County easily overcame Curzon Ashton at Edgeley Park on Tuesday night, and whilst there was some impressive link-up play between our front three players. The need for a plan B is still evident.
It was lovely to watch at times, as County intricately dismantled their opponents in the second half of a pleasant, if chilly, midweek match at Edgeley Park.
Darren Stephenson was quick-footed and unselfish, Matty Warburton played intelligently and Jason Oswell was clinical and a nuisance to the defence. It was a nice combination and far-cry from the Danny Lloyd-reliant side of last season.
The need for another striker, however, if County do indeed go behind at any point again this season, is evident. Oswell offers goals, strength and the ability to hold up play. A rare set of attributes at this level and a staple of any promotion-bound team.
But what happens if our number 9 gets injured, a defender has the better of him or his support team is not firing? Our system falls apart and we look unlikely to score. To an extent this happened at Spennymoor and it will be the case again at some point this year.
A second striker system is clearly not something that Gannon likes to play, with our manager preferring to support a lone front-man with clever attacking players. But there is a case for two up-top as a back-up plan for any side.
Giving defenders another player to think about when defending in open play, coupled with the added threat from set-pieces is an invaluable asset to teams in this division and whilst George West will become a good player for County, he is not there yet and does not fit that role.
It doesn’t have to be a clever or intelligent system, and certainly wouldn’t be used by Gannon from the start of a game, but there is a feeling around Edgeley Park that our attacking options are limited from the bench.
Gannon has said he is looking to bring in another player, and now that Gary Stopforth’s move to the club is confirmed, here’s hoping Gannon is currently in negotiations with a striker that fits the bill.