Let’s get the negative statistic out of the way first.
This was the first time that Cheadle Town had lost their first competitive match of the season since the 2007-08 campaign. Funnily enough that was a 0-2 away defeat and all (at Padiham, in case you are wondering) but my memory serves me correct enough to recall that it was nowhere near as frustrating as this one.
After a shaky start in which we conceded in the 3rd minute, we laid siege to the Cammell Laird net with the ball always managing to find an outstretched limb in its path.
The match was barely three minutes old when we conceded our first of the season.
Cammell Laird broke down the right and Danny Whiting looked to be winning the race to a threaded through-ball but then hesitated slightly, allowing Lairds’ Ollie Nugent to nip the ball around him and slide home from an angle.
That was to be the home side’s last meaningful shot on goal until the 88th minute when they got the second; Danny Whiting had pushed a fierce shot out wide, only to see it returned square and tapped home by Michael Furlong.
In between those two goals, more so in a concentrated spell in the first half, we had chance after chance.
On the 11th minute both Ben Brooks and Ashley Woodhead saw efforts blocked at the near post with Aaron Taylor then picking up a cross from Patrick Davin and seeing his drive spin off the keepers legs and harmlessly over the bar.
Patrick got in on the act a minute later, using his quick feet to garner himself a shot, only to see that effort stopped right on the line.
It continued. Patrick then rifled one straight at the keeper with a fluid passage of play setting Yannick Machado Le Gal in on the right only for his effort to be blocked at the near post.
On 35 minutes Patrick Davin then tried the audacious, craftily flicking an Ashley Woodhead cross narrowly over the bar before Aaron Taylor’s neat turn-and-shot on the edge of the area was saved on the line.
A Patrick Davin free-kick that cannoned off the keeper’s legs (he would have felt that) was the last Cheadle shot in anger before the half was out and, bar a moment where Le Gal just couldn’t connect onto a Woodhead free-kick early in the second half, the final half-decent chance we created for the rest of the afternoon.
A frustrating afternoon but if half the chances we created end up in the back of the net for our next league match then we will be bringing home three points.
TEAM: Whiting, Hamzat, Machado Le Gal, Clarke (Knight) (Rakundo), Gaskin, Johnson, Woodhead, Rezayan (Kayode), Davin, Taylor, Brooks. SUBS: Knight, Piggott (gk), Phelan, Rakundo, Kayode