- I would like to take this opportunity to put on record the heartiest of congratulations to the fabulous under 18’s youngsters (under the excellent stewardship of Jim Hall and Shaun Goater) who proudly paraded their league trophy around the Moss Rose to hugely deserved plaudits from the crowd during the half-time interval. These kids are a credit to the club and it would be great if a really healthy crowd could make it to their domestic cup final against Witton Albion which is to be held this Sunday at the Moss Rose with a 2p.m. kick-off. Entry is FREE so please come down and support these kids because they really deserve it.
- I can honestly say that the most friendliest and welcoming club that I have visited this season have been the Exiles of Newport County and I sincerely hope that they felt as welcomed as we were on that Tuesday evening in October 2018 that resulted in an entertaining 3-3 draw. This was a game that both sides were desperate for the points in, as the Exiles wanted to continue their impressive run in towards sealing a play-off place, whilst we needed the three points to continue our battle to keep distance from the two teams below us.
- I have to admit that upon first viewing of the team sheet, that whilst pleased to see Sol Campbell include both Harry Smith and Scott Wilson in the starting eleven, and Callum Evans starting; I was gobsmacked that Silkmen legend Danny Whitaker (who had a solid 90 minutes in his first 90 minutes after a lengthy lay off) was on the subs bench again with Michael Rose returning to the fray and Brice Ntwambe rather surprisingly maintaining his place and sadly no Nathan Cameron or James Pearson who have both proven to be tremendous acquisitions to the squad.
- It really was a beautiful Easter Monday afternoon as the game kicked off in front of what looked like a healthy Bank Holiday crowd (it turned out to be 2,269 with 309 visitors) and after a quiet start to the game, the Silkmen started to take the game to their high flying visitors who appeared surprisingly nervy when considering their recent rich vein of form. A stray square ball pass from the Exiles number 16 Josh Sheehan provided a golden opportunity to fans favourite Elliott Durrell (whose children Ava and Bobby were mascots and Bobby was celebrating his 5th birthday on that day) raced through on goal but uncharacteristically showed a poor final touch and Exiles ‘keeper Joe Day gratefully dealt with the situation. Harry Smith had a half decent effort comfortably dealt with by Day before Brice Ntwambe almost became an unlikely goal scoring hero in the 40th minute, but an excellent block by the Exiles number 28 Mickey Demetriou prevented what seemed an almost certain goal for the Silkmen.
- As the Silkmen faithful around yours truly in the Star Lane End sipped their half-time beverages the chatter was mainly around how surprisingly poor that County had been when considering that they had amassed 14 out of 18 points over the course of the last six games. The second half commenced with the Silkmen kicking towards the Star Lane End and roared on by its impressive vocal contingent. The second half started in a similar manner to the first half and after the impressive Kelleher had sent over an inviting ball to Harry Smith, the in form striker snatched at the chance and hit the ball high, wide and not too handsome over the Exiles bar and another decent chance had been squandered.
- As the game wore on, the Exiles started to exert a period of control, and it took a fine save from Silkmen stopper Kieran O’Hara to prevent the Exiles taking the lead from the Exiles number 17 Scott Bennett from a dipping half volley before an even better save from the excellent young Silkmen custodian to deny a bullet / goal bound header by County’s number 7 Robbie Willmott that helped to ensure parity. Both sides made use of substitutions in the second period; the Exiles utilising all three of theirs, whilst the Silkmen replaced Scott Wilson for fans favourite Tyrone Marsh in the 69th minute and the tiring Rose with the much younger legs of Reece Cole in the 75th minute.
- Ultimately the game ended in stalemate with the result not harming the Exiles dreams of a play-off place, or more importantly the Silkmen’s chances of preserving their English Football League (EFL) status as both Notts County and Yeovil mirrored our result for the third consecutive game with Yeovil drawing 1-1 with Colchester United at home and Notts County earning a 1-1 draw away at Crawley. So with just two games to go, the Silkmen are still two points clear of the relegation zone, and it really is getting to ‘squeaky bum’ time for the three teams at the bottom of League Two with just one destined to remain within the elite of 92 clubs!
- Great credit must be given to the makeshift defence who held firm against the high flying opposition. Miles Welch-Hayes had his best game in a Silkmen shirt by four country miles and young Fiacre Kelleher pipped him to the award of the Silkmen’s Man of the Match where he appeared to ‘come of age’ on Monday afternoon with a hugely impressive and commanding performance, so very well done young Fiacre!
- I listened to Sol’s interview with the peerless Bobby Trafford in a sort of suspended state of disbelief. Okay yes, we probably had the more clear cut chances but did we deserve the victory? The answer is most definitely NO and more answers on a postcard as to why fans favourite Elliott Durrell is being played down the middle. FFS he is a winger Sol, and arguably the best crosser of the ball that we have at the club, so I implore you Sol to pretty please play him as one and yes I mean as a winger! IMHO Elliott looks VERY uncomfortable and please don’t get me started as to why Danny Whitaker was on the bench again!!
- Okay rant over and onto our penultimate game against the Valiants of Port Vale in a crucial local derby who are of course now under the leadership of Silkmen legend ‘Sir’ John Askey who was so poorly treated by his former employees IMHO. By blatantly plagiarising one of the most iconic and enduring images of World War One in the form of Lord Kitchener ‘Your Silkmen Needs You’ and I earnestly implore that every single Silkmen fan who can do so, be there at Vale Park on Saturday 27th April to roar the Silkmen on to what we hope is a massive three points and a huge stride towards safety for which we all crave. I am Silkmen till I die!
Featured Image courtesy of Chelsie Wilson.