Just two days after our last outing against Guiseley and Bromley are back in action in front of a home crowd to face Eastleigh, still labouring in mid table at the moment this game is a must win to keep up with the rest of the pack.
In a match that was littered with yellow cards, five of which were given to Eastleigh players which I’m guessing they could get a fine for, the winner came thanks to a late David Martin free kick. Even though there were so many yellow cards there weren’t many talking point other than the free kick which was curled into the top corner of the goal and a speculative effort from Turgott which ever so nearly looped over the Eastleigh keeper.
Anyway, there couldn’t have been a better time to get those 3 points as I was in for a surprise when I had a check of my inbox after the game. A message from my personal assistant which told me that I had just broken the club’s previous unbeaten run by going 6 games unbeaten (3 wins, 3 draws) starting with the 2-1 win against Torquay in the 2nd league match of the season.
But after maybe a minute of feeling good about myself it was time to switch the focus to the weekend when we would meet Barrow to try and extend the run. Now in September it was time to hit Holker Street to do the business. If the camera was on me for most of the match rather than the players I think you’d be able to see a massive vein pumping on my neck from the levels of frustration that were hit that day.
Exactly like the previous game seven yellow cards were shown with five going to Barrow players. However, this was only the tip of the iceberg as after two team talks telling the players to go and extend their unbeaten run it was cut short at 6 games in the 90th minute. The goal came after Thomas O’Connor, one of my more reliable players was brushed off the ball in midfield only to see Barrow’s Byron Harrison to fire the ball home from range and leave me in a mess on the floor.
A couple days later and it was time to face the press but with the Barrow result still on my mind I wasn’t quite the most compliant interviewee, dodging every question of the presser.
Looking to avoid back to back defeats in the league for the first time I was hoping the 1,361 fans that packed into Hayes Lane the following Saturday would push the squad over the line. After going three games without a goal the replacement of the inured Tobi Sho-Silva, Elford-Alliyu finally got himself back onto the scoresheet after a rapid counter attack feeding off Ramadan’s defence splitting pass to increase the volume in the stadium.
With 10 minutes to go we were given our first scare as Macclesfield’s Chris Holroyd reaction first to a loose ball and levelled the score with a shot across Flitney. Luckily we only had to wait a minute before we were back in front as Connor Dymond blasted Turgott’s cut back into the back of the net and everything was back to normal… Well for now. Like in the last game we just couldn’t hold on for those extra few minutes and conceded in the 89th minute this time, Holroyd getting his second of the game after being left alone in the box during a counter attack. Those water bottles didn’t want cross me in the changing room in the mood I was left in after the final whistle blew leaving us in 14th.
With a trend starting to develop I felt it was time to take another step into the transfer market. This time round I was prepared to spend some actual money, bringing in Sergio Torres from Whitehawk for £4K. At 32 the factor that attracted me most to the attacking midfielder was his experience in the lower divisions in the football league as well as the conference which hopefully can improve the side to reach our target of a top half finish.
After a few days in training and Thomas O’Connor going a bit off the boil recently I chose to start our new signing against Maidstone on the weekend, a side who were only a couple of places above us in the league. The game didn’t get off to the best of starts as a well worked corner saw Maidstone go ahead in the first half. Luck did eventually swing our way though as Maidstone’s top scorer Jamar Loza (5 goals) sent Flitney the wrong way with his penalty but put it the wrong side of the post from his point of view. It was only a few minutes later that we took advantage of Loza’s missed penalty as Bradley Goldberg swept home a rebound after Elford-Alliyu’s initial shot bounced off their keeper.
Unfortunately even after getting three strikers on the pitch for the remainder of the game we couldn’t work the ball past their keeper again, but we did move up one place to 13th and one place nearer to the top half objective.