Boston United 4 Stockport County 0 ( Vanarama National League North) 19 December 2015
Well……my hotdog was excellent……..
Sadly there was little else of cheer to write home about from this game….a truly sad prelude to the upcoming festive season!
In many ways it was the mixture as before…..County on top for 15 or 20 minutes following which they went to pieces upon conceding from just about the first meaningful Boston attack.
Things went from bad to worse after this…….a second going in via the penalty spot after Odejayi had handled the ball. We could quite easily have prevented this goal ….certainly Arestidou did his level best beating the kick out bravely, but his work was undone by half the County team encroaching into the box, allowing Boston a second attempt which Dayle Southwell put away eagerly.
After this, the second half was something of a procession as the home side fed off a surfeit of County ineptitude to add 2 further goals. It might so easily have been 5 or 6 so superior our opponents were by the end, even seemingly by that period, in second gear!
And it started so well…..
Garvin looked in particularly good nick at this point, and some great work from him saw Margetts dart clear, being blocked eventually as he turned inside his man. Within seconds the County number ten was played in again, but this time he scuffed his shot that saw the ball drift wide.
Twice after this Montrose and Tonge were in action pushing the United men onto the back foot…..but more frustration was on the end of it as Margetts’ header and a Garvin shot were charged down.
Five minutes in, and Boston worked themselves a break, only for Scott Garner to fluff his lines by lifting his shot over the bar from a decent position.
Back came County from this last action, but Montrose’s shot drifted just wide after he had been set up by Margetts. Montrose looked a likely lad at this point, his graft setting Ledsham up with another pot at goal, which sadly was blocked by one of a line of yellow shirted defenders.
If I was disappointed at that last action, the feeling was back again, with interest almost immediately as a decent move by County had the ball pinging neatly twixt Odejayi, Ledsham and Margetts, who regrettably saw his shot blocked , and it looked to be on target.
It was 15 minutes before any real response came back from Boston. Their energy won them a couple of corners in rapid succession, but it was undone big style by ex Hatters Carl Piergianni whose climb on Odejayi was spotted by Amy Fearn the referee. Cue mental outburst from the hirsute number six that got him no where, but amused us no end in the slum behind the goal into which we had been dumped!
County seemed to have weathered this small storm, but the inability of Joyce and Garvin to produce decent / dangerous free kicks to order wasted a couple of half chances to open our account.
We then paid the ultimate price for our largess, as straight away County were caught on the break by Kain Felix who drew the exposed Arestidou before despatching the coolest of finishes into the back of the net!
Nineteen minutes gone…..one down….not good…….
Play got a touch scrappy after this for a while……Piergianni only just failing to convert one of several United free kicks that County had conceded to the annoyance of their supporters.
Tonge seemed to get an elbow during this period, but it happened behind the referee’s back and the culprit escaped admonishment. From the free kick though Margetts was sent clear and his run was only curtailed by excellent work from Jay Rollins who tracked back in masterly fashion to deny the County man.
Odejayi missed a chance to toe poke the ball home at the back of the box, as County strove for the equaliser, but it just would not come, and things looked likely to get worse for the blues and quickly as Garner powered his way clear down the left before sending Southwell in with the neatest of passes. Southwell did well….but not quite well enough as his shot went wide, but somehow the referee saw it differently and instead Boston had a corner.
So…..with most around me still fulminating with rage….things suddenly got ever so much worse as …with Piergianni going for the ball……..Odejayi beat him to it but handled the ball in the process. Unlucky?......yes….but a penalty….and I was overjoyed to see Arestidou pull off a terrific save to keep it 0/1
…..except that half the County team had encroached and this allowed Boston a second go which Southwell wasted no time in putting away! Basics boys….get ‘em right…..give yourself a chance!
That was at the 40 minute mark, the rest of the half passed in a haze…I saw Hollins nip to the by-line at one point, and Arestidou to come away with the ball, but really I was glad to hear the whistle end the half and usher in 15 minutes respite!
|County & Boston give Amy something to do((Andrew Machin)|
County had a go as the game re-started, but Piergianni was in position to deny Odejayi as he sped onto a ball in the box. Garner was happy to concede a corner at one point, but again we failed to capitalise on this….Odejayi not taking a half chance as the ball pinged in from the right.
|Two from Andrew Machin .|
Boston bided their time for 10 minutes or so, before hitting back, but when they did, County got into the uneasy habit of giving free kicks away in iffy positions. One such ending in gales of laughter as Boston opted for their world beating Plan X, which involved an overly complicated routine and very little in the way of delivery where it counted. So…..no worries then…..Boston were no better than us at the set pieces…….but hang on……in the mix somewhere was oodles of space and a free header from Garner…and that really was a worry!
In addition…it was disappointing to see County win possession and then go for the hit and hope option which really meant the ball ending up with a yellow shirt due to the lack of thought and precision. Oh….and Arestidou pulled off a decent save midst all this, showing admirable fortitude!
Margetts…..Ledsham…. both went close following the last action, but County could not press home their notional advantage having forced corners following both efforts, and of course eventually…we again paid the price…..
|Two more from Andrew Machin.|
County were attacking, with around 17 minutes left to play…..and then they weren’t as Piergianni put the block on Garvin’s shot, before transferring the pill to substitute Mark Jones. Jones then elected to turn the screw big time on County…strolling languidly beyond a string of County players before sending a glorious finish past Arestidou into the net to make it 3-0 to Boston.
The 75th minute saw keeper Henrick Ravas pull off his first real save of the night. He had been busy punching clear from corners and such like but O’Hanlon’s header, which he kept out with a diving save, was the first bona fide save in my view.
At the other end things still showed possibilities for further County calamities ,but Morton avoided this by clearing McEvoy’s shot off the line.
Then Ravas had a second save to make…pushing the ball round the post from Ledsham’s effort, but just when the optimists in our midst started to get all rose tinted again…..it was wire underwear time again as Ledsham lost the ball to Jordan Richards. Richards sped up the park and…..in about 20 seconds and 3 neat passes time it was 4-0 as Felix crushed County with another belting finish!
Great finish……neatest of moves….but where were County?
With hope fading….NY swapped Roberts for Odejayi( 80 minutes) and Baggie for Joyce, but this last change offered Baggie a mere 3 minutes to do something, when we all knew the game was utterly beyond us now, and had been for a while.
County were under pressure late on, as free kicks forced them back on their heels.
In truth the referee was not giving us much at all now, although Baggie did win a free kick at the death. When this was headed clear by Garner my heart sank again, only to receive a small boost moments later with the sight of….at long last….a nicely weighted pass from Montrose sending Margetts in. It looked good too, and Jonny did his best, but alas he sent his shot the wrong side of the woodwork to keep it at 4-0.
Like a practised torturer the referee added 4 minutes to our torment, and County did try to sneak something from it, even though they really did not deserve to.
Try as they might….there was no way through…..Ledsham was beaten to a cross by Ravas…..and as before attack had the tendency to dissolve into headlong defensive action , and Morton did well ,deep into added time, to prevent Felix from adding to our angst on the break.
Roberts introduction late in the second half, did serve to enliven the left flank a tad, and as a result of a late…late sortie by the trusty thirty seven year old, County almost pulled one back….almost…..Roberts cross was good…….Margetts knock down under pressure from Piergianni, was even better, but Garvin could not provide the required finish and it stayed 4-0, the game ending in a hale of booing from the grubby slum to the right of Ravas’s goal.
To say it was not good enough is to state the b++++++g obvious.I am tempted to say it is time to get `Back to basics’ but it is the basics we consistently fail to execute correctly…..free kicks….corners……passes…..no more hit and hope....lumping the ball anywhere...... please!
Have we time to put this right?
Possibly…..but it does need to be sorted !
Boston United line up:
Ravas, Marrs, McEvoy, Richards, Garner( Sands 80), Piergianni, Roberts, Mills, Southwell( Jones 46), Felix, Rollins( Hilliard 74).
Subs not used:
Stockport County line up:
Arestidou, Morton, Garvin, Smalley, O’Hanlon, Joyce( Baggie 87), Tonge( Evans 60), Montrose, Odejayi ( Roberts 80), Margetts, Ledsham.
Subs not used:
Attendance : 1316 ( 121)
|Helpful Steward !|
|Nick Thorn's Charity Haircut. Before( above) After ( below)|