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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

A Month of Promise, part two: Reviewing October 2020

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Welcome back to part two of the October review, when we left off County were nicely poised, recovering well from the opening day defeat to claim back to back wins. A new ground for County was next up as we made the trip to north London to face newly-promoted Wealdstone. The weather dictated that this was their first home game and also their first effort at live streaming, One shouldn’t be too harsh given their standing within the division and the game overall, but we should also not patronise them. They had plenty of time to test and implement a suitable streaming service, simply stating they didn’t envisage the viewing numbers to be so high isn’t really good enough. What we were subjected to was a thoroughly amateur service. The game itself saw County start brightly but the now well-worn phrase “defensive lapse” cropped up to really make the task difficult for the visitors, not once, but twice. Our fellow promotion challengers will not be so forgiving as the Wealdstone defence and it

A Month of Promise, part one: Reviewing October 2020

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Welcome back, missed me? In my last article , I looked back at pre-season and took a little look ahead towards 2020/21. The first month of the season has gone almost as well as we could have expected; second in the league, at the time of writing, and looking mostly determined and focused on the task at hand. But for the moment let’s travel back in time to the beginning of the month, when we actually got within 14 days of being back at EP before the government ‘paused’ the return of fans to ‘elite’ stadiums. A devastating blow for football fans across the country to return to some kind of normality and the subsequent photos of socially-ish distanced theatre performances will have been sickening and frustrating for many a football fan. We must also remember there was also the possibility of the season not starting at all, as the government’s announcement literally came days before the 3rd October kick-off, but a series of meetings secured funding to replace lost gate receipts and the s

Looking Ahead With Both Hope and Fear...

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New kit purchased, season ticket renewed, fixtures released and some new faces lining up in the royal blue. Exciting, isn't it? .  . . What do you mean, “it’s September, County haven’t played a competitive game since March and we don't know whether the season will start or whether there will be more than 1000 fans at Edgeley Park!?”  Sadly, at the time of writing, we don’t know whether we’ll have a season to watch come the first weekend in October or whether we’ll be returning to EP for the first time in seven months the following Tuesday when we host FC Halifax Town. However, this is a debate for another time. We’re in a strange limbo at the moment; we can’t have fans in the ground, but we can’t start without them either (the release of the fixtures have merely added an air of surrealism to it). Whether we’re only allowed 1000 or 2700 at Edgeley Park remains to be seen and the question of just how County intend to ‘choose’ 1000 of the 2000+ season ticket holders to attend home

The Beautiful Game and the Black Dog

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The life of a footballer, or indeed any professional athlete, is one fans envy; the glory, the money, the fact they’re being paid to do a job an ordinary fan would probably do for free. It makes them seem superhuman to us mortals. But what about the person behind the fame and Luis Vuitton washbag? What about when the dream turns into a nightmare and we see the real human behind the veneer? As males we’re told from an early age to “man up”, we're told that “boys shouldn’t cry” and all the usual “stiff upper lip” macho nonsense. Depression is an unseen illness, there are no outward physical symptoms, and even in 2020 people who claim to be living with the symptoms of depression are sometimes thought of as weak-minded or are merely making it up. The real shame in all of this is that some young boys and adolescents actually believe this and by the time they move into adulthood they’re a lot less likely to discuss their feelings (something which is seen as a feminine trait), especially