Stockport 1-0 Ilkeston (FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round) 11-10-14

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Game number 30 of 2014/15

After having the intention of making the long trip to Dartford to watch Macc all week, I fell foul of my indecision and missed the cheap train tickets.

So instead it was the magic of the FA Cup for me, as these two sides looked to make the 1st round proper. At £10 a ticket and being very close by train, it had advantages over the Leek v Boston  game that I really fancied.

The first 72 minutes of this game were forgettable, as both sides struggled to counter the others 5 at the back formation. Both teams were short in midfield and the result was that most attacks were channeled through a crowded central defensive area. The pitch also seemed to be treacherously slippery, which hindered Ilkeston in their plan to pass out from the back.

The away side arguably looked the more composed, but they were let down by a lack of mobility from their centre forward. Stockport seemed to favour the safety first approach, with their forwards feeding off scraps from the long balls delivered aimlessly in their direction.

The spark came after 72 minutes, as substitute Spencer timed his run to perfection to spring the offside trap; calmly finishing under the onrushing ‘keeper to give County a 1- 0 lead. This seemed to transform the home side, for about two minutes as it looked as though Ilkeston’s race was run.

What was impressive, was how they kept up their passing approach to the very end. This was nearly rewarded as Ilkeston struck a post and had several efforts scrambled away as time ran out on their FA cup hopes.

County can count themselves lucky not to be facing a tricky replay in Derbyshire (yes I had to google that); and now face the draw on Monday.

Entertainment = 5/10
The first 72 minutes would be lucky to scrape a 3 and the last 18 were much more like it

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