Date: 23rd November 2007 at 2:02pm
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In the end it turned out to be the red faced County fans leaving Staines trying to hide their embarrassment after a poor, poor night on national TV.

It was a team that had players who were in full-time jobs playing, the goalkeeper and the defender got a buzz out of giving their company a mention on national TV, the defender had the ‘mick’ taken out of him at work because he was going to score an own goal.

No, I’m not talking about Stockport County – but it looked like I was after the performance last night and in recent weeks.

County flew down to Staines on a Thursday morning, were then picked up at the airport by the coach and driven to Staines, all this whilst Staines central defender was driving a fire engine round.

Sky had sent down their tv cameras, their Premiership commentators, they’d pulled in a guy who actually knew abit bout County to do the expert piece – all they wanted was an upset though.

Jim Gannon made changes to the side that lost to Hereford – some enforced and others not enforced. Chris Adamson had to play in goal in place of Conrad Logan, Jason Taylor was at right-back whilst Gareth Owen and Michael Raynes played centre backs. Michael Rose played left back once again. Adam Proudlock played on the right wing, Greg Tansey and Paul Turnbull once again came into central midfield, Adam Griffin was on the left, whilst Matty McNeil and Anthony Elding were upfront.

Staines started the stronger of the two sides and had two early chances through Clarke and Charles-Smith, both however didn’t trouble the County keeper Chris Adamson.

But after just 9 minutes County were behind and facing an embarrassment. A corner (which never was a corner, Chris Adamson slid for the ball but it didn’t go out as the TV replays clearly show) was swung in from the right, Matty McNeil headed the ball across his own goal for some reason and gave Adrian Toppin an easy header into the open goal. 1-0 to Staines.

But then County started to get back into the game and created a few chances. Elding put a superb left footed cross into the box and McNeil dived towards the ball but didn’t connect properly with the header.

Staines continued to play well but didn’t really find any chances on the end of the good play.

Paul Turnbull fired a 30 yard shot yards wide of the left hand post, as County stepped up the play.

Taylor had a chance charging forward before unleashing a bit of a lottery shot, it was on target and heading for the bottom corner but Allaway did well to keep it out.

County went into half-time 1-0 down and playing awfully, what could Gannon do? Well he didn’t do anything. He left it the same but County seemed to step it up from here on it.

The ball was passed about on the floor and County started to tire Staines out, Adam Proudlock was played through but his pull back could only find the Staines keeper who was on top form.

Taylor then burst into the box, and had two attempts at Allaway as County began to build the pressure. A goal had to come from somewhere.

Anthony Pilkington came on and looked to change the game, he did that well, but it was Adam Griffin who set up the goal which allowed the game to continue into extra time. Griffin burst through from left back, put a ball across, Elding’s first header was brilliantly saved from Allaway but McNeil was at the back post for the easiest tap in of his career and it was 1-1 with ten minutes left.

County were facing the possibility of being knocked out but were now looking for a winner in the final ten minutes.

Elding had three chances but couldn’t take any of them as the game continued into the final minutes.

Finally the ball was played across for McNeil, but his inability to shoot meant the chance was wasted.

The last major incident of the 90 minutes saw Jason Taylor strip Risbridger in the box. It was a moment of madness and should have resulted in a penalty for Staines, the ball still bounced back off the bar as County were at sixes and sevens at the back.

So it was extra time, and County would have half an hour to try and work their fitness advantage home before penalties.

The first chance came ten minutes into extra time, when Proudlock again worked the right hand side, put in a wonderful ball and McNeil headed down into the ground, it bounced up and was heading for the goal but Allaway produced a fantastic save to keep Staines in the came.

As the game went into the second half of extra time, Anthony Pilkington attempted to win it with a dipping curling effort into the opposite top right hand corner. However the ball just curled wide of the post, it would have been a heroic moment for Pilkington.

However the game went to penalties, and it was now even terms as Staines and County were to battle it out.

Greg Tansey stepped up first for County and SCORED. 1-0 to County.

Mark Nwokeji stepped up for Staines and placed the ball into the bottom left hand corner, SAVED by Adamson. 1-0 to County.

Anthony Pilkington powered his penalty but its a good height for Allaway, SAVED. 1-0 to County.

Lewis Cook for Staines, centre of the goal, Adamson gets a hand to it but SCORED. 1-1.

David Poole for County, bottom left hand corner, SAVED from Allaway. Great save. 1-1.

Adrian Toppin for Staines, bottom right of the goal. SCORED. 2-1 to Staines. Advantage Staines.

Adam Proudlock for County, cooley SCORES for County. 2-2.

Victor Asombang for Staines, puts it in the bottom right of the goal. 3-2 to Staines.

Tommy Rowe has to score for County, and he beautifully curls it into the bottom left hand corner. SCORED. 3-3.

Dave Sargent to win it for Staines. Runs up like a fat man who can’t run and is going to leather it, but he calmly places it in the bottom left hand corner. SCORED. 4-3 to Staines. Game over. STAINES WIN.

So there it is. County are well and truely embarrassed at Wheatsheaf Park. Bradford tomorrow. How many?

 

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