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Going down, or coming round?

Well it was great welcoming him back, wasn't it? OEC heaving before the game, the Shezurrection cocktails probably gave us type 2 diabetes, massive queues to get in the ground, biggest crowd and best atmosphere in years. And they hadn't sold out of pies before KO like they usually did when I last had a season ticket (although they were falling apart, I had to swap mine for one of Andy's cos he's got better pie-eating-without-fork technique than me, I guess practice makes perfect). Standing for the whole match was a bit tough for those of us whose size 3 feet had carted our sorry 11 stone carcass the 6 and a bit miles from Spotland to Boundary Park. Nicer problem to have, though.

The match itself....was not a classic. The wind made it difficult, but why do difficult conditions always seem to benefit the away team rather than us? Let's be honest, Rochdale had the better of it, and under Benachour the players' heads would have dropped and we'd have lost, probably heavily. We defended well, Danny Rogers had a good game, and with an actual striker we might have nicked it in the last 10 minutes. Obviously everything was put into perspective by the medical emergency, and it was fantastic to hear that the supporter who took ill was stable and recovering in hospital, and the best of luck to him in his recovery. I can only assume that the reason Whelan got MOTM was that the sponsors wanted to give it to the crowd doctor and stewards, and when they were told they couldn't they decided to take the piss. All in all, not quite the glorious return we wanted, but deffo a point gained rather than 2 points lost, and we're off the bottom of the table. The Shez effect.

If the Rochdale game was underwhelming, then transfer deadline day was a kick in the crotch. We needed to sign a striker, we signed a striker. Hopefully Fondop will turn out to be the big target man we need. But we need more than one. Friday brought news of Tope Obadeyi's return.

Yeah, I know, we've already got two wide players playing out of position up front, but I still think he could be a useful addition. The website pointedly described him as "Another Sheridan signing". Is the penny finally dropping, Mo? Realistically, though, we really needed to sign more than two players. Our relegation rivals - including other clubs who've been under embargo - have strengthened their squads in a way we haven't managed, and I fear that it's too little, too late.

I've no sympathy for the club ownership. If their hands were tied, it's their own fault. They could have paid off the loan. They could have tried to clear the dead wood earlier instead of leaving it til the last week of the transfer window. Instead Mo has once again buried his head in the sand, told himself that he's doing a good job, and now Sheridan has to try to make chicken salad out of his bucket of chicken shit. He deserves better and we deserve better.

Scunthorpe away could not be a bigger game. We're 8 points off safety and we desperately need to start winning games. If we can't beat the one team out of the 92 below us, then it's hard to see how where those wins are going to come from. Have a great day out if you're going. Best of luck, Shez. You're gonna need it.

Written by Arlene Finnigan

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