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MANAGER: Definitely goal of the season so far

Paul Simpson on Saturday's stunning finish

7 August 2023

Club News

MANAGER: Definitely goal of the season so far

Paul Simpson on Saturday's stunning finish

7 August 2023

United’s first goal of the new season was a stunner – a thundering free kick that whistled into the top corner as it left Own Moxon’s boot like an arrow from a bow.

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And it’s bound to be a strike that will feature in the best goal reckoning come the end of the season due to the accuracy and quality of what has been a rare commodity for the Blues – a direct finish from a free kick.

“It’s definitely the goal of the season so far!” manager Paul Simpson said. “He threatened to do that all last season and he’s practicing during pre-season, so I was delighted to see that go in.

“We had some other really good chances and we should have got more than one goal. You’ve got to take your chances.

“The chances in League One level are going to be fewer than the chances at League Two. Last year we scored goals for fun for the majority of the season, so we’ve got to make sure we finish them off this year when the chances come.

“I think we’ve got players who can do it and I think once they get their first it will be a big thing. I always think the first goal, win and points are really important in a season to calm everybody down and give people belief. That’s the first point and now we need to keep building.”

Getting back onto the subject of the Saturday afternoon missile launch, he told us: “It was a brilliant finish. I don’t care about all the other rubbish about speculation, it’s not my problem.

“I can’t do anything about it. We know we’ve got Owen Moxon, I’d like to think it’s going to be for at least this season but hopefully more. I thought he played as if he wants to be here.

“We’ve just got to keep hoping he continues to do it. Credit to him, he got a dead leg in the first challenge of the game and he was stiffening up as the game went on, that’s why we took him off, it was getting a little bit too sore.

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"But I thought the lads who came on showed real energy and enthusiasm to affect the game, and probably should have affected it to get three points.

“We’ve had Mox and Jordan Gibson both practising free-kicks. Just watching Mox over the last few weeks he’s certainly been a bit more consistent, he’s taking a bit more care over it. That was reward for the work that he does.

“Set plays are something that’s going to be important. I thought we had some good deliveries from set plays in the first half in particular. Second half there were a couple.

“One thing I’ve not really mentioned, it’s a stonewall penalty on Jon Mellish in the second half. The one in the first half that I appealed for, he was offside, but the one second half is an absolute definite penalty. Those things change games.”

“Like I say, when you see how Mox applied himself there’s no question about whether his head is in the game with us,” he continued. “It’s not even worthy of talking about, his performance was there, but he had to come off because he got a dead leg.

“Thankfully there hasn’t been any attention to him over the last week or two, I don’t know how long it was when we said he’s not for sale, he’s just getting on with it, he’s training.

“There was no doubt in my mind that he was in the right frame of mind to play, and he’ll continue to play for us while he’s fit, because we don’t want him to go anywhere.”

Always up for analysis are goals conceded, with the equaliser coming against the run of the play at the end of the first 45 minutes.

“There were a couple of mistakes, as there are with any goal,” he agreed. “We probably didn’t work hard enough to stop the cross, then when we were waiting for second balls and we were on the outside of players instead of being on the inside.

“There are lots of things but with every goal there are always mistakes. You have to keep doing things properly or you can get punished.

“We allowed them to get a little bit of control for the couple of minutes leading up to their goal. You’ve got to understand the state of games, and get yourself compact and stay together, and we just went away from it a little bit in that spell where they scored.

“With every goal there’s mistakes but there are two or three little individual things that we need to do better. But we’re always learning. As long as we learn from it and improve on it we’ll be ok.”


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