04:00PM, Monday 07 October 2019
Danny Whitehall. Photo by Darren Woolley
‘Schoolboy errors’ and an inability to create or take chances came back to bite the Magpies in Saturday’s demoralising 1-0 defeat to Halifax Town.
Pete Wild’s side moved top of the National League thanks to Liam McAlinden’s belting first minute volley, but the Magpies have clearly lost their mojo as an attacking force and have now gone seven league matches without a win.
Manager Alan Devonshire knows there’s plenty of work to be done to turn things around, adding that things need to change, and change quickly.
“We seem to have lost our zip a little bit,” he said of their performance.
“In open play they were better than us and we lost 1-0.
“It’s schooboy errors for their first goal. That’s something we did back in the day.
“They’re top of the league now to be fair. We seem to be playing all the teams that are in form at the moment, and we’re not. But, listen, all we can do is roll our sleeves up and go again.”
The home side found it difficult to transition from defence to attack, and were guilty of wasting possession on far too many occasions as Halifax controlled matters both in and out of possession.
Twice in the first half they threatened Samuel Johnson’s goal but on both occasions failed to test the keeper, with Danny Whitehall sweeping over the bar and Bernard Mensah stabbing wide via a deflection.
The less said about their second half exploits the better, with James Akintunde’s late effort on goal their only shot on target in the whole match.
“Dunny (goalkeeper Chris Dunn) done ok in his first start,” added Devonshire.
“Listen, I don’t think the defence did great to be fair. I didn’t think it was a very good performance full stop.
“But we had a chance at the end. Smiley (Josh Smile) looks like the only player who’s going to really create anything.
“I’m putting players out there who are supposed to open teams up and that, more footballers. But we’ve got no cutting edge at the moment.
“I think maybe the impetus was with us back then (at the start of the season) but not now, and we need to change and change quickly.”
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