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Northy: Pick of em all
Northy: Pick of em all

Never Trust a Scouser

By: Paul Neal
Date: 06/09/2009 (Last updated: 05/09/2009)

THAT is good advice - top drawer. Like to talk the talk but sadly no actions to back it up. In fairness, our manager doesn't claim to be a tactician. I think we all know that he isn't one.

Had a few minutes with Swanny before the game. Another poster from the Fishy has described him as a legend. Let me say this - what an absolutely top man!

This is virgin territory for me (match reporting) but as Rob did ask, here goes...

Town lined up in the expected 4-5-1 albeit with unexpected personnel. Leary wide right, Bosh back in the middle, Ryan just in front of the back four with the reserve team centre back pairing.

Bosh immediately showed why Town fans rate him so much (not). First minute pass, under no pressure, was 5 yards behind Leary for a throw in. That’s how you do it Matt Le Tissier - tidy spread bet payout on its way!

I was particularly interested in Sweeney. It's been said he’s carrying a couple of pounds. That’s crap. Its twice that - at least. He even cheated in the pre-match shuttles, lagging behind in the runs across the pitch so he cut 10-15 yards off to join his team mates as they were on the return run. Twice in the early part of the 2nd half he was muscled off the ball - obviously not enough bulk on him!!! He was criminally at fault for the 1st goal. He did track his player across the pitch but sadly gave up before the end (just like the pre match shuttles). A free cross which Heywood ducked under (maybe the keeper shouted, maybe the keeper should have been more alert but Heywood should have made sure). Sadly he didn't and 43 mins of comfortable defending had gone out of the window in 2 slips by senior players that should have done better.

Shame, cos Town were comfortably holding a poor Vale team. The vertical black & white stripes on their shirts made them play very Grimsby-esque. Linwood was treated off the field for a head injury for about 5 mins - no one would have noticed that we were a man short during this time. Heywood even did a drag back on 15 mins to bamboozle his man - and almost himself. The first Vale shot took 28 mins to arrive - an easy save for Lillis.

The HT fans’ talk was one of frustration that one lapse had cost us in a very comfortable half. Nothing really creative from Town - understandably it was a case of keep it tight and put the onus on Vale. No pace up front for Vale, so Heywood wasn't found wanting and Linwood looked the quality player many thought he would be.

Town kept the same formation 2nd half. So Newell was playing for a 1-0 defeat or does his tactical nous not extend to comprehending the scoreline? These Scousers really are backward! On 48 mins Danny North "scored" albeit 2 yards offside then 5 mins later came a very defining moment. Northy chased yet another fruitless ball that the keeper easily gathered. Northy continued his run towards the Town fans and his face and body language was one of total despair.

On 63 mins Newell finally realised we needed a goal so Fuller came on for Leary. Within 5 mins, the 2nd Vale goal went in for game, set and match (or was that the 1st goal). I was looking elsewhere as the Vale free kick went in so cannot describe the goal. (Sorry, Rob - time for you to take up the match reporting reins again!)

On 69 mins Stockdale got a booking for protesting at a free kick awarded against him. This was probably the only passion witnessed in the whole 90 mins from a Town player.

Josh Fuller showed some good touches but we can't pin all our hopes on a kid. Nice pull back on 74 mins and Northy shot just wide from a difficult position. A minute later and Ryan had a header cleared from almost on the line. From the next corner, Fuller played a great ball across goal but no one made the run into the box to finish.

On 82 mins Bosh made a desperate lunge in his own box. Missed the ball and saw red - very poor play. Better to let the man go unless there was a very good chance of taking the ball. Basic stuff. Lillis saved the penalty to delay the 3rd goal. Two mins later Fuller pulled a great ball back for Jones. Sadly he did a mincer of a flick when it was crying out for a skin-off-the-ball finish. Last chance saloon as two late goals gave a flattering scoreline albeit a deserved home win.

Northy was the sole player to come up to the away support and acknowledged us twice. Nice one, Danny. Others made a half-hearted gesture from the half way line; some didn't even bother.

Where does that leave us? Sacking Newell is the immediate thought. This cannot be the answer yet. I don't rate him but just who would we get that could do much better? And Newell is sadly on a longish deal - we can't afford to pay him off. He has got some decent players and several of those are injured/suspended at present. Think we have to tread water for now until we can put our best 11 out. Then make a decision. can't dress it up, Town were poor. Very poor. Too laboured, to easy to defend against - very Buckley-esque I'm afraid.

I salute those that travelled all the way from Grimsby (as opposed to my 80 mile journey from Market Harborough). Top top effort. Nice to see the young lads in a knot at the front getting the vocal support going. One even lifted up his shirt to show off his bra covering his man boobs! Next generation, keep the faith.

Final word to Swanny. As we walked out, I shouted across to him "Never trust a Scouse bastard." His face lit up with a grin: "You're right!"

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