Ah, FA Cup third round. It’s been a long, long time…
So then. Big Arses 0 Big Boys 1. The kind of performance we needed after Cambridge, the kind of result that if we’ve got anything about us will give us that foot-up-botty-area so desperately needed.
Cup games are always means to an end, and this one may be the most satisfying of recent years. With the exception of the other cup game we played in Buckinghamshire this season.
Make no mistake, this was always going to be a difficult fixture to overcome, but if we applied ourselves right was immensely winnable. And today, that’s what we did.
OK, that’s a bit unfair, but everyone could hold their heads up high today. The players, for responding like we know they can. NA and co, for actually encouraging them to have a go. And the support, for turning up and making themselves known.
Oh, and there’s the little matter of the third round draw.
More on that later, but the game. First half was a bit shit though. Not us as such, just the general quality of it. We could have been 2-0 up in the first couple of minutes, Shea had to make a very good save, and then proceeded to follow it up by constantly kicking the ball out of play.
Mind you, there must have been something in that part of the stadium, because the Wycombe keeper managed to pull exactly the same trick. From which we scored…
Cue joy. And lots of mosh pitting in front of the seats. And something else too – a bit more confidence. OK, we had one further chance that we didn’t take, and Shea had to make another decent save, but I didn’t think we were going to lose that.
It could possibly have been a draw, and neutrals would have hated watching the game, but there was a determination about us today that has put us in the proverbial hat for tomorrow. TBH our midfield isn’t wonderful, but it didn’t half make up some ground when it lost the ball.
Our attack was, ahem, “well marshalled” a lot of the time, but at least our back line looks decent with Goodman at CB. Shame he’s not ours.
Can we put in a similar performance for the trip up to York next week? Probably not, but right now that doesn’t seem to matter. NA’s reaction at the end (and it was never six fucking minutes of injury time) said it as much as anything that will be written today or tomorrow or until the middle of next week.
After all, feelgood factors at AFCW are hard to come by, and he’s making the most of this latest one.
I’ve managed to get this far without mentioning the obvious. But that will come later. In the meantime…
Plus points: We won. In the FAC third round. Clean sheet. All round performance so needed. Mentality. Goodman. Shea. Nobody really played badly.
Minus points: A second goal would have killed it.
The referee’s a…: Oh dear. To give him a smidgeon of credit, he did book their player for diving in the box when I genuinely thought he was going to be conned enough to give them a spot kick.
Shouldn’t give him too much though, he was more than keen to blow us up on stuff that was ignored far too often on the other side. Which leads to…
Them: According to British Swimming, they got 6.0, 7.5, 5.5 and 6.0 today after two judges marks were removed.
Seriously, I know every team simulates – ours included – but it got embarrassing at times with them. It was as though George Porter was taking training and giving his expertise as so wonderfully (?) illustrated at Brizzle Rovers last year.
It was the same against them in the League game this season too. No wonder we sung “dive in a minute”, it was one of those few chants that the opposition duly obliged in.
Still, they got what they deserved because of it. Actually, somebody had a drum in the home end, so they deserved to go out for that alone.
It wasn’t a very good turnout from them, especially considering how well they’re doing. The crowd today was 3196, of which 1035 were us. They’re hardly breaking the 4000 barrier mark for games as it is.
But then, they’ve always been that sort of club – anyone who thinks AFCW are middle class should go to Adams Park, because they make us look like a bunch of coal miners.
Your editor noticed the signs for
London Wycombe Wasps outside their club shop. Now they’re fucking off to Coventry to be yet another rugby union franchise, you have to wonder once their purple patch ends if they’ll be fighting for their FL lives again soon.
Oh, and their PA was crap. Couldn’t hear it, too well, and I’m not convinced they even read the teams out…
Point to ponder: Can we have more matches on a Sunday please? It makes your editor’s life so much easier, and means I can get to many more games. OK, a few church goers may be pissed off, but they could always try atheism. Or Islam.
There are quite a few Friday nights throughout the season, where there’s a L2 fixture on, and Tranmere were the kings of that particular evening in the past. We do seem to have a reluctance to do it, as from what I can gather we’ve rejected at least one request to move a game to a Friday night.
Granted, the evening before Saturday is one thing, but Sunday might be worth an experiment at least once in a while, especially at home. And especially if we’re timing it with one of those weekends where the main attraction on Sky is West Brom vs Stoke.
Of course, the next round tomorrow could even see us selected for Monday night…
Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) TB was there, and obvious time has healed a few wounds. Sad thing for him is, if we’d kept loyal with him we would have been looking over towards the Conference South by now. 2) “Wycombe’s a shithole, I want to go home”. At last, some of our fans confirm they live in Wimbledon Village. I bet they sneer at anyone with only two Mercedes in the drive as well. 3) Has Sammy Moore grown a beard? Not that it suits him.
Anything else? Dear Football Gods.
I know you’re petulant little bastards at times, but tomorrow (or today, if you’ve just woken up) you can redeem yourselves. We have got through to the third round, for the first time in the AFCW era, and you know how much we want to draw a Premier League side.
For once, don’t be cunts and give us Wrexham away, or another L2/L1 side at home, like I know you are planning. And don’t even think about Millwall again.
Give us a proper FAC tie that is a genuinely spunktastic one. Like everyone else, we obviously want to get Yernited/Citeh/Arse/Spurz/Chelski/Scousers. So does every other club below the Championship.
But any Premier League side will do. Burnley at home, perhaps? How about a wet January afternoon in Stoke? And yes, Palace at Selhurst Park appeals to my warped sense of humour.
I will appeal to your better nature here. Think of a Premier League centre back you don’t like – Per Mertesacker, for example. Imagine BMO going up against him and clattering into him. You’d love that, wouldn’t you? Well, you have the power to make that happen.
If we can’t have a Premier League side, then let us have Reading at the Madejski. Or AFCB at the Goldsands – though you might have problems with getting our fans into the ground, as they’ll be too busy looking at their car park.
Just somebody decent and mouthwatering. BHA. Birmingham. Blackpool. Hell, Blackburn will do. Might draw the line at Bolton though, some of them have six fingers per hand.
There aren’t many excuses to give us Accrington or Southport. Leave those for the JPT/CoC/FAC 1st round type fixtures, where we’re just happy not to play Franchise. Oh, and don’t you fucking dare decree that Chesterfield played an ineligible player at the WankieDome and “rearrange” the draw in that way.
Remember, you owe us for sending us twice in one season there. Big time.
I await your actions with interest, if not a little apprehension.
PS: Don’t forget that Crawley and Stevenage are out too. I know you were tempted.
So, was it worth it? Third round of the FAC, I do believe.
In a nutshell: Still think it will be Wrexham away.