MK Fightback Leaves County High & Dry
Saturday 6th February/3pm
Franchise produced a second-half comeback to stretch County's winless streak to 16 games at EP today in front of a depressing crowd of around 3700.
Striker George Donnelly and defender Mat Sadler came in for their home debuts as Jabo Ibehre and Jemal Johnson missed out due to clauses in their loan deals from MK Dons. Former MK boys Danny Swailes and Richie Partridge started, while Franchise included three ex-Cunty players in Stevie Gleeson, Aaron Wilbraham and Jermaine Easter (booooooooooooo!).
As has been the case since the new boys came into the team, the Hatters had the best of the opening exchanges, creating chances and getting forward at will.
Donnelly could have given us the lead in just the 3rd minute but his strike from wide on the left wing was parried out for a corner by keeper Gueret.
County did take the lead in the 10th minute of the match though through the target man Donnelly, and it was an impressive team move.
Partridge won the ball on the right and nutmegged Dean Lewington, before slipping a pass through to Donnelly, around 20 yards out. The Plymouth man took a touch before coolly chipping a shot over Wily Gueret in the MK goal. The County fans were jubilant but there was still that nagging doubt of not being able to hold onto the lead.
And hey ho, we were proved wrong minutes later. Or at least, we should have been. Partridge burst into the area and was taken out by defender Danny Woodards, as the ball flew into Gueret's arms. But while the once again inept referee waved away the protests for a penalty, the linesman on the far side was flagging for a penalty. It was eventually given, and after a long wait, Donnelly failed to double his tally and the Hatters lead as his effort was tipped onto the bar by Gueret. Good save, but typical of County's season.
And just to rub it in, Easter went down to the other end and equalised, poking home after his first header was palmed away by Williams. And the striker couldn't wait to celebrate like an arsehole in front of the Cheadle End...but in terms of how the rest of his game went, it was probably not worth it!
He was mercilessly torn to shreds by the three sides of the ground for the rest of the match, but as soon as he was taken off deep into the second half, once again got cocky and waved off the County supporters. Always hated him (!)
From then on, it could have been 4-1 to MK by half-time. The lead should have gone to the visitors three minutes after Easter's leveller, when a cross found it'sway to the former County hitman at the back post, but he could only bring the ball down before blazing it over the bar from all of two yards. This was where the 'mercilessly torn apart' bit came in as the whole of the Cheadle End stood to wave their arms above their head and generally just shout in glee at Easter.
And it was Wilbraham's turn next, as the ex-County boys seemed to be doing all they could to let County off the hook. Easter once again got into the area, and he pulled the ball back to 'Alby' who had an open net from literally a yard out. If you weren't at the match, just tune into Soccer AM next Saturday for their weekly feature 'Taxi for...' as Wilbraham somehow managed to scoop the ball up and back into the grounded fon Williams' arms. Wow. Think Kanu for West Brom a few years back.
The ribbing the front two were getting was all that was happening entertainment-wise for the County fans to be honest, apart from a few banners aimed at Brian Kennedy. If you've been reading Yellowboard lately, you would have been led to believe there was going to be much more protesting than that today. But there you go.
On a more pro-active note, there IS a meeting for County fans to attend on Saturday the 13th of February at the Bungalow Pub next to Edgeley Park to plan what's happening next and where we go from here, in terms of any demonstrations or protesting.
Anyway, this game was soon sewn up for the Dons as once again a second-half County side ran out of steam and Aaron Wilbraham and substitute Andros Townsend curled in strikes to maintain Paul Ince's play-off push.
I've defended Gary Ablett a lot on here and I obviously still think he can do well with us in the right working conditions in what will soon be League Two for us. But it baffles me how youngster Danny Pilkington can do so well, and even today make an impact when coming on as a late sub, yet be dropped back to the bench once the ineffective David Poole is back in the fold. Yes, he puts in 100 %, but so would I...it doesn't mean I'm a good footballer. The same could be said for Adam Griffin, but I'm going to be slightly hypocritical here and say I'm a fan of Griffin. Yes he may be limited in what he can do, but he's a solid defender and can attack and whip in a good ball when needed. In the circumstances, he's a decent player for us. Poole, however hard he tries, runs around like a headless chicken. And you know who we have to thank for this inspired signing?
Well, Mr Melrose of course. All the way back in August. And he's still not ACTUALLY taken over the club.
I'm sounding a proper moaning git now, but hopefully Melrose can get the take-over sorted next Thursday. If not, get to the Bungalow on Saturday, and we take action.
Animo Et Fide.