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Chadderton boss Fish is proud of his players’ response
Monday 26th March 2018 @ 11:43 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

North West Counties First Division

Alsager Town 2-2 Chadderton

Chadderton’s quest to secure a mid-table finish continued on Saturday with a 2-2 draw at Alsager Town – less than 48 hours after Stockport Town had inflicted a 4-2 defeat on David Fish’s side at the Ark Fleetech Stadium.

Chaddy took the lead in the 11th minute through an own goal but found themselves on level terms just nine minutes later when Taylor Attrell bagged for the hosts.

It took less than ten minutes into the second half for Chaddy to reassert their lead through Ryan Shenton, but Fish’s side were unable to hold out for maximum points as Dave Harry notched for Alsager in the 65th minute to make it honours even at full time.

Following the game, Fish said he was immensely proud of his players’ response following Thursday’s loss to Stockport. “I thought we’d had the better of the abandoned game the previous week, but Thursday night’s game against Stockport Town had taken a lot out of us and made selection that much more difficult” said Fish.

“I still felt confident that we could take something from the game but knew that Alsager would be galvanised with the return of several players and that their pitch would suit them better than us.

“The game largely panned out as expected, they played percentage football – looking to capitalise on physical advantages and to dominate through experience.

“I am immensely proud that we stood up to that test and showed the courage to continue to play our football and create the better chances. It was very hard to single out any players as all 14 who took to the field were excellent, including debutant Ross Mullett who looked very assured in goal.”

Mullett is one of several players who Fish has recruited over the past week to strengthen the depth of his side as they enter the final stretch of the season.

Ahead of the transfer deadline and Stockport game on Thursday, the former Curzon Ashton goalkeeper registered two more of Chadderton’s EDS players in the form of Alireza faradi and Hassan Ali, as well as Atherton LR player Mitch Robertson.

Fish also strengthened the goalkeeping department with not one, but two new ‘keepers. Mullett joins the club having been released from Bradford City, while Danny Havern returns to Chaddy for another spell.

Of the signings, Fish said: “With 12 games still to play I believe this additional depth will be needed but there is also one eye on next season and building a competitive squad in these signings.

“Ross and Mitch went straight into the squad for Thursday night and despite pre game confidence the result didn’t go our way.

“In the first half we showed them too much respect and failed to play with enough pace and purpose, which invited them on to us and played into their hands as they are a team that presses well. Three nil at half time wasn’t fully reflective of the balance of play but did highlight our failings in that 45 minutes.

“The second half was much better. We were braver in playing our own game and trying to take the game to them – I actually though on the balance of the second half that a draw would have been a fair result but that counts for nothing when you fail to defend set pieces properly.”

While Fish was pleased to return with a point on Saturday, he was bitterly disappointed with the injury sustained to hot prospect Leon Iluobe.

The youth product appeared to have broken his ankle, but follow up tests confirm a less serious ligament strain.

Such is the seriousness of the injury, Iluobe is out for the rest of the season. Fish wished his player well and said he can’t wait to see him back on the pitch. “Leon has been rotated a lot lately but has always maintained a positive mindset and had an impact on games whether starting or coming from the bench. He has bags of potential and talent, the only thing lacking is more self-belief. I’m looking forward to seeing him back on the training pitch in pre season.”