Chapter 8 – The injury

After the serie of home games I prepare for the away match at Barnet. In the meantime, I get an offer for Sertori, the financial situation is quite disastrous, but I cannot deprive myself of the best defender in terms of tackles and headers. I refuse it. Given the economic situation, I renew Marshall, Hope and Ormondroyd who were among the players having a contract shortly expiring. I can’t lose them. There are still 5 players with a short expiring contract: Walker, Clarke, Housham, Wilcox, Shakespear. Clarke and Housham will certainly not be renewed. Wilcox certainly deserves it, but it’s really getting old (now 34) …

The game with Barnet is a disaster, we suffer continuously and we create very little the result is the only thing that can be saved: 2-2. Not a big viaticum in view of the next match at Peterborough. With D’Auria’s return behind the strikers, the first line attacking duo becomes Harsley-Mainwaring. We deservedly win 1-0 with a goal from Harsley. After two months playing every three days there is finally no midweek schedule. We host Darlington and Mainwaring shows up the first hattrick of his young career: it finishes 3-0 with the first MoM. Another week and we face Cardiff away and it ends as it often happened in the past months: 2 shots 2 goals for them and we waste too much. The following Wednesday in the second game of the Windscreen Shield we get a nice 2-2 on the Grimsby field which allows us to leading group.
Three days later we play the first round of the FA challenge at home against Altrincham, the game is very closed and there are not many chances: it ends 0-0 after the 90 minutes. It will have to be repeated in a week.

On November 14th we host Northampton just above us in the standings, it is one of those matches where you need to make points for a thousand different reasons. After three minutes, Mainwaring collapses: shin splints. Northampton dominate and win 4-2. The bad news after the game is terrible: Andrew will be out 4 months…

Mainwaring Injury

The next match is the repetition of the match against Altrincham. Preece has just returned from injury and still not in condition. On the left, I give McAuley a rest and promote Akhmedov. The first half flows without much emotion. At 60′ Marshall leads us ahead. At that point, the Altrincham tries the reaction and a couple of good saves by Colgan lock the final 1-0. The draw for us will face the Stalybridge team of the minor leagues: the third round is within our reach.