09:45AM, Friday 06 October 2017
FOR Alan Devonshire Tuesday’s 4-0 defeat at bottom club Torquay United was a case of two steps forward, one step back.
On Saturday the Magpies were at their thrilling best as Guiseley were torn apart by the home side’s attacking play.
On Tuesday it was the Magpies turn to be torn to shreds as the bottom side scored four times in a first half the former West Ham United player will want to consign to history.
The nearly eight hour journey to South Devon had clearly caught up with the players, who were caught cold by Torquay in the opening 45 minutes.
Josh McQuoid headed them in front before Luke Young and Rhys Murphy fired past Carl Pentney to make it 3-0, their goals coming from their first three attempts on goal.
It wasn’t the pummelling the scoreline suggest, but it certainly left an impression on the already groggy Magpies.
“The journey wasn’t great. We left at 1pm and got there at 7.45pm and had half an hour to get ready so it wasn’t the best preparation but I don’t want to make excuses,” said Devonshire.
“At the end of the day it’s two steps forward, one step back at the moment.
“But it’s a learning curve for us all. It wasn’t good last night but we’ve got to get over it quickly because we’ve got a big game on Saturday.
“Maybe I should have made a few more changes from Saturday.
“Maybe some of the players were more tired than they were telling me. They put in a lot of energy on Saturday.”
Devonshire is reluctant to blame the result on the fact the Magpies coach got held up in traffic and the players spent more than seven hours travelling to the game. It clearly had an impact and the early goals lifted a side desperately searching for their first win of the season.
Two weeks ago Maidenhead handed Chester their first win at home in several months and it’s clear the side are struggling to lift themselves for these matches against the league’s so called lesser lights.
“You can’t use the travel as an excuse, it probably did have an impact, but you’d be better talking to the boys about that than me,” he said.
“It didn’t feel right from the start and we went behind after only four minutes.
“It wasn’t a foul but at the end of the day we didn’t defend the ball in properly and then we’re 1-0 down. It gives a team that’s been struggling a big lift. That’s what happened at Chester too.
“But their first three goals came from their first three shots so it’s not as though we were being pummelled.
“The lads weren’t quite at it but we’ve just got to let it go, come back for training on Thursday and then go again on Saturday against Aldershot.”
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