Vics' slumped to defeat at home to Trafford F.C this afternoon. Dom Smith fired the visitors' in front, steering home a right-foot shot following a long punt downfield just before the break for a 0-1 half-time lead. Trafford had Mitch Bryant and Chris McDonagh sent off in the second half before Vics' midfielder Jimmy Ball followed suit for a foul which only looked worthy of a yellow card at worst. Sub' Josh Amis hammered in Brian Summerskill's neat cut back from short range as the game entered into injury time but the Whites' saw out the additional four minutes at the end of the game to take all three points.
Monday 28th March 2016. COMPETITION - Evo-Stik NPL Division One North. VENUE - The Net Dec Stadium, Northwich
LINE-UP'S - Vics' - Springthorpe, Byrne, Clarke (C), Regan, Duxbury, Cook (caution), Summerskill, Ball (S/O 73'), Toner, Bennett (caution) (Amis 55'), Burnett. Un-used subs' - King (GK), Watson, Roddy, Russell.
Trafford F.C - Saunders, Jacobs, Neville, Langford, Duggan, Granite (C), Palmer, Bryant (two cautions and S/O 58'), McDonagh (two cautions and S/O 68'), Smith (Martin 66')(Horrocks 90'), Davies. Un-used subs' - Ledson, Burns.
GOALS - Vics' - Josh Amis 90+1' Trafford F.C - Dom Smith 38', Connor Martin 83'. Unavailable for Vics' - Abou Sanogo (groin strain), Iain Howard (calf).
PICTURED - Vics' full-back Alex Byrne showing skill at the touchline to beat his man.
Manager Adam Lakeland's verdict on the defeat -
This was certainly not the result or performance I was expecting and as manager I accept full responsibility for the performance of the team on the pitch.
Our first half performance was arguably the worst since I have been at the club. Our insistency on going back to front all the time killed us up to the break playing with the wind behind us - we kept going long which saw the ball go out of play for goal-kicks with it taking their keeper an eternity to get the game going again. This allowed Trafford to completely dictate the tempo of the game and didn’t enable us to build any momentum or tempo of our own. The few occasions when we did string several passes together saw us create two very good opportunities, the first for Jimmy Ball which he didn’t connect with well enough to beat the keeper and Richie Bennett’s header from 6 yards again went into Russ Saunders' arms with ease. Between this we conceded a soft goal - with one diagonal pass setting their striker free who finished well past Mason (Springthorpe) who I have to say made an unbelievable save off a header from a Trafford corner earlier in the half.
At half-time I asked the players to pass the ball more and second half we did. People will say that 11 v 10 and 10 v 9 we should have more possession but we started the half well playing 11 v 11 and were the team in total control which was pleasing. The disappointment for us was that some of our good play didn’t result in end product especially at 0-1 as I felt had we got level, we had long enough in the game to go on and win it as we were so dominant. The second goal has killed us and given us an uphill task. It was never a free kick to begin with yet we should deal better with it and clear our lines properly. It was an awful decision which I have to say epitomised the performance of the referee who for both teams was extremely poor on the day and for a game with no real bad challenges saw three players sent off which was bizarre. We did manage to get a late goal through Josh (Amis) who did well when he came on and despite a late effort from Eddie Toner; yet another game slipped through our fingers.
Credit to Trafford who aren’t an easy team to play against or beat. They have only lost one league game in 2016 so we haven’t been beaten by any mugs. The way they battled and put their bodies on the line was admirable and we can learn something from this.
For us it's a case of regrouping, trying to build up the players confidence and moving on from the last couple of weeks quickly. It’s the first time all season that the team has suffered a poor run of results. All of the other sides around us have had their bad runs in the early parts of the season and turned it around and I’m sure through hard work and by sticking together we can do the same.
Report & interview by Jamie Dewsbury.