Bank Holiday Weekend Wrapped Up
It was an up and down festive weekend for Crewe. After proving ourselves against high flying Rochdale all the festive cheer turned a little sour with a heavy defeat at Macclesfield.
Saturday's Boxing Day clash with league leaders Rochdale was one of the best games we've seen for a while. Whilst 'Dale clearly had the quality, we more than matched them all over the park and it made for a great, entertaining football game, perhaps one we should have won.
Despite having to pull it back twice to get the point it still felt a bit of a two-points-lost game. We had the chances and we had the possession, all that lacked was a calm head in defence and some clinical finishing up front.
Still, it gave us a good indication of how far we'd come in recent months (though not in recent years). It was the sixth game on the trot without defeat and we looked a good bet to mount a serious play-off push. It was in stark contrast to what followed on Monday afternoon, two days later.
At Macclesfield Dario decided to rest arguably three of our best players from Saturday, Zola, Walton and King, whilst Joel Grant was ruled out through injury. Disaster would be putting it lightly.
Whilst 4-1 did go some way to flattering a poor Macclesfield outfit, we offered little, other than possession and feeble long shots, till Zola was introduced on the hour mark. Defensively it was shambolic with three of the four Macc goals easily avoidable but for slips from O'Donnell and Worley.
Dario's excuses were not what we wanted to hear either; players rested after playing one game in the previous 14 days and that he 'needed to see some players in action'. In reality I doubt Dario missed his blooper, but you won't get a football manager admitting his mistakes.
It was all made a little more annoying by the fact the Rochdale performance was followed up by Monday's. We had a great chance to close the gap on the play-offs, stretch that great unbeaten run to 7 games and end 2009 on a high. Silly management however cost us.