Gainsborough Trinity 1 County 5 ; Conference North

Now Hatters, who gave the world champagne?
“France” I hear you reply.
What about the baguette then?
“ No problem .....France “
Croissants?.....................the guillotine?
I begin to sense that you are losing interest, these questions are no-brainers are they not!
Take Champagne for starters , Dom Perignon could only give the public a `non fizzy wine`, owing to the thin glass of the French( exploding) bottles, it was Christopher Merrett( an Englishman) whose( non exploding) fizzy wine hit the streets first!
It gets worse for the French.................the baguette was introduced to France by Austrian bakers circa 1815.............................ditto  the Croissant, and as for the Guillotine.....this was first used in Halifax to be precise , where market days ( around 1550) were enlivened by a public execution or two!
What am I saying with this apparently useless batch of information?
Well................merely that it is unwise to make assumptions.
I assumed that I knew the origins of all the above, but closer examination revealed otherwise, which brings me to today`s game. I am guessing that, notwithstanding the drubbing inflicted upon them by County earlier this season, that on the back of a six game unbeaten run, only ended by table topping North Ferriby, Gainsborough  would fancy themselves against a County side that just about everyone and his dog currently assumes as having an addiction to losing uphill struggles in their genes.  
As I say......making assumptions is a hazardous occupation, and how County put a load of them to bed against a Gainsborough side clearly able to play and full of energy. If 5-1 slightly flattered the blues, it really was only slightly as, reaching for my well worn copy of `Bumper Book of Footballing Cliches’, I classify this performance as the best TEAM showing of the season so far, as they took everything that Trinity had to offer and struck ruthlessly on the break- how great it was to see us doing this rather than the` doing’ being done to us. It wasn`t all hit on the break either, there was loads of decent football being played, by both team to be fair, but especially by County who simply oozed assurance and confidence whilst putting together some really good stuff.
Kristian Dennis scored a very good hat trick of goals, leaving the action to a warm ovation when substituted late on, but I refuse to award a M.O.M thingy as it could have gone to almost anyone- no one failed to contribute this time out, but some could possibly be said to have done extra-specially well. Alongside Dennis ....Cowen gets a quick mention for another solid no nonsense performance at the heart of the defence. Duxbury was all action throughout, as was Jacobs......Jevons was just Jevons namely a workaholic, and Chris Churchman capped a wonderful debut start with a fantastic strike late on.
Put was an excellent 90 minutes from County and just what was required to welcome the new year in!
Hungry Hatters Queue at Scooby`s

The Flyer got us to the ground in good time for a look around, and what I saw circa 2 o`clock, I liked- the stadium was a little gem- all four sides well fit for purpose- a real football ground. A slight edge was taken off this by the catering unit failing to open until 2.40 ( “ thawing his onions” a local offered, which was all I needed to decide to fast!).

Almost ready for the off!
Soon enough though the game started, County with Churchman in for a debut and Moses back, wearing their third strip- the less than wonderful orange number!
Trinity were first to show through Simon Russell down the right where he laid it off neatly to Josh Wilde upon reaching the box. Fagbola blocked the effort that followed but the ball ran clear to Wooton who fired it past Ormson into the net. Oops................not the start we wanted, but then another assumption bit the dust as the referee had spotted the liners offside flag and ruled it out. He may also have noted the bobble en-route that prompted Wooton`s hand to ball moment in setting the strike up, but then maybe he hadn`t. The referee Mr Guy Stretton, had a decent game however and this set it up nicely!
It was unnerving however, just how much would remain to be seen- certainly Fagbola looked unmoved by the slight alarm, doing well to block Wilde as he cut inside down the left. The young central defender found touch and eventually County got their act together forcing Greg Young to put the ball out of play. The locals must have been satisfied with that, but not for long as the throw that followed saw Dennis latch onto the ball in front of goal. Turning ...the ex Curzon Ashton striker hit a shot off ,that keeper Phil Barnes looked to have covered...and then he didn`t as the ball squirmed out of his grasp into the net to whoops of delight  from the County fans on site, who were supplemented by a batch of Luton Town supporters who joined them cheering on the blues!
First half action!

Both teams took turns attacking their opponents- Cowen showing up particularly well with Wilde and Wootton in his face. Fagbola , who  did well also today, and is definitely benefiting from the New Zealander`s input, saw a half clearance come back via Darryn Stamp who leathered the ball goal ward. It hit Ormson`s outstretched arm before going out off the bar! Hmm.....a corner......but when Wilde pinged this in Ormson made a handsome catch!
County defend.....well!

If Trinity were perhaps doing more attacking at this stage, on the ball County looked more comfortable, and with the ball staying on the deck ....pretty good, albeit a dipper from Platt went the wrong side of the bar, with Barnes beaten!
Gainsborough continued to look tidy and tried to get forward as/when possible, but despite  winning  a couple of corners  they were no nearer to bringing County down to earth, indeed they were fortunate to see Jevons kept from a neat flick by Dennis  by Young`s outstretched leg.
We were 15 minutes in now, and County were playing some good stuff, and Wilde did particularly well to stop Howard, who was looking on top of his game. The corner swung in to the near post where the deftest of headers from Dennis made it 2-0!
This signalled a response from the home team as County conceded a run of corners with Wootton organising the local troops. It was time for County to show up and be counted, and they did thankfully...Cowen stopping Wootton with typical efficiency.....Platt ushering Stamp`s shot off the line, before Duxbury wellied the ball clear following the mother of all desperate scrambles in front of Ormson`s goal.
That was top draw defending, and it went on.... Cowen keeping Toner from reaching a neat pass from Wootton......Fagbola doing well ( twice)  under pressure ,and Ormson on hand to push a decent strike from Liam Davis around the post.
                                  Believe it or the distance Dennis heads  the 2nd in!

Yes...........we were 2 up, but it was clear that Trinity were not giving up on their chances, and Jevons earned applause by tracking back to block a Russell cross. It was another corner, but Ormson caught it comfortably and that was that!
Still.....Gainsborough kept at it, only to be denied by cool calm County defending time after time, until......Sods Law struck on 42 minutes and County sped clear from  deep in defence. Whack....Ormson sent it into the opposition`s half where Jevons beat Young to it, ushering the ball on to Platt who was heading for goal. The way seemed blocked, but Platt let the ball run out to Howard who sent a lovely finish wide of Barnes into the net.
Wow.........we were 3-0 up and it still wasn`t half time!
Well not long after it was and most around me were all smiles, and quite right too!
County fans mingle in Main Stand.

The re-start saw Trinity trying hard to   claw their way back into the game, only for Ormson to deny Stamp with a decent save. A foul by Fagbola put the pressure on for a moment or two, but Russell`s dash and headlong dive in the box failed to make contact when the kick sailed over! They would need to sharpen up at the sharp end if they were going to succeed and thus far there was no sign of this happening- indeed played gloriously clear on the overlap, fullback Josh Lacey sent an ingloriously poor shot well wide. Added to this Ormson denied Wooton with another confident stop, and things were about to get decidedly worse for our hosts as County`s smooth play saw a Trinity move break down and Howard send Platt clear with a neat ball. From Platt it went on to Dennis in a trice, and in another Dennis had hit it goal ward. Again Barnes seemed to have it covered only for the ball to elude him and finish up in the net. It was 4-0 and how good did that feel?!
Credit to Trinity...they still, despite everything, persevered bringing the best out of Duxbury , Fagbola , Cowen and others who were there to snuff out any danger upon first sight. Moses joined in stopping Russell with a fine tackle.
2nd Half Action.

County replied in due course as excellent work by Duxbury forced Young to concede a corner as the young Hatter darted clear to the by-line, and Platt and Dennis combined neatly in an attempt to snatch a fifth.
Decent defensive tackles, by Cowen and Fagbola, followed by a good save from Ormson to keep a shot by Toner out, were the pick of the action in the next 10 minutes or so.
There seemed little or no hope for Trinity , until the 69th minute that is, when County`s abiding Achilles heel ( corners) came back to haunt them. They just did not act quickly enough to clear the ball as it came down in front of goal, and someone in blue ( Stamp I think) as a consequence was able to force the ball home from close in!
Hmm.............4-1 it was then......was this, the signal for a cavalry charge from Trinity and a cave-in by County?
Another unworthy assumption surely.......and Ormson hinted as much with a fine catch from a free kick after Cowen had handled just outside the box.
Slowly but steadily County regained equilibrium with some lovely passing movements that had even the locals ( at least those on the main stand side) conceding the quality.
It was excellent...just that fifth goal was missing, and that came with knobs on in the 72nd minute, as the ball landed at the feet of Churchman just outside the box. There was lots for him to do, but he steadied himself before glancing up and firing a beaut of a shot into the left hand corner of the net- a real was 5-1 and surely now game over!
A slight momentary blip seemed upon us, 76 minutes in, when Moses` attempt to take a quick free kick only resulted in County losing possession- Trinity`s anxiety to do well stopping them from so doing, along with County`s rock hard rearguard!( did I just write that?)
Late action.

Churchman delighted us again with a run that took him half the length of the park before he sent Dennis clear. Dennis was flagged offside, but the brilliance of Churchman`s run was what lasted in the memory!
With Dicko on for Dennis ( off to a warm ovation) County set about adding to their tally for the day, but the Gainsborough defence( and the odd offside flag) denied them- Barnes doing particularly well to push a shot from Howard around the post in the game`s dying embers.
A final flurry of County corners came and went before the whistle went and it was time to head home!
What a pleasure it has been to write this report- I know a win is a win is a win, but 5-1 away to anyone is worth crowing about especially when some decent football was played.
Luton fans supporting County!

Indulge yourself County fans...............wallow, and drink to the next one....hopefully at Edgeley Park next Saturday!

See you there!

County line up:

Ormson, Jacobs, Fagbola, Cowen, Duxbury, Platt, Moses, Churchman, Howard, Jevons, Dennis ( Dickinson 79).

Subs not used;  Jones, Charnock, Lofthouse, O`Halloran.

Gainsborough Trinity Line up;

Barnes, Lacey, Wilde, Taylor, Howe, Young, Russell, Toner, Wootton, Stamp, Davis.

Attendance  : 579

Ian Brown


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