Howard who was in on goal. He only had Veiga to beat as well, but he failed to do it and the keeper saved what looked a certain goal!
I was most pleasantly surprised with the work of Phil Jevons- his passing was spot on, and within a minute he had created another half chance for Lofthouse only to see the youngsters control let him down in a tight situation, and a couple of minutes later an even better chance for Turner, who was the proverbial whisker away from getting on the end of another beaut of a pass from the ex Hyde hit man.
This was very promising and Jevons was by no means the only one seemingly buzzing in the early Autumn sunshine. Gosset was another and Veiga did very well to keep a strike from the Oldham loan man out, on 8 minutes, after Turner had laid waste to the experienced Exodus Geohaghon before linking up to good effect with Howard.
It was pretty much all County at this point, as Turner harried the life out of the visitors back line with some tasty play. The ball then ran on to Jevons and the lob that followed brought the best out of Veiga who somehow managed to get to it and keep it out!
Hmmmm..............unlucky maybe, but such thoughts vanished next as County took the lead. It started routinely enough with the busy Howard winning a throw down the left. Over it came to the back of the box where Jacobs met it on the half volley beating the keeper comprehensively to give County a precious 1-0 lead and himself a second goal in two games!
That was simply excellent, and County proceeded to dominate proceedings with a refreshing display of controlled football, backed up by a spirited mix of chasing and harrying, as they camped in their opponents half.
Seven...eight minutes passed with no further goals, only a move and near miss set up by Jacobs and ending with Jevons who was again unlucky to see a neat finish go narrowly wide.
Meanwhile Duxbury continued his excellent run of form with a series of runs and passes out of the top draw , and Tom Thorley did well to see Howard`s cross off, after the ex Chester man had been sent clear by young Scott.
Yes......the traffic was still one way..............heading towards Veiga, but with Lofthouse`s control again letting him down in the box, it stayed 1-0, even when Duxbury followed this up with a peach of a ball that saw Turner well set in the box. A turn saw him get a shot off, and it looked as if Veiga might have got something on it, but when the ball went out beyond the far post, a goal kick was awarded to the general consternation of most of the crowd of well over 2000.
On....on County pressed, forcing City further back with each attack. A foul on Charnock brought County a free kick , and it was a decent one from Gosset as well, but Worcester defended well .
A rare moment of attacking play came next from Worcester via Phil Trainer, but Jacobs did well to cut him off, and Moses did likewise shortly after when Deeney jinked his way into the box. Moses did well, but then he rather had to as he had spilled the ball in the first place.
The half hour mark was approaching fast now, and try as County might, it remained 1-0, and we looked on disappointed to see a Turner cross just elude Howard in front of goal.
Then......it happened......a second goal arrived thanks to a moment or two of magic courtesy of two of the younger players on view. It started with Lofthouse who won the ball with a fine show of determination. In a flash he had sent it whizzing off into the box where Turner alone faced the keeper and Tom Thorley the City captain. I am not sure who was favourite to get it as it came down in the trios midst, but Turner`s instant control made the conjecture irrelevant and in another flash he had sent the neatest of lobs over Veiga`s head into the net- it was 2-0 and oh how we had needed that one!
After this, Worcester were perhaps unlucky to see Glover ruled offside as he appeared to be getting the better of Tunnicliffe for once, and then again as Duxbury ended a promising run across the box by falling over, and earning his team a free kick. It could have been extremely unlucky indeed as the kick was on the edge of the box. I fancied the ball flying into the far right hand corner of the net, but instead Jevons disappointed by sending a rank bad kick straight into the wall!
County were very much in control for the most part now, and Worcester found themselves harried into conceding a series of corners and free kicks all adding to the angst of their situation.
It was so one sided I guess , that County relaxed a bit, and almost smack on half time went into doze mode allowing a long throw from Geohaghon to reach Trainer at the back of the box. It was a chance....a rare chance, but in his haste the forward lifted a poor effort high over the bar into the Cheadle End.
Was that the last action of the half? No..............indeed some very significant stuff went down next following a bit of last ditch defensive work by Geohaghon that saw the ball head off towards Hardcastle Road. The throw that followed saw Duxbury convert it into a corner, and Jevons a goal, as the kick picked out Howard whose shot was side footed home from close in by the ex Ewens Fields man.
It was 3-0, and not long after it was half time, and I found no one other than well pleased, as the teams left the field to a standing ovation.
This was altogether better than anything that had previously been served up to us this season- it was just a case now of could County build on that 3 goal first half and extend their lead?
County opened the half on the attack, but Worcester seemed at least to be trying to respond and mount a counter attack, but they were making little headway against a County side that was on its guard....on its toes and its metal!
That said, nothing much passed for 5 or 6 minutes until another Jevons gem set Gosset up and he turned to fire a snorter in that only just missed out!
A header from Munday from a Glover cross then gave Ormson his first real bit of work to do- it would be a considerable leap of the imagination to describe it as a save, but it was maybe a statement of City`s intent to at least try and make a game of it!
No sooner had County swept forward on another attacking spree, allowing me to dismiss the thought of a City rally, when County lost the ball forcing Ormson to make a fine last gasp save to deny Nti as he blazed a shot goal ward, following a foul up involving Charnock and Jacobs.
This seemed momentarily to stiffen City`s resolve and Charnock was glad to concede a corner ,which saw Geohaghon go close, and Nti closer still before he was flagged offside much to County`s relief.
County needed to do something to quell this mini rebellion, but for 5 minutes or so there was no sign of this materialising.......until ........almost on the hour Turner picked out Jevons as he lurked in the box midst a mangle of assorted bodies. It was not a chance.......nothing like one......but Jevons did not know that and he promptly curled a superb strike past the dazed keeper into the net. It was 4-0 and County were now well set to win!
A double change of O`Halloran for Duxbury and Platt for Lofthouse , brought fresh legs onto the scene for the blues who continued to dominate, and Veiga did very well to dart out of the box to head clear with Turner threatening .
Worcester kept trying in response but their forwards lacked power and completely failed to even get close to testing Ormson.
A series of corners pinned Worcester back in their last third, as County profited from some borderline brilliance from Gosset . Windsor, who came on shortly after for Gosset, went close with a decent shot, with just 10 minutes left.
( pic by Darren Berry)
This went on for a while with the game seemingly meandering to a pleasant conclusion, whilst disturbing absolutely no one`s sleep, when Worcester decided they needed that goal....that consolation goal!
Glover initiated what looked like a last ditch raid, but when Nti`s shot was deflected for a corner and County struggled to clear their lines – it was not that much of a surprise when a hand to ball moment allowed the referee to point to the spot and give the visitors a chance to get that consolation goal they so desired!
This was irritating to say the least...................4-1 was nowhere near as impressive as 4-0.....and whoever took it would surely bury it, except City then staged their very own mini `Prize Fighter` event to decide who took it, and....having won that privilege, Glover promptly slammed the ball way beyond Ormson`s dive, but also way over the bar- last seen heading for Greek Street and quite definitely the worst penalty kick I can recall seeing!
Howard tested Veiga with a stinging shot and Turner delighted us with a mazy run past several into the box after that, but it stayed at 4-0 and again there was no one I could see who was remotely disappointed with that!
Great stuff County.
Here`s to more of the same at Barrow on Tuesday.
County line up:
Ormson, Jacobs, Tunnicliffe, Charnock, Duxbury( O`Halloran 60), Gosset( Windsor 78),Moses, Lofthouse ( Platt 60 , Jevons, Howard, Turner.
Subs not used : Jones, Craney.
Worcester City line up:
Veiga, Hutchinson, Deeney, Thorley, Munday, Geohaghon,Thompson, Thorley, Nti, Trainer, Glover.