Cornard's curse of the 89th minute...

LAST month I accused Cornard United of being a 45-minute team due to the Jekyll and Hide performances in each half of matches.

LAST month I accused Cornard United of being a 45-minute team due to the Jekyll and Hide performances in each half of matches.

We have improved, we are now an 89-minute team. Last Saturday we were 1-0 up through a Ross Barton 80th minute wonder strike and all over visitors Halstead Town like a rash forcing 10 corners in the second half, then what happens?

On 89 minutes a corner at the other end and it's 1-1. Worse was to follow just three minutes later Halstead substitute Paul Abrahams pops up and it's 1-2 and game over.

We are told that lightning does not strike twice in the same place but on Tuesday evening against high flying Ely City in the Division One league cup quarter final we went into the 89th minute 2-1 up thanks to goals from Barton again and Ben Warren but a desperate last minute long throw by Ely into our goal mouth and its 2-2 and extra time.

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The visitors then took advantage of two defensive mistakes to win 4-2

We have suffered a few kicks in the teeth this season, like going out of the lucrative FA Cup after being 2-0 up at half time, like players leaving just as soon as they had their new tracksuits, like paying out £800 in Suffolk FA fines for lack of discipline not to mention our ten league defeats, but these two results were a bitter pill to swallow even for me and I can normally be equally philosophical about victory or defeat having tasted plenty of both flavours in twenty five years of senior football management.

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Although bitterly disappointed with the results I was delighted with the performances and the fact that we had no players cautioned for abusing officials after the new rules on the subject were laid down during the week.

If we can reproduce that performance and that discipline every week we won't be down the table for long.

While on the subject of discipline, as usual the poor old referees are taking terrible stick at the moment and the next time you go to a local match stand near the two technical areas and listen to the tirade of foul mouthed abuse directed towards the officials who get the blame for everything that goes wrong on the pitch.

Players then follow their management's example and blame the referee or linesman for their own personal short comings and you have mayhem and red and yellow cards galore.

Playing senior football is not just about better football, better stadiums, better money, team buses and club tracksuits it is about better habits both on the pitch and off it, dedication from time keeping to training I have won three senior league championships and more cups than I can count but through it all I have remembered how to behave when you win or lose as you surely will if you stay in football very long.

This afternoon we entertained Gorleston and on Wednesday evening we are at home to FC Clacton in the Ridgeons League Cup. CS

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