Doc orders shorter wait for next goal

Chris Lakey Gary Doherty ended his long goal drought with City's equaliser - and was left wondering why it had taken so long to guarantee City's place in today's FA Cup fourth round draw.

Chris Lakey

Gary Doherty ended his long goal drought with City's equaliser - and was left wondering why it had taken so long to guarantee City's place in today's FA Cup fourth round draw.

Doherty had gone 96 games without a goal - since September 27, 2005 when he scored the winner in a 2-1 home win over Hull City - which, for a player whose early career was spent alternating between defence and attack, is a pretty average record.

But he got the monkey off his back with 10 minutes to go on Saturday when he knocked home the loose ball from five yards after Bury keeper Jim Provett had failed to hold Mark Fotheringham's shot.


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It made it 1-1, but it should have been over by half-time as City missed a succession of chances - only to be denied by a combination of poor finishing and, in the latter stages particularly, good goalkeeping.

"We could have really blitzed them if we had taken maybe two of them in the first half, then it's a lot easier," said Doherty. "They have to come at us and then we can pop it round them. But fair play to them, they made some terrific blocks and defence wise they will be really happy with their performance while we are disappointed, really disappointed with our finishing today.

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Doherty has just 27 career goals to his name in 228 starts with Luton, Spurs and Norwich - yet he has now managed seven in 18 FA Cup starts.

"I just hit it as hard as I could really, kept it down," he said. "The keeper tried to smother it but I just managed to get it to his right hand side and it is nice to get a goal.

"I have always scored a few in the FA Cup - it's been a good tournament for me so I'm happy with that. Obviously the FA cup is one of the best club trophy tournaments around so to be in it still is nice. We are in the hat, but we know we have a hell of a game coming up at Bury."

The fact that there was palpable relief among the players was reflected by manager Glenn Roeder's mood after the game.

"It wasn't a very good one - we were woeful," admitted Doherty. "We had a few chances early on to give ourselves the lead and obviously that would have taken the pressure off us, but we didn't take them and obviously they smelt that we were under a bit of pressure and got their goal, probably offside, but it was still really disappointing to concede. Thankfully we ended up getting a draw and we have to go up there and it's going to be tough.

"It's going to be harder because it is away; they will have to come at us and bit more and we can hit them on the counter with our pace, but fair play to them they thoroughly deserved it. They had one chance and scored a goal, we had loads of chances they defended superbly and it is just disappointing that we have to go to a replay, but that's life."

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