Monday 5th August 2013
North West Counties League Premier Division
MAINE ROAD 2 RUNCORN TOWN 1
Tea Hut Stuff: Had a big tea before I got there
Parking: Busy club car park
Weather: Late sunshine after a day of rain
5am. The day after the night before. Surely, on occasion, you must have awoken with that awful realisation that something bad has happened? It normally takes a few seconds to recollect what the tragedy is. I had this uncomfortable experience first thing this morning, then it hit me... Brantingham Road, Maine Road FC and one of the most out of character Runcorn Town performances since.. well.. the last time Town came here, if anything, last nights debacle was worse than last seasons questionable poor showing.
Two of the best sides in the NWCL were expected to put on a feast of football, it fell as flat as an upturned takeaway pizza. This was a scrappy disjointed football match perpetrated by an up-and-at-em Maine Road side resolutely committed to hard and fast tackling in an aggressive pack formation. Runcorn Town never settled and got sucked into the trap. Despite ample possession Town failed to dominate, distribution could have been better, a calm controlling midfield presence was lacking and clear cut chances were very much limited in supply. Maine Road can counter attack very quickly and once they got the all important opening goal it was going to take something very special to unlock their solid defensive formation. Unfortunately, in this match, nobody had a set of keys on them.
The genuine frustration is that Town can play so much better than this, I remember driving home thoroughly fed up at such an ugly, fragmented brute of a football match. With no disrespect intended, the fact is sides like Maine Road and a lot more outfits not as talented as them are going to set out to stop Runcorn Town playing their normal attractive football. That's the game, its not breaking any rules, but it doesn't make it any easier to stand there and watch it. What I am sure about is that some side is going to take a tanking for last nights disappointment, the Management will make sure of that. Bring it on!
From a quality-football perspective, a game best forgotton, unless of course, you are a Maine Road fan, credit to Road they did what they had to do very well indeed. The Manchester side have now beaten Barnoldswick and Runcorn Town in the first 3 days of the new season. Their intentions are obvious and they are a clear and evident danger. Under estimate them at your peril.