Thursday, 10 March 2011
304 Matt Doughty
Position : Left back (also played on the wing)
Played : 2001-02 to 2003-04
Appearances : 108
Goals : 1
It's hard to recall now but Matt was the summer signing we were supposed to get excited about, a young prodigy from Chester City who had already had an eventful career. He missed the final game of the 1999-2000 through being in prison after a nightclub incident then he was reported to be on the cusp of joining Southampton before an inopportune injury. Chester hadn't registered him properly so we were able to pinch him on a technicality.
Matt was said to be able to play either at left back or on the wing and he started for us in the latter position away at Oxford. He got off to a flying start with an impressive goal that made him the first scorer at the new Kassam Stadium (the memory of the still half-frozen pie from that strange pub just outside stays with me) though he didn't do much else in the game. Apart from that goal and a good performance away at Luton he was rather underwhelming as a winger.
John Hollins reverted him to left back in preference to Sean McCauley and he stayed there the rest of the season. He is unfortunately remembered for an untimely slip which let in Rushden for the winner in the second leg of the play-off tie. He played in nearly every game the following season, flitting between the two positions but was a very average full back and not much use as a winger. At the end of the season the Board put him in limbo leaving the new manager to decide whether he was worth another contract, a fairly obvious reflection of the disappointment he had been.
Alan Buckley did keep him on , seemingly as a stand by in case Paddy McCourt was ,let's say, not in a condition to play and he played in most games up until March when Parkin dropped him. With a neat symmetry he returned for the final game away at Oxford before being released in May 2004. He didn't score though.
Bristol Rovers were interested in taking him on but Matt chose to stay in the North and went to Halifax. He stayed there for 4 years, making 132 appearances until they were expelled from the Conference when he moved to Altrincham (ironically saved from relegation by Halifax's demise). He is still with them at the time of writing.