Before our usual excellent blog, just a quick apology and explanation about the lack of blog posts for the last two matches. We’re obviously reliant on people going to the games and as Corby and Workington are rather far away, none of our writers went (for various reasons). Sorry about that, but if you’re interested in joining our little band of bloggers then please get in touch! Right, enough of me…
The long awaited clash of two of Cheshire’s finest, a game officially (unofficially) regarded as “El Cheshico” took place at the Exacta Stadium today. According to some people, this was the BIGGEST derby we are ever likely to play. Never been to a Wrexham game then, Mr Stadium Announcer (tongue firmly in cheek…)?
After what seems like an eternity since out last home game (v Stalybridge), it was good to be back inside the Exacta. The weeks since the Celtic game has seen a the words “budget, projected and loss” bandied around many Cestrians. This was a chance for 90 minutes to forget those worries and look to continue our unbeaten league run, which stands at 22 games now, if you haven’t heard already. Here are some thoughts about the game.
1. New Sights
There were a couple of new signings to feast our eyes upon. Brendon Daniels, one of those ‘young superstars’ from Crewe Alex, and another that caught the eye of many a supporter, Lee ‘Showboat’ Trundle.
Focusing solely on the two new players, they both put in a very good performance. Trundle, while showing a lack of pace, showed us why he was so highly rated at one stage. A few lovely touches, very neat passing play and he held the ball up very, very well. When on the ball he did a few fancy tricks, rolling the ball underneath his boots regularly and he still loves a step over. His distribution of the ball is what impressed me the most though, and he was always willing to be involved in the action, unlike a certain ‘veteran’ signed in the summer… That Proudlock fella, you know?
From the old to the young, and Brendon George Kofi Nana Osei Mainoo Daniels. He was superb today. You can see why he is held in high regard at Crewe. Electrifying pace, very intelligent and a sharp player. Straight from the off he was bursting forward with the ball at pace, beating players at will. Just it was his distribution of the ball that let him down at times. Crewe, judging by todays performance by him, certainly have another gem on their books. It was most definitely Magic by Daniels.
He scored as well, Trundle tracking back picked the ball midway inside the Chester half, saw Ian Howard in acres of space on the left, who run it to the by line and then put a cross in, the initial attempt by Gray was blocked by a Vauxhall defender, but with the goalie committed, the ball fell loose and Daniels was there to poke home into an empty net. A deserved goal as he was making things happen in the first half.
Oh no, another game to criticise the officials. Justifiably as well. There was no real flow to the game. Referee being whistle happy (the norm for this level of football I guess…) but his assistants were not helping him much either. Most notably the second half when the linesman flag on our side was so late with his decisions it was bordering on ridiculous. Not a good performance by the officials again, but there we go, it’s not the first, and it certainly won’t be the last time we are saying that.
I’ve been a critic of Jarman, but today, I can safely say I was wrong. He made a real impact when he came on after 70 mins. Got straight into the thick of the action, won us plenty of free kicks, and was, in short, a real annoyance to the Vauxhall backline. His goal, was extremely well taken. Nathan Turner found space on the left, whipped a ball into the box which found Jarmo, who’s first touch was sublime, to take it around the defender, it enabled him to create a bit of space for himself and with just the goalkeeper to beat, made no mistake and that was the game won.
Vauxhall matched us today though on the whole, and even though they created few chances. We really had to work hard and grind out the win. Vauxhalls number 7 and 8 (forgive me for not knowing their names) were a constant threat on either side of the flanks, but we were up to it. Danby had his hands stung at the end when he superbly tipped a decent looking direct free kick around his near post in 2nd half stoppage time. Great that he was able to keep a clean sheet too, and it takes our record now to 23 league games undefeated.
5. And Finally…..
It was a special day for myself. A few weeks ago, the official website did a caption competition… Anyhow, my caption was one of three winning entries, and I was invited to take part in a “Hit The Post” challenge at Half Time.
Initially, we were supposed to hit the woodwork from the edge of the centre circle, but after Nathan Jarman, and Matty McGinn said to us saying “if we can’t do it from there, how the hell are you going to do it?!” Mr Banks decided to bring us forward about 15 yards. Did it help? No! My aim was to get one of my shots on target. I did that on my first attempt! But it crept over the line, there was a real lack of power, its been a while since I kicked a ball, so in a bid to boost my power, I flicked the ball up and then kick it on the volley. That only made things worse! Both shots going nearer the corner flag than the goal! I achieved a dream of sorts though, to score a goal in front of nearly 3000 at the Exacta Stadium!
Thanks to Jeff Banks and Dan Burns for giving me that opportunity, I’ll take that memory with me for a very long time indeed!