Gainsborough Trinity 2 County 0 ( Conference North ) 17 January 2015
If you thought perhaps that Aladdin at the Palladium or the Plaza`s Cinderella production were quite the best pantomimes that you have seen, you would have clocked a better one at Gainsborough this afternoon where joke referee Paul Marsden reduced a close game to a laughable farce, by sending 2 County players off for not fouling their opponents- both Fagbola and Wilkinson were just unlucky enough to be the one in white nearest to the one in blue as he went to ground. Both were gross injustices, so....the team that sat atop the Non League Paper`s Fair Play League last week, had to play large chunks of the game with 9 men.
It was 0-0, and Trinity were attacking when the first calumny was perpetrated. The box was crowded with players when Paul Beesley went all limp and flopped lifelessly to the floor. County cleared it, but ......no matter the referee quickly pointed to the spot, sending Fagbola off for good measure. The penalty went in, but it took the home side a further 34 minutes to add a second goal, notwithstanding the fact that the obligingly incompetent Mr Marsden, had gone AS once again and reduced County to 9 in the interim, with a second ludicrous decision.
In the end a 2-0 defeat was disappointing but represented a decent effort by County bearing in mind the officials input. Lees and O`Halloran were magnificent at the back all game long, and with Wilkinson on the pitch, and Churchman working hard, we looked capable of putting some fairly decent moves down.
Charlie Russell meanwhile followed Tuesday`s short debut with 90 odd minutes this time and very impressively he performed as well- using the ball well and doing plenty of donkey work- not always top of the list of `to do’ things for debut boys!
Back to 3 o`clock and all seemed well...A.L. had managed to negotiate a way through the mountain of injured players on County`s books to field a side. It looked an interesting one it must be said- the stand out features being the return of Ian Ormson ,for injured Danny Hurst, between the sticks, the return of new men Greg Wilkinson and Danny Glover ,a second coming for Kyle Jacobs, and a first start for the precociously talented Charlie Russell!
County were soon onto the front foot when Jacobs won the ball before slinging a neat pass into Glover`s path down the right. This effort was repulsed and O`Halloran`s follow up charged down, in what was a promising opening.
Trinity replied via a throw, but after getting to the by-line, harassed by Duxbury, Jon Margetts fluffed his lines allowing the ball to drift out of play. More good work followed from Duxbury who made a decent job of tying Kieran Toner in knots near the corner flag- Charlie Russell joined in, and the clearance was assured.
The play got a bit `end to end’ next as keeper Jan Budtz gobbled a corner ,won by Glover, hungrily, and then went all route one, pinging the ball....one bounce....into the County box. Ormson grabbed it before sending it, by hand, via Jacobs and Churchman to Wilkinson, whose shot Budtz did well to keep out!
Next off ....County looked to take charge through Glover, who bullied possession from Tom Davie near the right touchline. It looked good as Glover proceeded to run on....cutting inside at a rate of knots, but he chose to shoot and this was charged down, which was doubly disappointing as Jack Ryan was available to him to his left!
It went on, much in the same vein as a Wilkinson shot caused Budtz problems. He kept it out and another from Churchman, but already I was thinking that perhaps this was to be County`s day- even more so as yet another whizz bang from Wilkinson stung Budtz`s hands after much good work by Churchman again!
It was not all County though......Lees had to come to the rescue, heading clear under pressure after Duxbury had conceded a free kick in a dangerous spot, and Lees did well again shortly after , stopping a run by Margetts , with some excellent work as a Trinity cloud hugging special headed its way in the box.
As I say County were doing OK........Glover to Ryan though saw the latter shoot harmlessly wide......but the referee was giving Trinity rather a goodly number of free kicks....and this made for pressure on the County goal. Jacobs sorted the latest kick......but.......
There was a ripple of applause for Paul Beesley, from the home specs, for just about Trinity`s first effort of substance- it missed by some way, but I suppose it was a start, but I found myself inwardly applauding too shortly after as Wilkinson adroitly avoided fouling Liam Davis as he surged into the box at speed. Instead he did enough to put him off and allow Fagbola to make the clearance, which was pretty good stuff for me!
Also pretty good was Wilkinson`s next move- a beautifully weighted through ball to Ryan. Budtz beat Ryan to it.....but only just!
After this, Ormson had to be on his toes to deal with a snap shot from Beesley, and again a minute or so later when a slip by Fagbola allowed Margetts room in the box to get a shot off – Ormson beat it out. Margetts was offside, but the County keeper did not know that!
Play went off the boil after the last action and was drifting towards half time....seconds away in fact when Trinity pushed forward through Beesley and Margetts. The box was a seething mass of bodies as Beesley took the ball on before suddenly falling to the ground. There was precious little contact between Beesley and Fagbola, but nevertheless the referee saw fit to point to the penalty spot ( note that the liner who saw it all did not flag at all!). I was aghast at this but just could not keep my rage in as the referee then waved a red card in Fagbola`s direction( you know beastly always bullying Fagbola!). Margetts put the penalty away, which was almost incidental to the absurdities that we had just witnessed. The upshot of same was that County faced a further 45 minutes with 10 men.
|Time to look away.....|
The sunshine that had enveloped the ground circa 3 o`clock, by 3.45 had given way to driving snow. Unfortunately however there was no change as far as the officials were concerned on the resumption, as free kick after cheap free kick came Trinity`s way- but still they couldn`t add to their lead-Toner shooting tamely at Ormson 2 minutes into the half.
Another 3 minutes and the away support were up in arms as Dominic Roma threw himself forward onto the ground before giving us one of those tricky rolling classics , that those unfortunate enough to watch Premier League would be used to seeing! Again....there was no contact between Wilkinson ( you know brutal old Wilky!) and the diver, and the liner`s flag again was down, but it made no odds.....the referee waved a red at Wilkinson and that was that....County were down to nine ( the Non League Paper`s- Fair Play League Leaders, let me remind you!).
It was all happening now......the snow lashed down....then it didn`t....out came a rainbow.....back came the snow....only the officials kept a level of consistency, as just about everyone in white got a card.....bad hairdo`s.....unshaven chins.....no excuses brooked!
Glover did have a decent shot just lift over the bar, but for the most part it was County `s 9....... battling heroically - Lees and O`Halloran in the thick with some magnificent defending, particularly the excellent O`Halloran, and I was really pleased with Charlie Russell`s input too he was a real start for me!
Trinity should really have been able to take advantage of the numbers situation but the truth was that they were pretty poor- their only score an assist by the referee from the spot- nothing in outfield play , and we were way past the hour mark now.
Handball by Davis did for one raid, and Ormson`s brilliant save sorted the next one as Davis blasted a shot goal ward.
It really was a great effort by the white shirted blues, and they did their best to sneak one as well as great work by Russell under pressure, enabled Churchman to send Ryan clear- somehow Budtz kept it out( good save that!)
Back came Trinity, but Ormson was in position to keep it at 1-0, saving with his legs. Then Jacobs made a good stop, there was still a chance at 1-0 that we could get something out of this one even now. What we needed was a level playing field , instead Trinity got a joke free kick that forced Ormson to make another save to deny Toner.
Into the last 10 or so minutes we went with County still trying their best, and a neat bit of work by Russell ended with Glover winning a corner. Perhaps County`s attacking instincts undid them at this point.... as ...when the corner came to nothing and was cleared up the park....Margetts had the relatively simple task of slotting the ball home with County`s cover in shreds.
After this the game was a veritable orgy of free kicks and cards. County continued to defend as well as they could, and venture forward in the off chance- Dennis and O`Halloran testing Budtz with really good shots- O`Halloran`s was a particularly good effort being on the end of one of his lung bursting runs!
Five minutes added time was really too much to bear- County defended like lions of course ,but the game was gone from them and it was a considerable relief when the final whistle went and I could head for the exit , but not without acknowledging the officials contribution to the debacle!
Cheshire Cup this Tuesday is next up......I might just have cooled down by then!
County line up:
Ormson, Jacobs, Fagbola, Lees, O`Halloran, Duxbury( Dennis 65),Churchman, Russell, Wilkinson, Glover, Ryan.
Subs not used :
Lofthouse, Lazenbury, Sharp, Todd.
Gainsborough Trinity line up:
Budtz, Roma, Davie, Dixon, Quinn, Salt, Clayton( Russell 60), Toner, Margetts, Beesley( Stamp 83), Davis( Binns 84).
Subs not used :
Attendance : 511