When we think of great individual performances, we naturally tend to focus on goal scoring feats.

Andy Morrell scoring seven against Merthyr Tydfil, Paul Mullin’s two goals that secured the National League title against Boreham Wood, and any number of Rosie Hughes hat-tricks come to mind.

However, it’s not just the strikers who should be given the glory. Last Saturday we saw another performance which was worthy of standing alongside those storied striking feats.

Eoghan O’Connell was absolutely magnificent at Bradford City last Saturday. The fact that he has been in and out of the team in recent weeks only added to the excellence of his performance.

His job was to nullify the threat of Andy Cook, who has consistently been the best striker in League Two over the last few seasons.

The enormity of that task is easy to grasp once you see Cook play. He is a monster in the air, consistently beating centre backs to long balls and devouring crosses greedily.

Naturally, Bradford seek to exploit this particular skill by ensuring that any teams that cross their path are subjected to a plethora of crosses into the box.

His heading ability isn’t the only weapon he has in his locker either, because he is an all-round striker. He can strike the ball with either foot, his passing can be decisive, and while he is no Paul Mullin, he can drive past the outside of a player to get into a shooting position. No wonder Dean Keates was desperate to buy him!

So O’Connell was clearly going to have his hands full. However, that didn’t put him off. From the beginning of the match, he clearly warmed to the task, relishing the challenge.

He kept touch-tight to Cook whenever possible, stifling the dangerous target man, and dominating him in aerial battles. When the Bradford goalkeeper launched long balls towards him, O’Connell was all over Cook, repelling them with towering headers.

If the ball came to Cook’s feet, O’Connell was constantly on the front foot, nipping in ahead of the forward to intercept. It was a perfect illustration of the art of man-marking.

There was one troubling moment for O’Connell. It came after about 20 minutes, when he misplaced a pass, which could easily have led to a goal. However, it came to nothing, and that was the one blemish in an otherwise impeccable display.

As the game wore on, O’Connell continued to excel, and Cook, for all his potential threat, didn’t lay a glove on Wrexham. Instead, he was reduced to a remarkable sequence of histrionic penalty appeals, each more desperate than the last, as he sought a way to influence the game.

On the rare occasions when O’Connell was otherwise engaged, Tom O’Connor and Jordan Tunnicliffe did a terrific job of covering for him. Tunnicliffe, in the second half particularly, was magnificent as he made a number of crucial defensive interventions in the goalmouth to repel Bradford as they increased the pressure on our back three.

O’Connor was also very impressive, unflappable under pressure, and withstanding the physical challenges that the Bantams presented. O’Connell got precisely the support he deserved.

Other examples of memorable performances by defensive players come to mind. Jonathan Flatt was a goalkeeper, on loan from Wolves, who played just seven games for us in the 2014-15 season.

However, he did have one glorious 90 minutes in the FA Trophy at Southport. It was a first round tie and we just didn’t turn up to the game. We should have lost heavily, but Flatt repelled Southport with a series of genuinely brilliant saves.

Sadly, it’s difficult to relive his excellence, because the footage from that day isn’t great. You’ll have to take it from me: Flatt was brilliant.

He earned us a replay, which we duly won. We were grateful to him as we battled our way through to Wembley because, without him, we would never have got past the first round.

However, after squandering a comfortable position against North Ferriby United, we suffered a humiliating defeat, which cost manager Kevin Wilkin his job. With hindsight, maybe it would have been better if Flatt hadn’t been so brilliant and we’d lost in the first round!

Recent clashes with Notts County have been memorable affairs, but the draw Devonte Redmond’s superb strike earned in August 2019 was the only point we took from Meadow Lane in the National League.

However, strikes from Dan Jarvis and James Jones earned a win there in the FA Trophy quarter-finals two seasons ago.

Three wins in 31 visits makes Meadow Lane one of our least favourite venues.

Our last Football League game there was a 2-1 loss. Silvio Spann came off the bench to score, but was sent off in the last minute, and County scored the winner from the free kick!

A year earlier Hector Sam scored the only goal, and our only other win there was in December 1964, a 3-1 win through Martyn King, Ken Barnes and an own goal.