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Aloha to Alloa [This Saturday! Yes this Saturday, December 1st!]
#21
Whilst a 90th minute winner against any team is welcome, is it really cause for celebration. We have been poor for quite a while now. Given the players we have we should be easily turning teams over, like Ayr are.
 
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#22
(12-01-2018, 10:48 PM)cdam Wrote: Whilst a 90th minute winner against any team is welcome, is it really cause for celebration. We have been poor for quite a while now. Given the players we have we should be easily turning teams over, like Ayr are.

We're second in the league, 2 points behind first and a 4 point gap to third. That's not 'poor,' even if we feel the team is capable of more. Which I do, I don't think we're firing on all cylinders for long enough in each game yet. Would like to see us get a convincing win over Ayr in two weeks time, we've a hard month ahead in terms of fixtures.

Didn't think we were good enough vs Dundee Utd or in the second halves of the Ayr and Dunfermline games recently for example. But to be honest I'm excited to go to Victoria Park for games just now, the team is scoring goals and I just wish the fans at the stadium would get behind them a tad more.
 
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#23
It looked for a long time that it would just be one of those days...... until one minute into added time at the end, when Watson connected with a Mullin cross from the left to head into the net from close range- to secure an invaluable three points.

County totally deserved the win. Dominating the game, creating a barrowload of chances and being denied by a mix of poor finishing, bad luck and a sting of great saves. However, the biggest barrier was the stodgy Alloa formation. They were set up to get everyone behind the ball, for the entire game, on a pitch that has been narrowed by some three meters on each of its sides to aid their choked, characteristic, defensive game-plan. It nearly worked for them today, but ultimately justice was done and Alloa got what they deserved from the game. A playing style that is brutal to watch but effective. To their credit they made use of the limited resources they have by defending effectively until they were breached by the last gasp goal.

County started on the front foot. A few minutes in, a glancing McKay header at the near post - connecting with a Cowie corner from the left -went a couple of feet over the bar. That was followed by a low Lindsay shot from the edge of the box that was held by home keeper Parry.

The play swung to the other end in the 12th. minute when a low, powerful, angled Cawley shot, from the right, was deflected out for a corner at the near post. That would ultimately prove to be the closest Alloa came to scoring during the entire game. From the play that followed, Scott Fox easily claimed a high, diagonal header on his line from the same player from a similar position.

McKay looked lively and was at the centre of almost all of County's chances for the rest of the first half. He spurned the easiest of these on the quarter hour mark, when he latched onto a bouncing ball through the middle and with the keeper committed found himself with an open goal. His uncharacteristically rushed effort was screwed wide of the left hand post. A bad miss.

Ten minutes later Draper- who was immense in midfield today - won the ball in the middle of the park, drove forward and slipped a pass to Cowie. He in turn played in McKay whose poweful shot from the left went just over. In the next minute, a Lindsay shot from just outside the box was just a bit too high. He had been set up by some clever play by Stelios

County continued to ramp up the pressure.

Home keeper Parry pulled of a great save on the 25th.minute when he diverted a McKay effort out for a corner, after the County striker latched onto a through ball inside the left side of the box.

On the half hour mark Alloa found themselves in a rare foray into the attacking third -on the counter- with what would be their 3rd. (and last) chance of the entire game. In fact, it was more of a half chance. A long diagonal cross from the left was headed back across the six yard box in a dangerous area. Any touch would have put the ball into the net. Fortunately for County, the ball bounced out of play at the back post.

The play immediately swung up to the other end. Draper was involved again when he set up McKay, whose low shot was well saved by Parry.

County continued to pin their resolute hosts back for the remainder of the first half. However, the home defence survived intact until half time.

During the second half County enjoyed even more possession than the first period, with Alloa forced to retreat even deeper.

McKay came very close to breaking the deadlock seven minutes after the restart when he latched onto a perfectly weighted Stelios cross from the left, inside the penalty box. McKay's clipped effort on the turn from 14 yards out narrowly cleared the bar.

Four minutes later, home player Dario Zanatta was rightly booked for a blatant dive in the penalty box. He didn't con the ref. who saw it at close hand.

Shortly afterwards a low drilled Mullin shot from 25 yards out went narrowly wide of the left hand post with Parry beaten.

Sensing that a more direct approach might be needed to break down the stubborn home side on a narrow pitch, Brian Graham was brought on to replace the busy McManus on 64 minutes.

That was followed by the save of the game by Parry who showed great reflex to get down low to divert a close range McKay toe-poke on the turn.

County continued to dominate, but despite the introduction of Graham (and later Stewart for Cowie) continued to play their trademark passing game, without gambling on the more direct ball options to either of the big strikers, to any effect.

However, Stelios in particular was effective in getting into the left side of the box but the final pass would just not fall for County. Balls were also flashed across the danger area in the heavily congested area in front of goal, as County became frantic seeking that all important goal.

Just when it looked like the points were going to be shared, Watson saved the day by breaching the home defence in what was a deserved winner.

Good overall team performance. The County players could not be faulted for their effort and for their willingness to work for each other. You could clearly see what it meant to the players at the end getting that vital win.

My only gripe today was that although I personally like seeing football the way it should be played (incisive and simple passing game), sometimes that needs to be mixed with long balls into the box directed at the big replacement strikers, and gambling off the second ball. Others may disagree.

Standouts today were Draper who was immense in midfield and provided that much needed physicality to good effect. Stelios was not that far behind him, dealing with everything that came his way and being excellent when attacking down the left. Special mention to Grivosti who did what little he had to deal with very well and showed a composure / playing style beyond his years

Overall a good County performance against stuffy opposition and a very welcome three points.............
 
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#24
Wink 
(12-01-2018, 11:13 PM)Fyrish-stag Wrote: It looked for a long time that it would just be one of those days...... until one minute into added time at the end, when Watson connected with a Mullin cross from the left to head into the net from close range- to secure an invaluable three points....

County totally deserved the win...

Overall a good County performance against stuffy opposition and a very welcome three points.............

Thanks for that summary, Fyrish
FergnKetts - BestBossYets
 
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#25
(12-02-2018, 12:32 AM)Les Westander Wrote: Thanks for that summary, Fyrish

As always an excellent match report from Fyrish. The size of the crowd tells you what to expect at Alloa these days under Goodwin. 592 at a Championship game and I reckon about 150 were County. This anti football is destroying the sport. Jack Ross would have cried if he had witnessed that apology for a game of football. But credit to County they never gave up and finally got justice.
 
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#26
Thanks for that Fyrish.
Watching the highlights we had so many chances, could have been several goals on a better day.
Job done, no complaints.

 
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#27
Good to read a lengthy report from someone at the game. We could and should have won by more but this was a really crucial injury time goal. We've kept in touch with Ayr, we're moving away from the rest and we've been doing this with quite a few of our key men injured.
I don't think Ayr will get through the season without key suspensions and injuries and I'm sure their squad isn't as strong as ours.
Lots of reasons to be positive.
 
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#28
Seen a few rumours floating around on twitter that Shankland is off to Swansea but to be loaned back for the rest of the season... I still think we can beat area as we’ve already shown and our squad has more depth. Worst comes to worst we settle for a playoff and tbh I’d fancy us against either Dundee or st Mirren both are honking.

As for the Alloa game, dominated it without the killer pass or luck to score. They set up for the draw and the keeper was excellent, dug deep and carved out 3 points! Draper fantastic, Lindsay, Grivo and Stelios also very good. Look forward to gardyne being back.
 
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#29
(12-03-2018, 12:18 AM)Ullapool Staggie Wrote: Worst comes to worst we settle for a playoff and tbh I’d fancy us against either Dundee or st Mirren both are honking.

Here's a prediction. We face McIntyre and Dundee in the play-offs.
 
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#30
(12-03-2018, 07:07 AM)Five Minutes from the Ground Wrote: Here's a prediction. We face McIntyre and Dundee in the play-offs.

MacIntyre will be sacked by then!
 
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#31
(12-03-2018, 11:02 AM)USSR Tycoon Wrote: MacIntyre will be sacked by then!

Aye, but it won't be his fault and the the chairman will phone him to tell him that he made a mistake.........!
 
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#32
(12-03-2018, 12:18 AM)Ullapool Staggie Wrote: Seen a few rumours floating around on twitter that Shankland is off to Swansea but to be loaned back for the rest of the season... I still think we can beat area as we’ve already shown and our squad has more depth. Worst comes to worst we settle for a playoff and tbh I’d fancy us against either Dundee or st Mirren both are honking.
Of course, the trouble with the play-offs is that we wouldn't get a shot at one of these two without first getting past one or both of the other placed teams, eg a Caley or a Dundee Utd.. Much less complicated if we could just win it. I think Ayr will at some point fall victim to injury / suspension difficulties but they certainly looked pretty impressive against a rank Dundee Utd. They have real freshness, ambition and team spirit about them which may be difficult to overcome. Still, onwards and upwards..
 
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