Careless County Crash
County got into the Halloween spirit by gifting Norwich City the three points at Edgeley Park today.
A much improved Hatters performance was all in vain as Gary Ablett's side slipped to another home defeat in front of over 5000 at Edgeley Park.
Ablett opted for two up front with Peter Thompson partnering Nicholas Bignall in a 4-4-2.
Thompson looked bright early on and should have put County 1-0 up when Carl Baker slid a neat through ball through the Canaries back-line but Thompson could only poke his effort weakly at Fraser Forster's legs and out for a corner.
And the lively Hatters start was all undone after 16 minutes when Michael Raynes made his weekly cock-up by passing the ball to Wes Hoolahan, and a resulting free-kick was dropped into the net by fon Williams via Grant Holt. 1-0.
And the young County side seem to be shot of any confidence when they get a kick in the teeth, though the three sides of County fans were doing their very best to lift the atmosphere.
To their credit, the youthful squad battled back well and in a second-half flurry of chances, Nicholas Bignall fired over from point blank range after a good ball in by Johnny Mullins, and Peter Thompson set up Carl Baker who couldn't quite stay on his feet.
And again, a quick counter-attack made it 2-0 to the Canaries albeit controversially. Chris Martin (not the Coldplay singer) twisted inside Michael Rose and appeared to fall a bit too easily and dramatically under Paul Huntington's challenge.
A penalty was awarded anyway, and Wesley Hoolahan stepped up to crash it past fon Williams for 2-0.
County battled back again though, and soon after they were back in with a shout.
Carl Baker turned inside Gary Doherty and rifled in a quite weak effort that took a wicked deflection off the unsuspecting Peter Thompson and trickled into the net.
The Cheadle End were galvanised and leading the charge yet again, and but for the consistently awful ref who denied a blatant handball shout when Nick Bignall's effort smashed into Doherty's raised arm but hey, why give a penalty when you're waiting to celebrate Norwich's third goal?
The Canaries broke yet again, and Michael Rose conceded possession far too easily to sub Cody McDonald who had time to pick out Grant Holt at the far stick for his second of the game.
So another EP defeat for Gary Ablett's men but a heartening performance from the youngsters.
And who knows, if we can once and for all cut out the silly mistakes, we may be OK. With the fight and spirit we showed today against supposedly stronger opposition, with a bit of luck and an actually competent referee for once, we can survive this.
Come on County.