Well I suppose you could argue that West Allotment did to us what we have done to Spennymoor, Shildon and North Shields....defended deep and in numbers, kept discipline and shape and got their just rewards. It is disappointing as these are the games we need to win to give ourselves a chance. Looking back we seem to raise our game against some of the better teams but always struggle with those around us. In truth I don't think the group of West Allotment, West Auckland, Guisborough, Washington, Ryhope, Jarrow are any better than CLS....I would also add Ashington and Whitley Bay to that group too, but they are picking up points and there is a gap starting to appear.
After a fairly even start to the game, West got the break when the linesman judged the ball had crossed the line after a free header from a corner....didn't see many complaints from our lads so suspect it must have been (not that it matters now anyway). I thought the referee was poor, booking four or five of the West Allotment team for cynical and blatant fouls after our players got away from them....and one challenge on Joe should have been a red in my opinion....he just didnt get to grips with their tactics.....but ultimately this is what we should expect in games like these and he wasn't the reason we lost. Disappointing that West started time wasting even in the first half after they scored too.
After the goal, we dominated possession for the remainder of the first half and all of the second, and whilst we had chances to get something, we didn't take them, and to be honest, our final ball and decision making wasn't good enough. They sat deep and we couldn't get beyond or through them, quite often running into blind alleyways, cutting inside when we should have gone outside and going outside when the inside was a better option. We made good progress down both flanks only to take a touch too many or not deliver a cross early enough and we seemed to be outnumbered when we did get anywhere near their goal. Goals change games and if we had taken an opportunity I am confident we would have gone on to win comfortably.....but we didn't.....again, cannot fault the effort of the lads....nice easy game up next