Captain’s View: Richard Bunting’s weekly look inside The Walks
- Credit: IAN BURT
I sat down to write my latest column on Tuesday instead of setting off for our game at Coalville Town.
While I enjoy doing the 'Captain's Diary' for the Eastern Daily Press, I'd have much preferred to be playing in what was without a doubt going to be the biggest match of the season so far.
I will touch on the disappointment of the postponement later, but this week I have to start with news of another new face at The Walks.
At the weekend the gaffer, Gary Setchell, finally signed Dan Jacob from St Neots Town. I say finally as he has mentioned Dan's name so many times since I first met him way back at the end of May.
Dan is a player I know the manager has been desperate to get – and one he obviously rates so highly. I haven't met him yet, but a few of the lads say he will fit in really well here. But I have seen him play, though, as a lot of the fans have, and I'm sure he can give the team something different going into the run-in. Anybody who can score, as well as create, goals, will prove to be great business from the gaffer I'm sure.
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Since my last column we have drawn consecutive away matches. First up we surrendered a 2-1 lead at Carlton Town last Wednesday and that was followed by a goalless draw at Newcastle Town on Saturday.
Is it a case of four points dropped or two good away points being picked up on the road, thus extending our unbeaten run to 11 matches? Personally, I think it's a bit of both, because while we are all desperate to pick up maximum points in each game we're involved in, matches on the road in this league are very tough.
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After getting ourselves in front at Carlton we were disappointed to concede an equaliser, especially from a set play. And from set play I mean a throw in. I don't know what gym their full-back goes to, but I wouldn't mind joining.
The lad had such a long throw, which we were aware of from the home fixture against them earlier in the season, and Carlton really use it to their advantage, loading the box every time they have a throw in the opposition's half. They are like corners for them and it finally got them a goal after we had defended all the others so well.
It was definitely our second draw that disappointed me most. I felt we played really well at Newcastle and did more than enough to come away from there with all three points.
We limited the home side to barely an attempt on Danny Gay's goal, while creating countless chances ourselves. Unfortunately for us it was an afternoon when nobody seemed to have their shooting boots on as the chances were shared out among the side. I think there is a chance we could still be playing now and the game would still be goalless.
However, what would have been our final chance to break the deadlock in the dying seconds never came because the ref refused to give, what for me, was a definite penalty.
The lad who handled the ball was laughing at the fact he got away with it, but the ref said he felt it was ball-to-hand – which I thought was a strange comment as the ball bounced, then hit the lad's thigh, before striking his arm. This sort of incident hardly happens quickly either.
I am not blaming the ref for us drawing as we should have been out of sight by this point, but these are the sort of breaks you need to go for you sometimes. To be fair it just wasn't our day on Saturday.
I just also want to mention – and thank – the away support we have received all season to be fair. But two long away trips in a week takes some special dedication and it's often the same faces I notice cheering us on.
We once again are all so appreciative of the support we get so hats off to you all.
It will be nice to get back to The Walks on Saturday when we host Leek Town after some really tough away games.
We have come through a tricky spell with our unbeaten run still intact and it would be good to get a bumper crowd at the weekend to cheer the lads on for what will hopefully be another victory and a step closer to what we want to achieve, before we travel to Chasetown on Tuesday night.
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