Emotional Bradford City wobble at the crucial moment, putting their promotion hopes in danger

Crewe Alexandra 3
Agyei 16, 43, Long 90+11 (pen)
Bradford City 2
Cook 46, Walker 54

Words and images by Jason McKeown

They do not make it easy for themselves. With the carrot on offer of taking automatic promotion hopes to the final day of the season, Bradford City stumbled. They could have at least sealed a play off spot, but Chris Long’s late penalty means the Bantams’ top seven hopes are in fresh doubt going into Monday’s home game with champions Leyton Orient. This was a bad, bad moment to slip up.

After this result, they will be noisy in Northampton, smiling in Stockport and marvelling in Mansfield. Following the Stags’ weekend loss to Harrogate, Mansfield manager Nigel Clough declared his charges needed a miracle to reach the play offs. He’s got half of one now, thanks to a vibrant Crewe performance that fully merited the three points. A defeat for City that leaves the backdoor open and a glimmer of light for Mansfield to try and seize.

There can’t be any complaints from City. All the finger pointing should be directed inwards. The harsh truth is that the enormity of the occasion got to almost everyone connected with the club. The emotions were running high with such a big prize still on offer, and collectively the players just didn’t handle it. They lost sight of what has made them successful this season. They yielded far too many unnecessary mistakes. And they paid a heavy price.

The lack of composure wasn’t just on display from those on the pitch. Even Mark Hughes, who can personify calmness in his overall demeanour, got involved in a bizarre full time spat with Long that didn’t reflect brilliantly on the City manager.

Clearly Long, who went up to Hughes at the final whistle, said something out of order. “The lad got in my face,” revealed Hughes. “I wasn’t quite sure who he was if I’m honest. He seemed to want to put his face in my face. I didn’t appreciate that.” Maybe so, but Hughes did not need to continue to confront the match-winner for as long as he did.

It’s all a big worry, because this highly emotional version of Bradford City on display here isn’t a one-off. The Bantams’ last home game – the 2-2 draw with Gillingham – offered plenty of signs that the team was struggling to deal with the pressure. That when they absolutely need to stand up and be counted, they threaten to wilt. At Gresty Road here, players who have been so good in recent weeks got caught up in the excitement of such a big occasion, and that led to them making too many poor decisions.

Crewe waited and pounced. Lee Bell set up his side in a 4-3-3 formation that was able to prey on City’s weaknesses by inviting their opponents to be naïve. This meant letting the visitors have plenty of the ball and almost encouraging them to commit players forward, before Crewe counter attacked with pace and precision when they won the turnovers. “I thought we’d be the better footballing team, and we were able to show that,” beamed Bell.  

Having three in midfield was crucial in Crewe winning the game. Ryan Finnigan, Conor Thomas and Joel Tabiner were able to outgun Richie Smallwood and Alex Gilliead, meaning that when Crewe had possession they passed it through the middle of the park with too much ease. And whenever City lost the ball with too many bodies in the Crewe half, they were in trouble.

The opening goal by Crewe summed it up. Scott Banks lost out on a 50-50 in the final third and the loose ball fell to Long with his back to goal, in his own half. There was no danger. But in an attempt to high press, Brad Halliday came forward to try and win the ball from Long. He left a big gap behind him, and Long was able to send Dan Agyei away into this vacated space.

Sam Stubbs didn’t react quickly enough to Agyei’s burst, and as he tried to get across he could not stop the Crewe striker charging into the box, where he finished well from a very tight angle. This is not a goal you would normally see Halliday and Stubbs concede, and it was in part due to City trying to force the issue at the other end by pushing up too many players. “They were playing it in behind our lines and getting good moments, we weren’t able to really impose ourselves,” rued Hughes.  

City were just not at the races defensively. Stubbs has been flawless up to now but he really struggled. Romoney Crichlow also had another tough night, not helped by picking up an early booking that left him walking a tightrope. But the back four also lacked protection, thanks to the way Crewe ploughed through the middle of the park.

In these types of games, City need more from some of their attacking players when out of possession. This was another half where Jamie Walker was not at his best, and the decision to start Abo Eisa for the first time in two-and-a-half months – following his recent return from injury – did not work out.

As the half wore on City did improve and won plenty of corners. Between minute 35 and half time, the Bantams had 64% of the ball, registered six shots to Crewe’s two, and won five corners to Crewe’s zero. And so when Crewe suddenly broke again and made it 2-0, it came against the run of play.

But again, it wasn’t clever from the Bantams.

With City players pushed up, Crewe broke and the ball was worked to Finnigan, who produced a brilliant pass behind Halliday than sent Long away. City’s right back tried to stand his opponent up but needed to do more to stop the low cross, and Long (a former Northampton player, no less) was able to pick out Agyei to tap home with Crichlow caught out.

Until this season, the former Burnley youth product Agyei has bounced around from club to club with little success, but this has been a true breakout year for the 25-year-old, who now has 16 goals to his name. Agyei’s pace and running behind the lines is the sort of forward that City have lacked to partner Andy Cook. His market value will have only rocketed after this terrific display, but Agyei might be someone the Bantams should look at signing during the summer.

At 2-0 down, City were not just in a real hole but also in an unusual position. Not since the Leyton Orient defeat in December have they trailed by two goals in a match, and we were uncharted territory in knowing how they might respond.

The answer, at least initially, was encouraging.

Straight from the restart, City won a corner and Smallwood’s effort was headed home by Cook for goal number 31 of the campaign. It gave everyone renewed hope, though the fact it would take a few moments for the game to get going again – due a City fan throwing a flare onto the pitch – was an unfortunate preview of what was to come.

That’s because six minutes later, City struck again. Smallwood sent over a free kick from deep, and Crewe goalkeeper Tom Booth badly misjudged the flight of the cross. Cook was able to nod it towards Walker, who was able to arrow the ball into the unguarded net. The scenes in the two City away stands were brilliant, as we celebrated a comeback that put us right on the brink of going back into automatic promotion contention. The momentum was suddenly there for City to go on and win.

But it all stalled, and here the high emotions that were sabotaging City’s efforts could only be blamed on a section of our own fans. Because once again, flares were thrown onto the pitch, and a group of supporters nearest the Crewe home end began to clash with police and stewards. The game had to be stopped for quite some time, with all the outfield players congregating by the dugouts as they waited for order to be restored.

City had their tails up and everything was going for them. The long stoppage in the play, caused by a selfish minority of City supporters, ruined that. It is a symptom of a growing amount of unsociable behaviour from a section of our supporters that you increasingly see at away games, which this time spilled out and impacted on the team. What on earth were these people thinking? It’s to be hoped that police and CCTV footage can identify the offenders and strong action is taken.

Hughes declined to use this stoppage as the reason why City’s momentum stalled, but there’s no doubt that it gave Crewe a timeout to get their heads together when they could have buckled. No one more so than their keeper Booth – just 18, starting only his third game for Crewe, and who had just made an almighty clanger.

What City needed to do was start the game again and quickly test Booth’s fraying nerves. But the trouble in the stands prevented them doing that.

Not that this is an excuse for City’s subsequent performance. Booth just wasn’t tested enough over the rest of the game. In the away end, I was stood next to a City fan who is also involved with Crewe’s non-league neighbours, Nantwich Town. He told me Booth had been on loan at Nantwich earlier in the season and had produced a lot of wobbly displays. City needed to be clinical in exploiting this. They needed to make the most of the nervous rookie keeper, and the fact is they didn’t.

Indeed, Crewe reasserted some level of control on the game and should have won it before 10 minutes of injury time were announced. A long punt forward saw Courtney Baker-Richardson outnumbered by Crichlow and Stubbs, yet the pair sloppily let the ball bounce and the Crewe number nine stole in one-on-one with Harry Lewis and lifted the ball over the keeper, only to somehow miss the target. Perhaps that should have been the warning shot for City to just settle for the point and confirm their play off place.

“We needed to see the game out and take a point,” admitted Hughes. “We haven’t been able to do that. If you don’t have that control you’re always susceptible to balls in your box, or someone missing a header or consecutive headers, and unfortunately at the end that cost us. There were too many errors.”

Indeed, with the lengthy stoppage time almost completed, Crewe crossed the ball into the box, a loose header by Stubbs was chested down by substitute David Amoo, and he prepared to shoot. Smallwood produced a wild, desperate and stupid lunge than felled Amoo, and the referee pointed to the spot just before Baker-Richardson smashed the loose ball into the net. Long converted the spot kick, and City were defeated.

After Smallwood gave away the penalty, he lay on the floor in despair at the enormity of what he had just done. Just yards away, substitute Matty Derbyshire was angrily shoving a Crewe player, and he was lucky no action was taken. Your captain and your most experienced player – both had lost their heads. When you need calmness and leadership, City just fell apart.

“Game management is key,” rued Gilliead after the match. “Maybe we just take the point and think right that’s us in the play offs. It’s happened a few times this season where we’ve conceded last minute goals. You feel as a team we need to improve our game management if we want to do what we want to do this season.”   

It summed up an untidy performance where few players emerge with credit. The back four had a bad night. Since Matty Platt’s red card at Crawley that saw him suspended and subsequently left out, City have conceded eight goals in six games (and just one clean sheet). The Platt-Stubbs partnership had conceded six goals in the 11 games prior to then (seven clean sheets). A decision to make here perhaps.

Elsewhere Gilliead was short of his recent high standards. Smallwood was better, but then made the crucial last minute mistake. Scott Banks can hold his head up high for another productive night, though he does need to improve his decision making at times.

There is no doubt City have a real problem on the left of the attack of the 4-2-3-1. After the fantastic Easter Monday win over Sutton, it looked like Hughes had unearthed the right balance, with Banks, Walker and Harry Chapman lining up behind Cook.

But Chapman’s season-ending injury against Swindon has really hindered City. Theirry Nevers, Dara Costelleo and now Eisa have been tried in his place without success. Emmanuel Osadebe – who came on for Eisa and played very well – is perhaps the best option now, but has yet to start a game since returning from serious injury.

That is certainly one contributing factor for why City are now mathematically out of the automatic promotion race. But ultimately, they’ve not proven themselves good enough. They’ve not once occupied a top three spot all season. And on several occasions where they’ve got close to it – like here – they’ve not taken the opportunity.

And it’s why this messy display in many ways sums up their season. The fact is City have not produced strong 90 minute performances all campaign. They’ve nearly always have spells in games where they go off the boil – starting badly, dipping in the middle or ending limply – and it’s undermined their good intentions. You just can’t get away with switching it on and off so frequently. Eventually, it catches up with you – and it has done here.

We shouldn’t forget the brilliant form since Boxing Day. The memorable moments we’ve all absolutely loved over recent weeks. But we can’t gloss over the less muddling spells either. Pick any game bar Gillingham away and Sutton at home, and evidence of City’s unwelcome habit of making things trickier than they need to be are plentiful.

The big question now is, can we trust them in this final reckoning? As long as they don’t lose on Monday, they’re in the play offs. But what sort of Leyton Orient side they will face is unclear. They are not ideal last day opponents when you need something. A defeat, and if Mansfield win at Colchester they could just pip City on either goal difference or even goals scored.

Hughes remains confident, declaring, “We almost always bounce back from these situations. We know exactly what we have to do. It’s down to us. We very much have it in our hands. Monday is going to be a huge day, and we just have to get the job done.”

As for the play offs themselves, nights like this leave you questioning whether City have the calmness and competence to defeat a Carlisle, a Stockport or a Salford over two legs. And to triumph at Wembley stadium. It’s not really a question of ability, it’s about composure and handling the pressure of the big occasion. Not going off the boil for 20-30 minutes and giving the opposition a chance.

The signs of late are not great. When they have the chance to make it easy for themselves, they don’t take it. And there’s no doubt now that, if City are going to get promoted this season, they’re going to have to do it the hard way.

Categories: Match Reviews

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33 replies

  1. Heartbreaking that it should be our own supporters who contributed to City’s defeat, after a brave comeback.

    • Yes there are times when you could be proud of City supporters.
      Wembley when despite losing 0-5 we sang for the entire second half and backed our team.
      When despite provocation from L666s and Millwall fans our fans refused to join in with the general misbehaviour.
      And after the fire disaster and since we have remembered the disaster in our own dignified and private
      ‘ Bradford’ way.
      Last night a tiny minority.of our supporters showed that we are not unique and not only showed their worst side and ultimately played their part in.us losing points and a valuable play off place.
      These ‘fans’ need to be identified and dealt with severely.
      Not only could they cost the club in terms of revenue either because they are fined, by reputation, or by virtue of not gaining promotion, but they showed no respect to fans who were present on May 11th.1985 many of whom.are still affected by the disaster.
      Quite simply these fans should never have to see smoke in a football stadium.
      They need to be dealt with and should never be allowed in a football ground ever again

  2. Eisa’s inclusion ahead of Manny was an odd one given he has had more football recently and looked sharp when he has come on. Eisa looked under cooked as you would expect. Thought Walker was busy and effective (throughout!) and probably our best performer along with Banks and the ever reliable Number 9.

  3. Monday will be torture & quite likely end in disappointment as it’s been down there practically every game. So what happens next? A sheepish parade clapping the fans. There’s no dressing up this has been a monstrous failure on Hughes & the players part. It’s simply not been good enough. But how are we going to ensure that we’re not in the same position or worse next season? I suppose they’ll say the target this season was the playoffs & 2 year plan etc.. One things for sure, there can’t be another season just like this. Our ambitions have to be way higher. But what type of players are coming in to make sure that we’re right in those auto slots & stay in them like LO & Stevenage? Hughes has a lot of answering to do & so does Sparks. Particularly as regards the level of backing from Rupp. I ask you? Stockport we’re Conference North 10 years ago! Maybe that’s what it takes? I’ll bet Scunny are back up & past us before we can get up from this god awful league? Look at the Clubs who have gone down reset & come back stronger like Luton, Lincoln & now Wrexham. Maybe Notts C too? Sick of being let down every time! 😠

  4. Spot on Jason. This team doesn’t always match up to the level of their opponents and the team can look slow and ponderous. Gillingham was a case in point when it was a no show 1st half, fantastic 30 minutes to take the lead and then a quick retreat into some kind of defensive panic mode and then predictably undo all their good work be conceding late into the game. Exactly want happened last night. The players lack belief in themselves, were slow out of the blocks against another lowly placed team pumped up to beat us. The 2 most experience players lost their heads when it needed a calming influence and proper game management. Neither was show.

    In truth without cook and Lewis this team would not make it into the top half and the signings on the whole have not contributed enough over the season. It’s ok Gilliead saying the we need to learn to manage the game better but this game 45! The season almost over!

    The team struggle with game management and lack inner strength and character to see games out. That’s not the fault of pyros, demanding fans or poor referees but a failing of the management, poor tactics deployed and too many patchy performances.

    75 points is a great return given the run city have been on for the last 6 years however, there has been a massive turn over of players since the summer and the January window (22 players) Too many players are just not good enough, contribute enough in terms of assist or goals and 2/3 players are just not ready to play for a club that demands promotion.

    This season has never really had a promotion feel about it for me because when we have had to beat lowly or out of form teams the players and management have come up short in terms of performance, tactics and attitude.

    It will not be easy against Leyton Orient on Monday in front of 20k plus but we do fare well against better sides. It’s all down whether the players can handle the big occasion and turn up for 90 minutes and secure that play off place.

    The club needs this promotion but unless we show more grit and determination, better game management and match or better our rivals over 90 mins I fear we are just not ready or mentally strong enough to achieve promotion this season.

    Let’s hope I’m wrong.

    • Andy, that was an excellent post. The only thing I would add is that Dan Agyei is out of contract next month and City should sign him. He’s just the type of striker needed to play beside Oliver or Cook.

    • Brilliant comment Andy 👏

    • We need to seriously look at our captaincy!

  5. Let’s not beat about the bush here. One two or even three results in May haven’t cost Bradford City this season. Inconsistency across the season (especially at home) have cost the club automatic promotion. Unless Mark Hughes can change both style and our fortunes at home he might as well resign. That poor formation, playing style, chances created, late substitutions, inability to manage games to a close, poor January changes etc have cost us a lot of points this year. Hughesly disappointing.

    • Quite right.
      Too many occasions when we have lost possession or conceded by playing backwards and sideways in our defensive quarter.
      Last home game we were doing it in the 6 yard box.
      It’s unwatchable and suicidal!

  6. They’ve not once occupied a top three spot all season. And on several occasions where they’ve got close to it – like here – they’ve not taken the opportunity.
    Ive been saying this all season.

    Do we have the BOTTLE to get us over the line and reset for the playoffs?

    Lottery tickets are more of a sure bet this weekend.

  7. It’s rare that I’m actually speechless after a game (I usually have too many opinions to share), but last night I was.

    Complacency is the thing I keep coming back to. We have been complacent since Easter about our playoff position, distracted by the distant and unlikely possibility that we will grab third place. Thank God Harrogate beat Mansfield last week.

    We were complacent last night, not expecting Crewe to be up for the game and not looking like we’d done our homework. But they have good home form and no one rolls over for us.

    Our management has been complacent, happy to take draws where we should have gone for wins, slow to change things up that have clearly not been working because we’ve been complacent of the time and the remaining games we have left.

    I might have a minority view, but I think we should have closed off the draw last night once the game levelled out after 70 minutes (and said so at the time). There was no realistic chance we’d edge third place, Stockport are the form team and they are at home to second bottom (unlike us, they don’t fail to put those games to bed).

    We’ve now made it so hard for ourselves. Our home form is patchy, our players haven’t shown they can stand the big game pressure, and we have a habit of self harm. We’re playing the best team in the league who are bringing 2k fans and have a manager who we turned down for our job last year. In a world where we drew 2-2, we could go into Monday with the pressure off and use the game to build confidence and good feeling for the two games ahead. Instead, this could be Cook’s last game in a City shirt.

    On our day we can beat anyone in the league – and let’s hope we beat the top team on Monday – but even if we get in the playoffs, our jittery, stop-start form doesn’t suggest we have what it takes to come out on top over three games. Prove me wrong City, prove me wrong.

    PS – what a time for Stubbs to have an absolute stinker of a game. Barely a foot wrong before last night, then barely a foot right last night.

    • In my opinion, it was just a matter of time before Stubb’s weakness was highlighted. He lacks pace and that is the primary reason he is back playing L2 football. In many respects he’s comparable to Songo’o.

  8. We are not good enough to be a top three team ,we still have a great chance to get into the play offs ,which is a lottery. The team who can hold there nerve and have some luck will get promoted,but have we got the fighting sprit and experience needed both on and of the field ,time will tell.

  9. I will be in Centenary Square on Tuesday. It will be the 38th time excepting Covid.
    I was incredibly sad, desperately disappointed, offended and angry to see the actions of the morons referred to earlier as simply “pyros”.
    “sabotaging City’s efforts could only be blamed on a section of our own fans” It’s to be hoped that police and CCTV footage can identify the offenders and strong action is taken”.
    Sorry. NO. It should be demanded.
    Leave aside the impact last night on the game – Victoria is right. “Heart breaking that it should be our own supporters who contributed to City’s defeat, after a brave comeback”.

    Along with all information referred to on this site and even in recent posts, I implore you to watch all but especially from 5.30 the memories in “Mushy Peas to Green Tea Kulfi”

    After 1985, those are my thoughts and on most days, superbly written and performed by Michael Forrest.

    We have to insist this behaviour is stopped.
    Those find guilty banned for life. It’s a crime to bring fire works into a ground isn’t it?
    The fact the flairs were thrown on three separate occasions, with huge time gaps to react between each one, is totally unacceptable.
    What if anything was done to stop them getting in to the ground?
    What did the stewards or the police do to stop it? Especially after City’s first goal?
    Did nobody see who did it – with the good conscience to report it?

    Will they be allowed to get them in on Monday?

    The issue will come down to educating those to blame. Forcing them to understand.
    Perhaps a demo from the club explanation why it is unacceptable. I don’t know but something has to be done.
    This is part of the heritage of our club. Part of our City of Bradford. It comes with who we are. What we are. Whether you were there, old enough to remember or born long after. It is an imperative.

    • Absolutely Steve! We should be the last club on the planet whose supporters even want to be associated with things that ignite and bring them to a football ground. I fear those doing these stupid acts have no thought for those still having nightmares from 1985! Just disgraceful in my opinion and affects our own club with additional costs too that could be spent on something else. Some people need to give their heads a shake!

    • Loved the video…great work

  10. Dear oh dear, what a shambles last night was. I felt real anger after the game that took a while to subside. I just couldn’t believe the naivety on display from Hughes and our team. It really looked like we had assumed Crewe were there for the taking and that we could just turn up, pile forwards and force the win. That’s not the way we’ve taken most of our away points this season. I suppose it’s easy in hindsight, but this was actually a night when we needed the tedious, slow, sideways, cautious possession football that’s annoyed us so much this season.

    Surely once Crewe started coming back into it at 2-2, we needed to shore things up. Clayton off the bench would have been perfect for the job. East, maybe. Platt, even, to get an extra centre back in. But bringing Derbyshire on smacks of just going for a winner regardless of how open it left us.

    I agree with previous posters that it was an awful night for Stubbs (and Crichlow) to have a nightmare. Agree also that Osadebe looks to be offering a lot more than any of the other candidates for left wing, who’ve all been basically anonymous for the last few games.

    On a happier note, Jason your description of Smallwood producing a ‘wild, desperate and stupid lunch’ near the end of the game did make me chuckle. Beetroot sandwiches maybe?

    • Argh – thanks for spotting that typo. Fixed it now! Lunch would have been better than a lunge 😉

      • Here’s to hoping they don’t serve us up a wild, desperate and stupid lunchtime next Monday!

    • I think that’s right. We needed to do something different at home and the more attacking approach recently has been welcome. But our away form has generally been excellent especially with the Smallwood, Clayton, Gilly trio – not always pretty but effective. Realise Clayton injury forced changes, but do wonder if we had reverted to that last night things might have turned out differently. I don’t see a reason for not playing different systems at home and away. All a bit academic now however. Let’s hope we scrape into playoffs. On a good day think we can beat pretty much anyone. On a bad day the opposite. Let’s hope we can string four good days together – hasn’t happened yet this season but we live in hope. Come on City!!

  11. Clearly Crewe had a plan and the executed it to perfection. They have won the last 5 matches at home so are no mugs. He set up a 4 3 3, that caught us when we were moving forward. I have said this before. We should have countered that by changing our formation but Hughes didn’t. We were poor going forward, especially on the left side. Giving the ball away or being caught in possession. Pereira should have been an option. He pays well with Walker.
    A tiny minority of supporters lost us that game. You are right! Crewe were able to get their composure and start over. City did not. They continued their cavalier approach and left us exposed at the back. Monday is going to be difficult. Hughes has a job to do to get his tactics right. Not necessarily going all out for a win but making sure we don’t lose. If Mansfield get into the play offs, it would because of our self destrjuctive performances that are to blame. I only hope that those flare throwing single brain cell so called supporters are found and severely punished for their behaviour.

  12. Totally agree, the idiots who call themselves City fans, need to be brought to justice. They have cost the club in more ways than one. There’s no place in any Football for this stupidity.

  13. With regards to the use of smoke bombs. Those that use them know that there will no action taken towards them. On Saturday I was at Northampton and stood behind when the first smoke bomb was let off just after kick off. Those who did where stood on the front row and easy to spot. The result, a head steward spoke to them and asked them not to do it again!

    Back to on the pitch matters, we have the top striker & keeper in the league and they have kept us in the fight. Without them, we are midtable at best.

    • The flare throwing by our fans has been going on for ages and it stinks!

      It’s just attention seeking and dumb behaviour!

      I’ve seen these “fans” do it just before we’re trying to defend a corner – which we conceded – not a surprise since the players are distracted and glancing back towards the goal to make sense of what’s going on – with smoke in the air disorienting our defenders and keeper!

      Madness and it needs to stop!!!

  14. It’s often easy to mention it’s be great to have a Gary Jones type in the team or a Rory mcardle. We’re packing a few tony mcmahons. Proper player. Right mentality. Knows game management. Can get under opposition skin.
    Miss that guy.

    • I see Gary around Wallasey occasionally and we chew the fat about 2013. As he says, we had some fun that year!

  15. I had not seen us lose in five away games this season until the 101st minute last night. However, it was totally predictable, so BCFC!
    That’s three games on the trot where goals have gone in deep into injury time. If they hadn’t we would only be a point better off – but what a crucial point it would have been!
    At no time do we appear to have settled for a draw or decided to properly defend a win. Can we defend properly with the lack of pace and/or experience at the back. Halliday, Ridehalgh, and Stubbs were ponderous yesterday and Crichlow’s inexperience showed.
    Gillingham were all over us for the 16 minutes after we took the lead 12 days ago. In fact, as soon as any team decide to attack us with intent, we are at a loss what to do.
    At 2-2 last night, Crewe were shooting on sight – and we were letting them. We had a few half chances but Crewe defended properly most of the time. Only crosses to Cook proved their undoing, albeit they had two big centre-halves.
    Andy is the stand-out player in League Two this season. To score over 30 goals playing with this lot of under-achievers is absolutely remarkable. On what basis Hoskins beat him, I cannot imagine – probably sympathy for Northampton after last season’s final day fiasco.
    We can only hope that we get a point on Monday but I fear a repeat of the 1980 final game when every result went against us and we missed promotion.

    • Two words to make you wince Chris…Billy Kellock! At 16 years old that trip/game took a while to get over

      • We are older and wiser(?) now so the pain should be less acute.
        But the last two games I’ve watched (Gills and Alex) have been so disappointing. Not sure I can recall two on the trot like these!

  16. It was so disappointing last night, getting back to drawing early in the 2nd half thought we’d kick on and sneak a win. We never seem to pepper a keeper with shots outside the box and especially when he was a rookie keeper. The games gone now but for me Platt, Clayton definitely need to come back into the team on Monday and MH needs to sort out who’s playing out on the left hand side. I agree with most of the comments in here that City on there day are a match for all teams especially top half of the league which needs addressing next season whichever division where in and a look at our squad. Let’s have a good go at Orient and give us all something to cheer.

  17. Thanks Chris,

    Is it surprising to see 5 anonymous thumbs down without any response as to why they might wish to disagree with the sentiments expressed. What are they thinking? I must assume they condone the indignity and lack of respect these idiots show. because this is not up for debate.

    I encourage everyone who can be there to be in Centenary Square on Thursday at 11am and remember but also have regard for the feelings of scathed survivors.

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