Match Report 2001-2002

Tuesday 05 March, 2002, Division One

Stockport County Away

I don't know how City will avoid relegation

Stockport County 1
Beckett 1-0
Bradford City 0

There is a feeling of physical sickness in me. How has this happened? 4-2 at Valley Parade and now 1-0 here to a team that is probably going to end the season with more wins against us than the rest of the division combined.

How it happened is that City didn't have the desire. Nicky Law blasted the City team for not hurting enough when the team loses. He didn't say who but Eoin Jess was no where to be seen tonight and Lee Sharpe was on the bench.

I'm not sure I agree with Law. Yes some of the problem is that the players do not care. I guess they would say that they signed for a manager four sackings ago and half of them around out of contact. This is a team that will let a living legend's contract run out at the end of the season. I guess they would say that Law wants them to care but will nto tell them what for.

But there is more than that. City lack creativity. The midfield plays like a straight line. They can't or will not pass the ball forward. It is a long time since the Gillingham thrashing at VP, it just feels like a long time since Gillingham away.

Of course this was the problem against Sheffield Wednesday. I'm a confirmed Lee Sharpe fan but you could not justify keeping him the team. Watching the lack of anything like a telling pass tonight you suddenly thought he needed to be in the side. Its a confused team. Needs taking hold of.

Claus Jorgensen, Gareth Whalley, Jamie Lawrence... all good one day, no good the next. God knows what Nicky Law has to do to make a team out of them.

If you were not concentrating on matters Saltergate you will not know Luke Beckett. He was a promising striker with Chester when Nicky Law decided he wanted to sign him. Beckett signed and did well, Law was pleased. However someone noticed something and an investigation started that opened the can of worms on Chesterfield. Directors suspended and legal action flying around Nicky Law found himself having to sell players and unable to buy. He sold Beckett to Stockport, replacing him with Jamie Burt. Perhaps Nicky Law thought he had suffered enough at the hands of Beckett, he was wrong, the former Chesterfield striker charged through to get on the end of a long ball that went between Andy Myers and Andy Tod and looped a ball over Alan Combe.

You can forgive Ashley Ward and Danny Cadamarteri tonight. Neither got a sniff of a decent chance all night. Ward got the best City chance after half an hour when he headed just over. Andy Dibble, County's 100 year old goalkeeper, hardly had to dive all night.

So what can you say except relegation fight on. Assume City get no more than 45 points because if you can't beat Stockport how can you assume we will get anything. That total would see us playing Town next year.

We need to improve. We need to get better, we need to do it now.

But how? I don't know. You can get a great game out of Lee Sharpe, Jamie Lawrence can chip keepers from 30 yards. Stuart McCall can drag a team to promotion. Danny Cads can combine muscle and pace, even Ashley Ward can score 11 goals in 22 games. How do we get them doing these things enough to get us a couple of wins before the end of the season.

I don't know and if Nicky Law does not have a clue, we are down.

By Roland Harris

Man of the Match


No chance

City Team:

Grayson Tod Myers Jacobs
Lawrence McCall Locke Whalley
Ward Cadamarteri

Subs: Jorgensen for Locke, Grant for Lawrence