As Donald Trump may have put it – this was YUGE…
Suddenly, there’s light at the end of a very long tunnel. To be honest, I don’t think anyone really expected Back To Plough Lane 1 Back To The Valley 0 to turn out the way it did, but by fuck have we finally turned up at the right time.
Before we get all over-excited, we still have to face Walsall and Oldham in the next two games, and we all know how much we can fuck those two fixtures up. After all, Bury away was supposed to be a dead cert for us.
That freezing evening at Gigg Lane is a sobering reminder of why we’re still down the wrong end of the table. There’s been too many of those “performances” and not nearly enough of the one we saw last night.
But for a few days at least, let’s just enjoy an all-too-rare glow – after all, this is what I expect to see from a club that calls itself Wimbledon.
Guts. Determination. Will to win. A bit of luck at the right time. And the schoolyard-esque bundle at the end warmed many a nostalgic cockle. All marvelous.
OK, you can argue we didn’t have much choice to do otherwise, but once we went a goal up (which your editor managed to miss, as did quite a few others), it didn’t feel like we were going to let it slip.
Having Darius back in helps immensely, though unfortunately Nightingale going off was responsible for that. I would say young Will can’t catch a break, but that’s what he’s done in his pro career so often.
Taylor took his goal well, and for once the slice of luck fell to us. That kind of slip is something that our defenders would do.
They hit the post, but I can’t remember many other efforts from either side really. Which suits us very well indeed, especially at a time when you’d practically murder somebody for three points.
The league table today looks a bit more comfortable to read than most other times this season. It’s still too tight, but Rochdale getting gubbed helped. Oldham v Walsall tonight does have plenty of permutations, and a 22-man brawl that involves point deductions would suffice.
We’ve gone from being 70/30 to being in L2 next season to being 50/50 to stay up again. There’s a twist and turn yet to come but it has to be said – I like the version of AFCW that turned up last night.
It’s far better than the one that’s laid a fresh turd in the flowerbed too often this campaign…
Plus points: We won. Clean sheet. Battling performance. Realising we need to start performing. Darius returning. More the AFCW we are capable of being.
Minus points: Nightingale injured again. Only one goal.
The referee’s a…: Nobody seemed to want to kill him, so he must have done a decent enough job.
Them: If I was a Charlton fan right now, I’d be seriously pissed off with my side today. True, they looked much quicker than we did in the first half, but they seemed to match our inability to find the target.
And they’re in the playoff places. Though not for much longer if that’s how they perform.
If we stay up, I wonder if the original game on 3rd March getting called off might have been fate playing a hand? There was still the fallout from the Northampton debacle, we’d just come off seven games in a month, and we didn’t have the turning point that was Fleetwood yet.
We won last night. We would likely had lost the originally scheduled fixture.
Thankfully they don’t have Kunt “Karl” Robinson attention seeking there any more, as Charlton were one club that many an AFCW fan used as inspiration back in the day. Though reportedly they’re pretty “rudderless” behind the scenes at the moment.
I can’t remember if I’ve posted this before, but you watch this when they returned to SE7 – it gives you goosebumps for eighteen months time…
Point to ponder: Doesn’t last night illustrate one of the biggest bugbears of this season? Namely that League One isn’t all that.
As said above, Charlton are sixth, and they played like they should be nearer 16th. Your editor felt similar to when we beat Rotherham earlier this season, and they were about fourth at the time as well.
It’s only Wigan and Blackburn who look like Sheffield United did last season, and we managed to win at Ewood Park too. The rest of the division seems to be even more of a muchness than first thought.
Last night merely proved that with some positive approach and a desire to win, you can survive reasonably comfortably in this division. L1 may be quicker than L2, and the players are a bit better – but they’re not Championship level.
And if everything in this division is down to budget – how much are clubs wasting on some very ordinary talent…?
Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) There’s going to be a webcam for NPL up and running soon, apparently. Located on top of the flats opposite. Watch productivity at work plummet when it gets switched on. 2) Seeing some of the hierarchy of AFCW and realising how old they now look.
Anything else? OK, we’re all buzzing Sammy Moore style with last night’s result and performance. And yes, this is how we want to play most weeks, and indeed should be.
So why does everything have to fester and get to a certain point where things get blown open?
The last two performances came directly from the post-Fleetwood reaction. That particular game was a realisation that things had finally been allowed to drift too far downwards.
That came off the back of the lingering issues after Northampton, something that again clearly didn’t happen all of a sudden. The reverse fixture of last night saw the infamous Sun writeup that changed things for a while, and indirectly led to the joy that was January.
I could go on, but whether we stay up or go down – this season has exposed a major fault line in how quickly we deal with issues. Or not, as the case is proving to be.
OK, that’s not new – remember THAT St Evenage game in the L2 promotion season? That had similarities to events this season as well. But there’s three examples this campaign alone that show how ineffective our ability to act has become.
Is there a do-not-interfere culture at AFCW that just can’t nip things in the bud? There shouldn’t be, one reason why we powered through non-league in under a decade was because we knew when to replace managers.
A good example of that was sitting in the press area last night, doing WDON commentary.
One wonders whether the club has been surprised how cut-throat professional football is, and perhaps has tried to take the opposite approach because it doesn’t like it? Noble, if a tad naive if that is the case.
And if this season should teach us one lesson, we have to be more cynical and cut-throat ourselves from next season. Less reactionary, more pro-active.
Put it another way – last night was great to watch, seeing the effort and all that. But we shouldn’t have needed the kick up the arse to finally get it a month before the season ends…
So, was it worth it? Yes it was.
In a nutshell: Now, can we not shit the bed against Walsall please?