If you drive around the KM area in the next couple of days, you may hear a low frequency humming sound about. That will be one or two things – it will either be the buzz of an injury time winner still lurking.
Or it will be the sound of pressure around the club being slowly released into the atmosphere.
Still, last minute goals, eh? Can’t beat them, especially when it’s your team scoring them to win. When was the last time we had one – Connolly against Luton? One even this season that has slipped my mind?
It was a rather glorious end to a game that by all accounts, was mostly shit. We looked like a team that has lost four on the bounce, Brizzle Rovers seemed to play for the draw, and 0-0 seemed the most likely outcome.
But proving the old adage that the game isn’t over until the final whistle, a ball gets launched into the box one more time, a big striker gets his bonce onto it, and the rest is history.
A few broken bones, some nasty looking bruises and at least one pregnancy. And that was just the celebrations by the players. You can see what it meant to them – remember one of the last SW19 updates about professional pride, and all that?
Make no mistake, a loss yesterday would have been horrible. It’s not been a fun February as it is, and reports of unrest shouldn’t be a surprise. Even a draw wouldn’t have done much to lift the mood.
A win though does wonders. It’s lifted a lot of tension, and it could turn out to be something very huge indeed (if we capitalise on it, a big “if” given this season so far). Suddenly, we could end the campaign now and we’d be OK.
The over-riding emotion right now is relief. We still have a long way to go, and we’re certainly not out of the woods. We may yet need a couple more last minute winners between now and May.
But for our own mental health, we needed yesterday badly.
If nothing else, we won’t be killing each other this week, and I think that’s what part of yesterday was about. We had a big crowd**, which got behind the team, and eventually got rewarded for it.
** – 4,837, which has to be the highest for some time. Glad I wasn’t in KM yesterday though, I don’t find it comfortable when it’s 4000 as it is.
I wonder if sub-consciously, we realised just what we were throwing away. Even with all the obvious (and justifiable) criticisms you can level this campaign, relegation should not be inevitable.
People don’t like us playing shit. The players certainly don’t. And I don’t believe anyone want us to go down either, not without a sodding great fight.
While many will talk about radical overhaul in the summer – and your editor would back that 100% – there’s nothing much to be gained by finding ourselves in L2 next season. It will be too painful, it will be seen as a big failure, and I question whether we’d get it right anyway.
The potential to lose our momentum as a club is unfortunately very real, something I’m not convinced AFCW would know how to handle, and I don’t fancy having a fight just to stay in the FL this time next year.
Apparently (and I don’t know how true this is, but it wouldn’t surprise me if so), only eight players are contractually here next season. One or two may sign up, but in truth most will depart.
That’s not easy to deal with even if you do have a decent scouting and recruitment programme, and ours has proven to be pretty feeble this last couple of seasons. To have to do that with the backdrop of going down will make many come out in a cold sweat…
That’s for then, this is now. This week is to be enjoyed, after all. Especially as it seems the bulldozers are finally going to go into NPL, and that particular side of things goes beyond abstract symbolism.
We were due to play Blackburn this Tuesday, but I’m glad we’re not. We need a rest anyway, but just as importantly a time to reflect and take a step back. Five games in two weeks is enough of a toll at the best of times, let alone when you’ve lost almost all of them.
It will be nice to have a few days just to look back and think “we’ve won”. That particular glow is unique to those who follow sport, and it never leaves you. We need that just for a little while until hostilities resume again.
And the business end of the season will take it properly out of us.
We can help ourselves by playing our best starting XI available after playing Charlton. Only Easter has a small gap between the games, the rest is standard Saturday-Saturday-Saturday.
This season is a coin-toss, even now, but we can stack the odds in our favour if we don’t try to be too clever again.
Points mean everything now. A shit performance with a draw is better than a decent one and a loss. We learned that in 2013, where arguably drawing at Priestfield kept us up as much as Jack Midson’s penalty.
We may have to need to do something against Bury, though I’d prefer it if we didn’t.
One thing is sure though, imagine the emotion if we need to win on the 5th May, it’s 94 minutes and we’re drawing. The ball goes in one final time, it ricochets off the nob of Darius and it just sneaks over the line…