After our tough encounter last weekend we were looking to get our season up and running against a much changed Stalybridge Celtic team who had ten changes from last year having lost a number of players to Curzon Ashton .
The game started very slowly with even Marcus strangely on the periphery of the game and Devan having a rare off day against willing opposition who were working hard to get a foothold in the game and in fairness we were probably lucky to be all square at half time 0-0 .
We then had our best period of the game after half time with the only change being Josh for Devan at right back but Marcus had a bright spell and brought Oisin into the game with a lovely pass down the right and Oisin then cut inside and curled the ball left foot past the keeper to make it 1-0 . For a short period I really thought we were going to go on to win the game by 2 or 3 .
It was not to be however when from a corner a deep lying player moved without challenge or a call to the edge of our box to finish nicely . Only Oisin held his hands up after the game to seeing him but that shows the lack of vision and talking in the team to pick up what should be a simple marking job . If you are free you have to take responsibility to pick up a man moving from the back .
A number of parents tell me the second goal was offside and I believe the third goal was but again no one called for it to ask the question of the referee unlike the assistant coach for them who asked for offside every attack we made ! This is something the lads need to control on field not relying on a coach to do it for them .
In the main we do not believe the lads worked hard enough or won very few of the big tackles needed in a game to take control of the ball and it is this physicality that is letting us down at the moment not ability. The lads also need to learn quickly that talking is a vital element of any good team . The result was a fair reflection of the game in the end and thankfully next week we are at home with an early 930 KO against Barr Hill Diamonds in The County Cup .

Against a team who came second last season only on goal difference and were county cup finalists the match was always going to be a tough ask even more so with Mark McCoy playing for Oldham today .That said his deputy Luke has done really well for us .
In the first twenty five minutes there were so many more positives especially with the defence starting to play football at the back utilising the spare man well which is great to see and still a work in progress and the midfield for once looking like a team who could match Failsworths' strong combative midfield with Dan , Marcus and Jack starting his first full game for us and stroking the ball around beautifully .
The problem with top teams is that when they get the chance they put it in the back of the net and a second example of this is they won the strong challenges as we really should have cleared the ball as they made it 2-0 which was the score at half time
The lads started falling like nine pins after that with Rowie , Morgan and Oisin all coming off with injuries from some really physical challenges which we have to match pound for pound to compete with the very best .
Even at 3-0 our heads did not go down and Marcus scored a great header to bring it back to 3-1 , but shortly after they made it 4-1 only for Marcus once again now playing centre forward , who shrugged off the centre half and left him in a heap on the floor to finish nicely and make it 4-2 and give the score the respectability it deserved .
The difference was definitely the physical component to the game and not winning the challenges we should do but overall we should be very pleased with some promising signs against a really strong team .
If we can get a team of eleven improving in fitness and fighting for the ball in the manner expected then we can challenge the best teams and this was a good starting point to build upon .