Rowley 1 Wolves and Perton 5

Simply no excuses today! We had sixteen players and a strong starting eleven, but in torrential rain and biting cold we failed once again to offer ourselves or our supporters any reasons to be cheerful. Holly Lodge may have offered us both decent facilities and a resilient surface but we have not yet made it our home (and with five more games there out of the next six we need to remedy this quickly). We’ve conceded 21 in the last four games, which is an issue for the whole team and especially for those of us scheming each week to find a solution (Mark was at his wit’s end today having led by example on the pitch). I could say we are traditionally slow New Year starters but nothing could be further from the truth: in the last twelve seasons we have won ten and drawn two of our immediately post- Christmas fixtures ( a period that includes two relegations!). If we want to avoid an unwanted hat-trick we’ll need to make things happen soon!

Wolves and Perton however deserve much credit for making massively better use of the conditions. We made much the better start and looked relatively comfortable before two well taken and poorly defended corners resulted in two bullet headers (though neither was opposed) and we were 0-2 and up against it. Their third was a beauty, drilled hard and low but we should have been 1-3 before half time when Sammy rounded the keeper but could only find the side netting: he also hit a rasping drive onto the bar. Though we had words and used three subs nothing got much better and W&P were cutting us to pieces on the break adding a 4th and 5th before the unlikely happened and we got one (those closest suggested Hunter’s header went straight in, though I’d originally thought Craig helped it over the line). All the best to W&P. From now on its ‘points or bust’ for us!

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