GREG Clowes struggled to disguise his apathy after Alsager were knocked out of the North West Counties League Cup at the quarter-final stage.
In fact, he admits it is a blessing to his promotion-chasers! A two-legged semi-final was the last thing the Bullets need as they bid for the Division One title. But there can be no doubt they went out to win Saturday's tie.
Trailing to a Melia strike after 16 minutes, Alsager battled hard to get back into it and were rewarded when Wayne Brotherton nodded on a corner and Glyn Blackhurst headed home to force extra time, with just three minutes left on the clock.
Defender Ryan Dicker received a dead leg in the first period of extra time and, as all three substitutes were on, Alsager were virtually down to 10-men.
They paid the price as Buxton won it for Oldham in the 105th minute, but Clowes said: 'I perhaps made a mistake by using all the subs, but I am not sorry we are out.
'Oldham were better than us on the night, but they had more reason to play for it. This is not the competition we are interested in and, with a relatively small squad, we mustn't over-extend ourselves.'
Clowes will try to bring in a central defender on loan in time for the visit of Bacup Borough on Saturday, as Dicker will miss out. Paul Macari and Carl Espley are also injured.
The stars of the show at the weekend could be the Alsager's growing band of supporters, who are being filmed by Sky channel Bravo for a new documentary series called Football Factory.
They are largely made up of ex-Stoke City fans, some who have had a reputation for hooliganism in the past, but Clowes said: 'Everywhere we go people are saying good things about our supporters. They have been fantastic. They don't cause any trouble and they know if there is the slightest hint of that they won't be welcome at Alsager.'
Alsager entertained St Helens Town in a league match as the Chronicle went to press last night.