LINES FROM LONDON V CREWE



I think we'll win tonight. Of the opposition I've seen so far I can't say I've been at all impressed, with the exception of Peterborough but we still managed to beat them. Crewe have won two, lost two and drawn one in their five games so far and are mid-table. I don't know if Willis has recuperated but if not, new lad Sanderson could well play a part and despite fears about McLaughlin in some quarters, I thought he put in a good performance against Swindon. Hopefully the much-derided Wyke will be in a confident mood after his well-taken goal on Saturday so maybe we'll finally see what he's made of... I'm all for Kimpioka being brought on in the later stages as he certainly knows where the goal is but I doubt we'll see that happen. There've been hints that Hume will be back and that can only be good news. Mikael Mandron likes to score against us and if he's playing for them, I fear that he'll get one. I'll be watching the match on SAFSEE with my bubble and my match prediction is a 3-1 win.

I got the team-news just after 6.00 and was pleased to see Hume was starting. Diamond was on the bench but there was no sign of Sanderson, or Kimpioka of course. I opened a can of Heineken as we accessed SAFSEE. The opening five minutes were even enough but pretty scrappy with a lot of balls going astray. We won the first corner in the eighth minute and it finally resulted in a second corner from the same side from which Power completely missed his kick and Crewe broke away quickly. We soon won a third corner and we really had them penned into their box. Maguire fed a great ball to Wyke on the edge of their area and he turned and shot but it went over the bar. Crewe survived the pressure and looked like they might score after Hume had been taken to the cleaners on our left till O'Nien conceded our first corner. They soon won a second but Wyke headed powerffully away. We quickly won back the ascendency and our corner tally kept totting up and then we won a free-kick just near the right angle of their box in the twenty-fifth minute. Maguire took it and his shot went not too far wide of the right post. Our first real effort on target came just on the half-hour when a Hume cross fom the left was headed goalwards by Wyke but Jaaskelainen in goal had it covered well. Next thing a great dipping Gooch shot went very narrowly over and a strong Power drive was blocked by the goalie. As half-time approached it looked like it was going to be goalless despite our many goalbound efforts. Two minutes later a Maguire drive was deflected for a corner and it looked like it had gone in. I was fearing it was going to be a repeat of the Hull League Cup game where we dominated but lost in the end. Just to prove me wrong, thank God, a great run down the right and cross by Gooch bounced once in front of goal and Wyke was there again to nod in his second goal in two games.

We started the second-half as we'd left off but couldn't capitalise on our chances and Crewe fought back to win their third corner. O'Nien was doing well at the centre of defence in the absence of Willis. Eight minutes in we had a great chance for a second following a low cross from the left by Hume but Power couldn't keep his shot down. We were all waiting for that second goal as we continued to dominate and every time Hume and Gooch got it on the flanks we looked threatening. In the sixty-sixth Wyke challenged for the ball with Jaaskelainen just outside their box resulting in a yellow card for the latter and a free-kick for us from which a Wright header somehow bounced over the bar. Time was ticking away rapidly and Gooch looked certain to score but Jaaskelainen made a great save to keep his shot out. In the seventy-third O'Brien came on for Maguire. We were hustling Crewe and giving them very little space but with only one goal between us and ten minutes left I was far from relaxed.


Dobson replaced Scowen and Crewe were enjoying a solid period of pressure that I could've done without. With four minutes on the clock Flanagan came on for Gooch as we went to shore things up but we were looking wobbly at the back and it was a case of hanging on. There were four minutes of stoppage-time and it was going to be a nailbiter. We won our tenth corner of the night in the last minute and we kept it short but very soon the whistle went and we'd won, again.

Once again we created loads of chances but failed to convert most of them. Still, despite it being a little nerve-wracking near the end, we've got another three points and another clean sheet.


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