Blue Square Bet North
Gainsborough Trinity (1) 1
Greg Young 5
Stalybridge Celtic (0) 2
Mitchell Austin 51
Kelvin Bleau 68
Admission £11, Programme £2.50, Attendance 506
|Official attendance 506|
Jan Budtz, Dominic Roma, Josh Wilde, Greg Young (Jonathan Williams 89 mins), Danny Hone, Michael Leary, Jonathan Dlaryea, Craig Thorpe, Dominic Knowles, Darryn Stamp (Bradley Barraclough 69 mins), Jamie Yates (Terry Hawkridge 55 mins)
Unused Subs: Mark Wilson, Lynton Karkach
Alex Cairns, Kelvin Bleau, Callum Warburton (Joel Bembo-Leta 86 mins), Tim Ryan, Kristian Platt, Prince Hayward, Tom Buckley, Greg Wilkinson, Jack Laird (Dennis Sheriff 90 mins), Corey Gregory, Mitchell Austin (Alec Mudimu 74 mins)
Unused Subs: Rico Gomes, Adam Pepper
Trinity went into this game as the form team, on the back of seven consecutive wins, which form part part of an impressive twelve game unbeaten run.
And, of course, they're through to the last 32 in the FA Trophy after beating Forest Green Rovers (away) last Saturday.
The home side were a goal to the good on five minutes as Greg Young arrived in the box late to get on the end of an in-swinging Josh Wilde corner kick ... and so it looked as though we were in for an afternoon of 'business as usual'.
Alas, despite starting well today and looking like the only team who were going to get anything out of this game for the first twenty minutes, they were decidedly average for the remaining seventy, as Stalybridge got more and more into their stride and, in the end, deserved to win this (at times) fairly grim encounter, played under deep grey skies, on a wet and miserable afternoon.
|Watch the late run from that Greg Young ...|
|he's that number 4 who just arrived in shot ...|
|yeah that's him, the one who just scored!|
Whilst the Trinity staff and fans who'd worked on the pitch for several hours, in the build up to the kick off (there were several pre match pitch inspections, by all accounts), must've wondered if it had been worth all that effort by the time the final whistle sounded.
At the end of the game, I did hear a few people of the 'Holy Blues' persuasion, muttering sentiments along the lines of "They threw it away and ran out of steam, after peaking too soon" ... and granted, they may have had a point.
But in essence, Stalybridge had actually kept the ball and knocked it around well after the break, containing and restricting the Blues movement, whilst clinically finishing off two of their goal chances, which were both created from passes knocked through both the left and the ride channels into the Trinity area, by Greg Wilkinson and Corey Gregory respectively. Whilst the Blues back four stood still and held their line rigidly, allowing both runners, namely left winger, Mitchell Austin and right back, Kelvin Bleau, to put angled balls into the back of the net, past Jan Budtz, the impressive Gainsborough keeper, who's recent form has been the key to his sides great run of results.
In between the visitors scoring twice, Trinity did pick up some momentum, when Terry Hawkridge hit the upright, while Michael Leary and Darryn Stamp both put shots wide of the Alex Cairns' goal.
But then Stalybridge went on the attack and Jan Budtz was called into action, saving goal bound efforts from both Greg Wilkinson and Jack Laird.
Sadly, a game that had started so brightly for Greg Young, ended painfully for him when he had to go off injured, late in the game, having taken a hefty knock on his ankle.
He did appear to be in quite a lot of pain.
Greg was last seen leaving the Northolme on crutches, en route to the hospital to have an X-Ray.
Hopefully it's not anything too serious, because Trinity have a challenging run of fixtures coming up, starting with a trip to FC Halifax Town on Boxing Day, followed by a long haul down to Worcester City on the 29th in another Blue Square Bet *North* fixture.
I think there are probably only London, Kent and Cornwall left nowadays, that aren't considered to be 'oop north', when it comes to allocating teams places within the pyramid structure of non league football.
Trinity did try to chase the game in stoppage time, but in the end, it was a case too little, too late ... and the Badgers held on to take three valuable points off of their fourth placed hosts.
By the way, I didn't realise until this afternoon, that Stalybridge are nicknamed 'the Badgers', despite have seen them play dozens of times. I'd always thought they were called either 'the Bridge', 'the Celts', just plain old 'Celtic'.
But whatever they're called, I don't think a lot of people really appreciated just how effectively they had sprayed the ball around and played Trinity off the park for most of the second half.
Even their own merry band of young followers, who hung up their flags and sang for the entire match, belted out a chorus of: "We're winning away - We're winning away - How shit must you be!? - We're winning away".
Full time - Gainsborough Trinity 1 v Stalybridge Celtic 2
|The Club Shop Kop|
A Boxing Day double: Sherwood Colliery v Glapwell, an 11am kick off, in the CMFL North. Followed by the Blue Square Bet Premier, local derby, between Mansfield Town and Alfreton Town, which kicks off at 3pm.