So close for Audlem FC

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We set off for Alsager at 5.00pm on Tuesday to face AFC Alsager at the Manchester Metropolitan University Campus there.

The whole mass of buildings there in a very sorry state as it was abandoned long ago as the Crewe set up opened. Such a huge waste of money. Super huge gymnasium; Swimming pool; Residences. All just empty and with broken windows, peeling paint. But — enough. To the match.

This is our third game in just five days. A real test for the players. Some carrying knocks. Andrew Betterley, our top scorer, out with a groin strain. Otherwise we have 14 players to select from. Full marks to them in getting here after their working day.

Referee is Ian Hurdle, a man with a good reputation. Let's us hope he does not make us jump over too many "hurdles"! First question he makes of me. "Is Kev Mort playing?" I say yes — but why the question. Referee says he enjoys the "banter" with him!

Kick off at 6.05pm as we need to finish as early as we can to avoid bad light at the end of the play. Threat of rain ever present as big black clouds loom over head. I am very thankful that I brought my jacket with me as it cold. A sharp wind down the pitch from the West.

Add to that, I went to our new barber shop and had a quite severe hair cut at the hands of Elliot. So I feel the chill even more — albeit not heavily blessed with hair! Good barber and his place looks very good.

Game quite frantic as both sides attack. Swings back and forth. Clean game with fair tackles. We get a corner after corner as we chase up field. Then at 6.35pm a stupid soft goal, as the ball is lofted over the head of Ed Holmes after a single run up field by the opposition. So soft a goal. 0-1 to Alsager.

Curtain of rain falling to the north but we are still dry. Good shot on goal by Connor Junes is tipped over the bar. We still press and press hard. A great point blank shot by them but Ed saves beautifully.

End of first half and we go in one goal down. Very brief interval as we kick off at 7.15. Light is going as night draws near.

Dave Bebbington off with bad legs and Sam "Nemo" Maddocks is on. Graham Brown, a fully committed tackler drives a pass to Connor Jones and he scores 1-1.

Getting even colder as all dreams of an Indian Summer fade away. 7.25. They score: 1-2.

Kev Mort off — a shadow of his normal strength. Alan Brindley on as a superb pass by Alex Carter is met by Kev Rodgers — now playing up front- and Connor collects the ball and scores. 2-2.

Those three games in five days showing as players are knackered. Wind colder. Black clouds all gone.

Lots of blatant shirt pulling in some desperation. Fierce red sunset lighting up the clouds like a scene from Dante's Inferno. An amazing sight and such colour.

7.35pm and a poke by Kev Rodgers (he has had a super game) is collected by Alex Carter — and he scores! 3-2. We are in front!

We gift a corner. They send in a good flighted cross. A melee in our goal mouth and blow me down- they score. We lose the lead and yet again to a set piece kick. 3-3.

Game over. No bookings yet again. We have now gone four games without a card! A record. If only we can get a win.

Next game is at home versus Market Tavern F C . A new team to us. Kick off 11.00 on Sunday.

Ralph Warburton
AFC Chairman