Click crest to navigate

Quick links   Home Diary Links Contents Fixtures E-mail Terrace Banter

Bradford survive

Pre-season tour
Gallen signs
Hornets sting Town
Owls shot down
Gray returns
Wijnhard crashes out
Worthington woe
Ayre departs
First home point
Bye Bye Brucie
New manager announced
Fans show anger
9 points to safety
First home win
Ndlovu at first sight
Town leap to safety
Macari wins award
More cup woe
Ndlovu joins Blades
Jamie jumps ship
Town hit rock bottom again
Morris' McApline move
Prodigal son returns
Biggest win
QPR doomed
Nearly there
The bitter end

Saturday 2nd December.

Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-es!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ve done it. For the first time since March (also against Crewe) we have won at home. It’s been a long haul since that lovely Sunny day in Sheffield back in August, and although the opposition were hardly top drawer we have to try to start the long journey to survival somewhere. This was a classic game of two halves, with the first being pretty poor fare but the second finished with Town convincing winners. Since the appointment of Macari and Jordan the work rate of the team has improved dramatically and that feeling of inevitable defeat has diminished, the side looking much more combative now.

The defence had to be re-jigged because of injury to Chris Lucketti, Rob Kozluk’s premature return to Sheffield United and illness suffered by John Dyson. Craig Armstrong returned to his left back duties following his midfield exploits, with Thomas Heary occupying the right back slot allowing Steve Jenkins to partner Kevin Gray in central defence.

Much of the first half was a pretty dull affair with chances at a premium, although Craig Armstrong did have to be alert with a goal line clearance from Mark Rivers on about the quarter hour mark. Nico Vaesen was almost caught out of position after half an hour just managing to punch away a Colin Cramb lob, but both sides looked edgy and determined not to concede the first goal. With Baldry and Thornley playing quite well there was finally some reasonable service into the Crewe area, but the Town strikers looked a little slow to commit themselves forward.

Once again the impending half-time whistle proved to be Town’s Achilles heel, as Crewe waltzed through a static home defence and a ball played through to the unmarked Colin Cramb was despatched without hesitation from 20 yards out. It was harsh on Town who deserved to at least head for their half time cuppa on level terms.

Under the stewardship of Mr Bruce half time team talks were about as effective as a chocolate fire guard with Town playing worse after hearing his words of wisdom. Not so under the leadership of Mssrs Macari and Jordan. Town have more self belief than a month or two ago, and thanks to this re-discovered team spirit parity was restored a couple of minutes after the restart

. I can’t say I remember too much about the build up to the goal, but the fact that it went in is what sticks in my mind. Much improved Simon Baldry found himself in the penalty area under the watchful eye of a Crewe defender, in order to work himself some space he flicked the ball over his shoulder and lobbed the ball towards the goal. It looked certain to clear the crossbar, but no, there it was in the back of the net! At last lady luck had smiled on Town, and for once it was the keeper who had to retrieve the ball, not the ball boy.

Fired up by this stroke of luck (or genius?), Town began to take the game by the scruff of the neck and caused the Crewe defence all manner of problems. One player who looked seriously stretched was Efe Sodje who was particularly noticeable for wearing a tea towel (or pair of undies at the HTFC World web-site alluded to) on his head. Town’s pressure was rewarded just after the hour mark when Martin Smith rose majestically to head in a Thomas Heary cross from the right. It was no less than we deserved and the first home win looked to be a distinct possibility.

Just 6 minutes later the dream became a reality when a spell of Town pressure in the Crewe penalty area caused the ball to break to Kenny Irons about 18 yards out. He immediately shot for goal, and whether it was on target or not matters not, because Kevin Gallen got a little touch to the ball to take it past Jason Kearton in the visitor’s goal. 3-1 up, and the McAlpine faithful were actually smiling for the first time in a long time.

The remaining 25 minutes or so passed with Town well on top, yet producing little to actually trouble the Crewe back line, they had 3 points and weren’t going to let them go. Once the referee finally blew his whistle the crowd just seemed to erupt with joy. The 10,000 who still make the effort to visit the McAlpine were celebrating what the win might signify rather than the quality of a win against very ordinary opposition indeed. If we had lost today then we could have all but mathematically kissed goodbye to this division, whereas the win sees off the home hoodoo and stops us falling any further behind the teams above us. Bring on the Wolves!!

There was some interesting speculation cum fact that a potential investor into the club was watching today’s game. According to Radio Leeds Leeds Leeds he is a Norwegian who is well up the ladder in cruise giant Cunard. Barry Rubery claims to be still enjoying life as a football club Chairman but I’m not so convinced, and the opportunity to bail out would probably appeal to him especially now his best mate’s working for NTL. Rumour has it that he only acquired a football club to have some influence on the bidding for TV rights, and now that is over for 3 years or so his interest might be waning.

TOWN 3 (Baldry 47, Smith 61, Gallen 67)

Crewe Alexandra 1 (Cramb 43)

Position in table – 24th

Town – Vaesen; Jenkins; Heary; Armstrong; Gray; Baldry; Holland; Irons (Sellars 89); Gallen; Smith (Facey 77); Thornley (Gorré 89). Subs not used – Margetson; Schofield.

Crewe Alexandra – Kearton; Wright; Smith; Lunt; Foster; Sodje; Sorvel; Lumsden (Little 67); Jack; Cramb (Hulse 67); Rivers. Subs not used – Bankole; Street; Walker.

Referee – Trevor Parkes (Birmingham). Attendance 10,603



All words and thoughts by Chris except where stated.

A big thank you to Machala for putting up with me doing this and Ian for his support and my Mum for her proof reading.

If you enjoyed this site ... send me a message

If not - tell me