Cammell Laird 1-2 Cheadle Town

Well will you look at that?

From a period that saw us go seven matches without a win to one with four wins on the trot; a month is a very long time in politics and an even longer one in football.

The run started with a show of piercing attack at Bacup Borough and was continued last night with one of resolute defence.

 At the end of the rainbow, Mssrs Trucca, Allcock and Whiting. And three points.

At the end of the rainbow, Mssrs Trucca, Allcock and Whiting. And three points.

It had to be resolute as we were down to ten men for 99% of the second half - Callum Collinson taking the early shower for a second yellow card - with Cammell Laird putting us under some severe pressure, particularly in stoppage time, after they had pulled a goal back.

Before all of that fingernail-biting nonsense started to unfold, we had built ourselves a deserved 2-0 lead thanks to our first-half endeavours.

After a shaky opening ten minutes which had already seen Joe Shaw collect a yellow card in the 2nd minute (hindsight tells us that he was going to have a card-happy evening), we settled down, got our passing game going and took the lead on the 12th minute; Chris Sherrington firing in a free-kick that the Lairds keeper couldn't hold, allowing Rick Whyatt to react and bundle the ball home from close range.

Ryan Allcock had to be quick moments later to come out and punch clear before seeing the Lairds no11 screw a shot across his goalface and wide of the post.

Just after the half-hour we stretched our lead further thanks to the Sherrington brothers combining: Chris' free-kick on the right fizzed in for Mike to steal in ahead of his marker and sharply head home.

Mike then had a chance to make it 3-0 when he burst through on the right but was denied by an excellent block by the Lairds keeper before Ryan Allcock was called into action on the stroke of half-time; like his counterpart did beforehand, he also had trouble holding onto a free-kick but was quick enough to recover and make a second stop.

Callum Collinson had already received a yellow card for kicking the ball away midway through the first half before collecting another some 60 seconds into the restart.

Some five minutes later our lead was cut - Cooper's run-and-shot taking a nick off one of our defenders to wrongfoot Allcock - which meant that for the next 40 minutes we would have to show some resolve.

And we did. In spades.

We limited Cammell Laird to very little in the main body of the match - Ryan Allcock pushing away an acrobatic effort on the 65th minute - but then came under siege in stoppage time after the hosts won a succession of corners, all of which caused heart-in-mouth moments but all of which were expertly dealt with by our back line.

We would have to wait for any window of opportunity to steal a third. We were given two: Rick Whyatt unleashing a long-ranger on 79 minutes that had the keeper scrambling to push it away and a cross from Chris Sherrington on the left that somehow didn't go in after cannoning off Luke Cotton and the Lairds keeper.

And all of this amidst a volley of yellow cards from the referee. We came away with six bookings (including the two for Callum) and, whilst I wasn't counting Lairds' tally, they also had a man sent off in the 87th minute. We can only assume the conversation between referee and his assessor in attendance went long into the night.

 Together...

Together...

The frequency of fixtures has meant a tough run for our coaching/managerial staff and the players but they have coped with it admirably. In another 24 hours they are all on the road again as they head to AFC Blackpool for the final away match of the season.

Just four more matches remain....

TEAM: Allcock, Nield, Harrison, Holt (Delaney), Shaw, Dunn, Collinson, Wood (Jones), M Sherrington (Cotton), Whyatt, C Sherrington. SUBS: Delaney, Cotton, Jones, Whiting (gk).