Murphy's Law


Just when things are looking on the up, third in the league and six nil away win in the FA Cup, something nasty comes along and puts us back in our place.

This time it was Torquay United in front of the nation's viewers who took us to the cleaners completely outclassing and more importantly out-fighting us. What should have been a tight top of the table clash turned into a one-sided hammering. To be fair the warning signs were there with the home draws against Aldershot and Altrincham which we were off the pace and lucky to get a point against bottom of the table Altrincham; the defence was all over the place as if they had not played together before.

But the performance against the Gulls from the start was abysmal, especially when Daniel Wright ran through a gap as wide as the Tyne Tunnel to slide home the first goal, holding midfielder Xavi having gone completely AWOL, and then the third when Ferguson passed across his own penalty area to set up their striker with an easy finish.

Having said this, the goalkeeper did not cover himself in glory; he might be a good penalty saver but is a real dodgy keeper. I've seen better defensive displays at Grayfields than that lot last Saturday. Wright showed us how a striker at this level should perform; thirty six years old and he was still too fast and skilful for our defence. As opposed to our striker David Parkhouse who had a great opportunity in the first half when he put his shot over the Rink End into the car park, threatening the vehicles parked there.
"Although it is only one defeat this season and no need to panic it must be remembered that our early games were against teams expected to be in the bottom half of the league"

But it wasn't just the defence with the midfield being non existent. Mark Shelton, Ryan Donaldson, Xavi, Gavan Holohan are simply not up to it, no skill, no passion no fight. What we need is a midfield enforcer in there, someone who is a lot nasty. Gus Mafuta would have been ideal but we let him go. Aaron Cunningham could maybe do a job there but he was allowed to go to Blyth on loan. He has had the right attitude, getting a red card 20 minutes into his debut for Pools. 

Nice to see Mason Bloomfield taking care of himself against Torquay, flooring an opponent who was trying to foul him. What with two centre backs, Gary Liddle and Timi Odusina, out injured, will we need to bring in a loan signing? Donaldson is no right back and Lewis Cass, while doing well at right back, is not ready to be a centre back yet. Although it is only one defeat this season and no need to panic it must be remembered that our early games were against teams expected to be in the bottom half of the league and it is the Notts Countys, Stockports and Barnets who will be the ones to show us how far we have still to go.

One bit of good news this month is Luke Williams signing a contract with us and apparently fit enough for games. Which begs the question: why was he left on the bench last Saturday? Even DC would have to admit that he is a class above Xavi and Co. but he cannot win us matches sat on the bench.

Finally just a thought. It is funny how karma comes around to bite you. Sheffield Wednesday cheat their way to a Championship play-off win in 2005. They struggle all their years in the Championship and earlier this year are found guilty of cheating on financial matters and docked 12 points for this season and are looking a good bet to go back to where they belong. "It's a funny old game", as someone once said.

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