I know, I know. I should’ve stayed at home. Maybe next time I will.
Every now and again, Town have this tendency to throw in a tardy performance – normally when I’m in attendance – and the one at Macclesfield on Monday was another example.
Whatever tactical points Hurst won against Wrexham on Saturday were discarded in a shambolic first half in which the Mariners treated the ball like some kind of ticking time bomb that none of them wanted to hold onto for more than a millisecond.
Clay couldn’t even get the ball under control to get rid of it.
I was surprised Hurst dropped Hoban for Bogle for this one. The pitch looked bobbly and the wind was swirling. It was a game for players who were brave enough and strong enough to hold the ball up and look after it. Forget the fact that he hasn’t scored for us yet.
The first half was utterly, utterly forgettable. It was clippy, clippy, clippy, hoof, hoof, hoof. Slice. Throw-in. Repeat.
Bogle had a shot from distance, and Podge fired wide. A Clay header looped and needed touching over the bar, but generally there wasn’t much going on.
Fittingly, the opening goal didn’t come from any ingenuity. A solid tackle from Town in the centre turned into a great through-ball for Macclesfield, and as McKeown rushed out it was squared for Sampson to tap home.
There’s a naughty analogy about first touches, but I won’t stoop so low. Suffice to say, not one of the 22 full-time professional footballers looked capable of trapping a bag of clay. Talking of which, he went off, Jennings came on and Nolan went into the centre – not that it made a difference.
Hurst, presumably, had words at half time – words like ‘pass’, ‘shoot’ and ‘stop being dicks’ up his sleeve. They must have come out, because they had the desired effect.
We were a little bit sharper, we were braver in possession and we deservedly levelled in the second half when a McKeown punt was held up by Bogle, helped on by Amond and finished nicely by Nolan.
It came in a 20-minute spell where we just looked the part. Macclesfield were reduced to speculative punts – which was no different from their first half tactic, except now they were seeing less of the ball.
I remember a time when I spent ages making myself a lovely meal, only to catch the cuff of my dressing gown on the handle of the kitchen door as I carried the plate through to the living room. The food went everywhere. It was an utterly weird event that ruined all my hard work.
The football equivalent happened to Town.
The nature of the winner was ridiculous, and having not seen a replay of it, I’m still trying to decide whether it was dozy from the linesman or dozy from Toto. As someone suggested on Twitter, it was possibly both.
Styche nearly fell over laughing when he was allowed to chase a ball from what appeared to be a position 20 yards offside. Toto, who runs lazily and yet would beat me and you in a race hands down, looked like he’d just about recovered the situation, only for the ball to drift over McKeown and roll into the empty net.
Styche celebrated like he’d been getting abuse from the Town fans all game. I don’t get it when goalscorers run to the opposing fans cupping their ears. We weren’t giving you any shit because we don’t know who the fuck you are.
Using Glenn Hoddle’s theory of reincarnation, Town must have upset linesmen in a previous life because they’re sure as hell messing with us this season. The ‘goal’ at Altrincham; the ‘no goal’ at Guiseley; and now this. I don’t know what the green is, but we’re not getting the rub of it.
Town had chances, yadder, yadder, Shaun where’s-he-been-all-game Pearson came on too late, Macclesfield could’ve grabbed a couple more when Town went pushing for the equaliser… it was all a bit messy, a bit disjointed and, if I’m honest, not quite good enough.
As for Macclesfield, well, it’s hard to describe them. I’ve thought about this a lot, and I’ve settled on a bag of shit.
A big bag of shit, with the shiny head of Danny Whitaker at the centre of it.
They’re absolute cloggers – and there’s nothing wrong with that, if it gets you three points (it often does in this division). It was good enough to get the better of us, which is kind of worrying – but we did give them a big helping hand by being a bag of shit ourselves.
Nolan was good, though.