Date:Thursday August 16 2007
The Alexandra Stadium
15th August 2007
Crewe crashed to a 3-0 defeat at home to Championship side Hull City, but the scoreline certainly didn't tell the full story. The Alex dominated large periods of the game and arguably had the better chances.
Miller went closest in the first half when he ran clear of the Hull back four, only to fire straight at the keeper. It felt like it was going to be one of those nights when Hull were awarded a penalty in the 44th minute. Tom Pope handled in the area, and Michael Bridges scored from the penalty - albeit after Ben Williams had parried his initial shot.
Right into the second half Crewe had the better chances but squandered them. Balls whistled across the goal face numerous times with no one on the end of them and tame headers went straight into the 'keepers arms.
Crewe were pushing so hard to equalise that they were left vulnerable at the back and it was our undoing for the second goal. Hull quickly broke and when an unmarked Garvia was picked out all he had to do was smash it past Ben Williams from the edge of the area.
Crewe heads dropped slightly as it looked like they could play till Christmas and not score, and the final blow came in the 70th minute. It was an embarrassing blow too. McCready tried to shepherd a ball back to Ben Williams with Steve McPhee snapping at his feet, but a complete lack of communication left neither taking control of the ball and allowing McPhee to poke the ball past Williams.
After that the game fizzled out into nothing, despite Steve Holland's best efforts to keep the team spirit high.
The 3-0 defeat was harsh, but as Dario said - it taught us a lot. Miller and Pope played well but lacked something - a goal threat. They passed it nice, held it up ok and created chances for each other but neither looked like scoring. They look like having the potential to be a fantastic partnership but maybe not for a few months yet.
News came after the match that two new players would be joining - Lee Barnard (Tottenham) and Chris Dickson (Charlton). A partnership that has the looks of a certain Maynard and Varney. Barnard is said to be similar to Varney whilst Dickson has the style of Maynard with maybe more pace and more strength. Hopefully they'll do the job - till January at least.
We also showed we are still prone to the odd error. Poor marking and poor communication could be blamed for goal 2 and 3. No matter how much more solid we look for the other 89 minutes, if the defence switch off for just a second a decent striker will punish them.
It's not all doom and gloom though. We pretty much out played Hull and looked comfortable about it. We created enough goal scoring chance to win it comfortably and a more experienced striker would have put them all away.
There are issues that need to be ironed out, but the makings of a very good team is there in my opinion. We can't expect to stroll it from the off - we're not Man Utd... or are we?
Give us a couple of months, let the new signings settle and I think we'll be looking good.
Tonights defeat may be a blessing in disguise. We now have one less competition to worry about.
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Date:Thursday August 16 2007
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