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The End of the Line, part one: Reviewing January 2021

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Welcome to TSBW January review and what a month it has been. County kicked off the year at home to Altrincham, looking to finish off what they started against them in the reverse fixture on Boxing Day. After the Wrexham victory and in particular the manner of victory, a similar performance; one of consistency and tenacity, would be very sweet indeed.  We barely had time to settle down on the sofa before a dominant County surged forward and Alex Reid fired in from close range following some fine work by Macauley Southam-Hales down the right. Almost a carbon copy of Richie Bennett’s goal against Wrexham it set the tone for a jubilant first half, one which mirrored that of the Wrexham game. Surely this was the moment we had been waiting for? The moment when all the “when will the team gel?” hand wringing finally came to an end.  Well, the second half gave a little indication that we still had to wait sometime yet. The half time substitutions of first half heroes, Reid and Southam-Hales in

Covid, Cups and Life on the Road, part two: Reviewing December 2020

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Welcome to part two of the December review, we left part one after the lethargic loss to Notts County and we moved onto the FA Trophy the following weekend. A competition which most feel is, considering the fixture pile-up, one we could do with being knocked out of early. The team was also back at Edgeley Park after what seemed like about six months and as expected Jim Gannon made several changes with squad players Josh Barnes, Macauley Southam-Hales, Ryan Croasdale, Louis Britton, and Harvey Gilmour all starting.  We could be forgiven for thinking the players were of the same negative opinion as the fans where the Trophy was concerned. While Guiseley weren’t the better side at any point, County were the same weak and moribund version of themselves which lost the previous game, although some slack can be cut here as the bulk of the side had never played together competitively before. Still, Guiseley were a division below and one would expect County to win comfortably and when, against

Crackers and Turkeys - County at Christmas

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Everyone loves a Christmas game, in fact after the first and last games of the season, they’re arguably the next one everyone looks out for when the fixtures are released. Such is the buzz that surrounds Christmas games that any anecdote usually has the day mentioned for extra emotive impact (“Two-down, won 3-2, Wrexham away, Boxing Day ‘96). There is an air of festive enjoyment and a certain relaxed atmosphere that accompanies the Christmas games, no doubt enhanced by the abundance of Christmas ‘spirit’!  A Newcastle United supporting late-friend of mine used to tell the story of thousands of Geordies travelling to Stoke City in fancy dress for a Boxing Day game. His most vivid memory? After a delirious goal celebration, he saw Chewbacca being led away by the police! Where else would you find such scenes but at a Boxing Day game?  In this article we’ll be looking back at County’s fortunes over the festive period, we’ll be digging into the archives, and also looking ahead to how Chris

Covid, Cups and Life on the Road, part one: Reviewing December 2020

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Welcome back, I hope you enjoyed my look back at County's fortunes in the FA Cup which replaced the November review? There has been a lot of focus on the Cup recently and I couldn’t completely leave out everything that happened in November. I’m going to cheat a little and go over our first game back after the enforced Covid-break, Yeovil Town at home in the 2nd Round of the FA Cup.  County entered the game quietly confident of a result against a side who hadn’t won a league game all season, but just peeping out from under the surface was a little apprehension, the apprehension that we hadn’t played in nearly three weeks and a lack of match sharpness and the worry that later in the game fatigue would sap the energy reserves. We barely had time to contemplate these theories when Matty Warburton (who else?) fired the visitors in front. One could hardly comprehend what had happened, but it had, not many players had received the adulation from the EP faithful in modern times like Warbu

The Cup of Cheer and the Poisoned Chalice - County in the FA Cup

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The depressing inevitability that Covid-19 would strike County at some point this season finally became a reality earlier this month and as such there will be no ‘November Review’ for your perusal. Never fear though, the October review is available and I still have your literary needs in mind during lockdown. This month, due to the quirk which means our last and next games are in the FA Cup we’re going to be looking back at County’s run in ‘the world’s oldest and most famous cup competition’ ( © clich├ęd hacks everywhere). Down the years County have played all the famous names, Willenhall Pickwick, Walthamstow Avenue, and of course West Auckland Town. There have been many memorable moments during County’s history in the cup; top of the list must surely be the games against Liverpool, Everton and Queen’s Park Rangers but we’re also going to be reliving the memories of some lesser-known games, and not all of them cover County in cup glory. Also before we begin, a big thank you to Phil B