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Monday 31 August 2009
Blue Square Conference North
(match 7)
at Corinium Stadium, Cirencester.
Blue Square North logo

New Tigers Badge: no-one knows why...

Gloucester City


AFC Telford United

Telford badge - Buck's Ed.

HT (0-0)

City kit 07Telford away kit

M.Nolan (72)

S.Whitehead ©
© N.Mustoe
Man of the Match W.Morford
D.Carey-Bertram (for 10, 64)
(for 6, 72) S.Robinson
(for 9, 83) L.Ballinger
(for 11, 83) J.Pitcher
L.Blakeman (for 2, HT)
M.Nolan (for 7, 70)
City: W.Morford (44 dissent), L.Ballinger (90 dissent)
Telford: C.Rodgers (75 foul tackle)
Dismissals: none

T-Ender City MotM: Will Morford - his best game since promotion. Full of clever running and had the beating of Telford skipper Whitehead on several occasions. Still could do with a little shooting sharpness, but full marks for effort and energy.

grass trim rule

City were desperately unlucky to see a far more committed and consistent performance end without any reward as Telford snatched all three points at Cirencester this afternoon. City had shown as much attacking promise as the visitors and but for some good goalkeeping, hesitant finishing and eccentric refereeing would surely have found the net. As it was a competitive Telford sent their fans home the happier thanks to the solitary strike of the game, courtesy of a long through ball that isolated Tigers' captain Neil Mustoe whose desperate efforts to reach the bounce also saw the skipper limp off with a hamstring pull.

City had their chances to take the lead and did well in spells in a first half that saw us gown in confidence. Perhaps our best opportunity came when the Telford keeper spilt a Lee Marshall long throw into the box. As the defence descended into frantic chaos Lee Smith, then Mike Symons, then Smith again, all saw strong efforts on goals blocked or deflected as the ball ricocheted tantalisingly around the penalty area.

City managed to put together a slick attacking move before the break, with Mike Symons' producing a top draw bit of control on the turn to set Morf free. The City striker seemed to have got beyond his marker Whitehead, but perhaps lacking a little confidence, checked and played in Alex Sykes. However the City winger was checked before reaching the ball, one of those cynical challenges that would have drawn a free kick outside the box, but you know has little chance of leading to a penalty when it happens in the box.

City seemed to lack a little of their previous energy as the game wore on and survived a scare when keeper Mike Green managed to get under a high cross and punch the ball behind him towards his own goal line, more than a little fortunate to find Baldwin covering and able to head away from under the crossbar.

Our best chance to take the initiative came when the industrious Morford mugged Telford sub Blakeman in midfield and found Lee Smith in space. The City right-winger nailed a hatrick at Corby on Saturday so fancied his chances, and went close with a fierce drive just tipped over the bar by Young - a save so quick it left the ref floundering and awarding a goal-kick. The keeper must have had mixed feelings about seeing his fine work ignored by the uninspiring official.

The only goal came as City looked to have refound their first half rhythm, but with the side pushing forward there were gaps at the back. A deep ball down the left dissected the City defence and was picked up on the turn by Bucks' sub Matt Nolan, who had only recently joined the match. Mustoe's efforts to provide cover were ended as he pulled up suddenly, but Nolan still did well to unleash a fierce low drive which flew past Green's left hand.

City tried to claim a deserved result from the match, and twice almost managed to find an equaliser. A clever training ground move saw Alex Sykes find room in the six-yard box to meet a low Smith free kick, but his low shot was smartly blocked by the Telford keeper. Sub Jack Pitcher also went close, hurling himself at another Smith cross into the near post, but from a tight angle his stooping header flew just wide of the post.


grass trim rule
T-Ender Match Snaps
That's not a foul - Hambo gets a shove from Telford skipper Stuart Whitehead. That's not a foul either - as that Telford man gets to grips with Symo in the box.
Now THAT is a foul - Marshall does something a bit wrong. In midfield Palmer jumps in ahead of Telford's Carl Rodgers.

Team Selection:

Two games in three days was always going to be tough on some of our older legs, and especially those carrying knocks or just returning from lay-offs. Skipper Neil Mustoe seems to be job-sharing with Matt Rose, and took his starting spot - whilst James Palmer and Will Morford also got a recall. Bally can probably feel most aggrieved at finding himself on the bench - but he's the type to forget he's coming back from a stress fracture on his foot...

TBBM Said:

'Pride of Telford' - Is that the weakest boast possible from Telford's football team?
There's not a lot to be proud of in the Midland's forgotten new town...

Tactics Board:
Lord knows. It was hard to tell if we were playing 3-5-2 or 4-4-2 at times. Either Mustoe was at right-back and kept getting pulled or required to cover too much centrally, or Smith was playing right wingback and neglecting his defensive duties - especially when we lost possession. There were plusses though - Webb's energy in midfield has been sorely missed, and Marshall looks more and more at home playing at left-back.
Anorak Corner:

Not only was this the first match this season in which we've been kept from scoring, but it was the first time we've been scoreless since the 0-1 home defeat to Clevedon Town on 4 April last season - a total of 15 matches. Teflord must be very proud. As an added twist, the last keeper to not pick the ball out of his net facing City was Mike Green, now wearing our gloves but on loan at Clevedon for our game with them last Spring.

T-Ender Verdict

We could easily lose perspective on all of this as we see our fourth home match end without a point on the board. But we need to recognise we've played some strong sides. Telford were amongst the sides tipped pre-season for a play-off spot, and while they showed glimpses of quality we matched them over 90 minutes and can feel ourselves unlucky to lose. On this showing, we son't have any need to reach for the panic button yet.

Highlights Elsewhere:

Leaders Corby seem to be stuttering - having lost their first game to us on Saturday they followed that up with a 1-0 defeat today at Alfreton. They lose top spot to Eastwood Town who are flying with a 4-1 win at Gainsborough also sending Trinity's new boss, former Villa and Leicester manager Brian Little, to a debut defeat.

Other Match Reports:

Telford United website;
BBC Shropshire report;
Tiger Roar post-match interview with Boris.

Further Reading:

Blue Sqaure North results;
Football Conference League News;
BBC Sport Online BSq North results page

Referee: Andy Newell (Yate, Bristol) City League Pos: 17th (-2) City Form: LWLWLL

Ref Watch:

However hard you try not to simply slate the refs this fella made that impossible. Missed fouls, penalties and corners with alarming frequency (5) Attendance: 617    
Conditions: breezy, sunnier as game wore on
Lorry Score:
Match Report:
by t-towel

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