"We're playing with a lot of fluidity," says Rhys Browne
Rhys Browne believes the fact that the Stones showed both sides of their game against Oldham Athletic augurs well for their development and indeed the rest of the season.
Stuart Maynard's side played what first-team coach Matt Saunders described as "scintillating" football at Boundary Park to race into a two-goal lead and leave the Latics shellshocked at half-time.
The away side then had to roll up their sleeves in the second half and close the game out after Oldham pulled one back shortly after half-time. The Stones held a similar two-goal lead at Stockport in March but fell away in the second half, conceding three in six minutes to go down 4-2. The 2-1 victory on Tuesday night showed the evolution of this team under the watch of Maynard and Saunders.
"That's definitely a massive three points for us because we know we can play football, but we now need to learn how to win ugly and sometimes roll our sleeves up and get the win," said Browne, the scorer of the first goal. "That's what we did. We fouled, we competed, we threw our bodies in the way as they're a very physical team. That's their game and we matched them. They got an early goal in the second half and it was like the roof blew off the place where there is such a hostile atmosphere. We deserved the three points in the end."
Browne is one of the coolest customers in the squad and felt it was a time for cool heads and to stick to the gameplan when Oldham upped the ante.
"I think you've just to put your foot on the ball sometimes," he said. "When there's so much chaos the best thing to do is just to be calm and just put your foot on the ball and get everybody going again, just get the ball passing doing the simple things. I think we rode the storm really well and once we ride the storm, we were able to get back into the game."
Browne got the first goal and the Tarryn Allarakhia got the second, rounding off a flowing 23-pass move that involved the whole team.
"We're playing with a lot of fluidity," said Browne. "I think everybody's starting to understand each other's games, so it's all coming together. It's obviously shown today especially on a beautiful pitch and a beautiful stadium. We were really expressive. My goal also came after a good little passage of football. A good head across goal from Cookie – and it was good reading from him. I knew he's going to head it back somewhere so I just tried to anticipate and just go around the defender."
*Interview by Chris Woods
* Pictures by Jon Taffel
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