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Saturday 12 September 2009
Blue Square Conference North
(match 10)
at Corinium Stadium, Cirencester.
Blue Square North logo

New Tigers Badge: no-one knows why...

Gloucester City



Workington crest

HT (0-1)

City kit 07Workington kit
G.Arnison (21, 53)
A.Langford ©
© T.Webb
Man of the Match J.Harris
D. Shannon (for 9, 72)
A.Hardman (for 6, 77)
(for 15, 73) W.Morford
(for 5, 62) T.Hamblin
C.Ruttledge (for 10, 88)
(for 6, 62) S.Ellis
City: none
Workington: none
Dismissals: none

T-Ender City MotM: Jack Harris - fully committed performance down the left on a day when few showed such heart, a couple of crunching tackles really stood out.

grass trim rule

City put in a disappointingly flat performance to present a harder working Workington outfit with all the points on a frustrating afternoon for the Tigers. Mehew's men saw several strong penalty appeals waved away, but there were few excuses for a misfiring display that saw City create little to concern the visitor's keeper. Without having to dazzle Workington's solid performance was enough to claim a win, both their goals coming as City struggled to defend dead ball crosses into the box, and leave City starting to feel the pressure after five home games failing to return even a solitary point.

City started brightly and it looked as if pre-match expectations would be met. Newly crowned skipper and birthday boy Tom Webb was driving forward from the centre of midfield, and Symons was causing plenty of problems in and around the Workington box. Sykes was at the heart of our best moves, spun round latching on to a ball on the right that could have been a penalty - and producing a smart turn and shot that was blocked at full stretch by a great challenge from Aldred.

We had a warning though when Green did well to smother at the feet of Henney as the Reds attacker ran clear of our defence, but the real problems came when we struggled to deal with a cross floated in high from a free kick on our left. The ball seemed routine enough, but with defenders and keeper seeming to leave it to each other the ball was allowed to drop on the edge of the six yard box. Workington's Arnison scuffed the ball goalward, with Jack Harris' desperate lunge only helping the ball over the line.

The game turned when City had a nailed on penalty denied by the ref. Jack Harris flicked on a free kick into the penalty area and Workington's defence was briefly in disarray. In the commotion the ball went loose by the far post and in a panic the visiting keeper Tony Caig charged through the back of Jack Pitcher in a clumsy attempt to get the ball. Pitch was barged to the floor, and the keeper's fearful glance at the ref had guilt written all over it. Incredibly the ref waved away the appeals as if it was somehow a slightly fanciful idea - but Workington knew they'd had a let off.

The goal and the penalty claim denied seemed enough to puncture our fragile confidence. All too quickly we lost our crisp passing football and our grip on midfield, resorting to the hopeful punt up field to get an attacking platform. The half-time whistle was a relief, we needed to regroup.

City seemed to start the second half with a little more purpose. But an early charge seemed to splutter to a halt after another strong penalty claim was waved away. Symons managed a strong shot on the turn, which forced Caig into a rare bit of action and may have caught him unawares as he could only parry the ball back into the box. Pitcher was fastest to the ball, but as he reached it May's lunge took his striking foot with a give away thump of boot on boot. The ref seemed to be claiming to have been unsighted - but his linesman must have been the only person in the ground who didn't see it as a penalty.

Unfortunately we easily let poor decisions distract us from the job in hand, and with our players still huffing and chuntering at the ref we gave away a soft foul. Again the free kick was our undoing. This time Anthony Wright's delivery had an extra touch of quality which we simply didn't deal with. The whipped cross was met decisively by Arnison, his header flying past Green and into the net.

It'd be miserly to deny the long traveling Workington fans their joy at the win, but the rest of the game was pretty forgettable with both sides toiling in the sun. The visitors were able to hit City on the break several times but unable to add to their lead. We were trying to rally, but unable to find any rhythm. Changes from the bench made a difference, but the extra drive of Sam Ellis and Will Morford came to late, as did the tactical reshuffle that moved Smith up the wing into an attacking role. The only further moment of hope cam when Ellis bravely flung himself towards a ball flying across the Reds' penalty area, but only collected a boot in the face for his efforts. A lot of the paying spectators felt a bit like that too...


grass trim rule
T-Ender Match Snaps
Pitch attacks Workington defence Symo attacks a corner
Pitcher enjoys an early attacking run at the Reds' defence. Symons in search of an equaliser as the second half begins.
Smith gets a cross in from the right
Symo blocked off
Lee Smith enjoys an all too rare forward foray. Symons finds his way blocked down the right touchline.

Team Selection:

There were a few surprises in the team selection as Lee Smith started at right-back, with Jack Pitcher seeming to take up a spot wide on the right. Jack Palmer was a surprise pick in midfield ahead of Matt Rose, who was on the bench. Tom Hamblin's hamstring problem had receded enough for the centre-back to take a place amongst the subs.

TBBM Said:


Tactics Board:
The players can't hide behind the tactics, but unfortunately we shout ourselves in the foot a bit this afternoon. Playing Symons alone up front with Sykes dropping in behind simply didn't make it difficult enough for a competent Workington defence. Smith at right-back is a waste, Pitcher out on the right wing looked completely at sea. Boris will have learnt things about his players this afternnon - doubt they'll like the results.
Anorak Corner:


T-Ender Verdict

This felt like our worst display yet in the new division. Workington arrived looking vulnerable and our opening attacks suggested we would get something from the match. However our heads dropped too easily after going behind, and we simply lost our way to the point where we were reduced to fairly aimless longball desperation. Our players will need to convince themselves they're good enough all over again, but the most frustrating thing about a display like today is that if more of them had stepped up to the plate we would have taken something from the match.

Highlights Elsewhere:

Droylesden hold on to top spot after a 2-2 derby draw with Stalybridge Celtic with a last minute equaliser completing their comeback from an early two goal defecit, but the Bloods lead only on goal difference from Southport who won 4-2 at Gainsborough Trinity. Fleetwood Town are still strengthening their already expensive squad and new signing Warren Seddon smashed a hatrick to help his side to a 4-2 win over Corby. Telford's form continues to stumble, and a 4-0 thumping at the hands of Alfreton will do little to steady the ship. At our end of the table Solihull's problems continue with a 2-0 defeat at Blyth, while Redditch lost a crucial bottom half battle 3-2 at Harrogate.

Other Match Reports:

Workington website match report;
Gloucester Citizen match report;

Further Reading:

Blue Sqaure North results;
Football Conference League News;
BBC Sport Online BSq North results page

Referee: John Law (Holt Heath, Birmingham) City League Pos: 18th (-3) City Form: LDDLWL

Ref Watch:

Wrong on some big penalty decisions, but otherwise let the match flow (6) Attendance: 331    
Conditions: bright warm sunshine
Lorry Score:
Match Report:
by t-towel

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