By Royal Appointment

Yes, I know you’re all still celebrating England reaching the semi final…

I don’t think there was 100% focus on Plough Lane 4 Elm Park 2 somehow, judging by the amount of national team shirts at KM today.

Still, we had a good undercard to that particular fixture in Russia. No,  the result won’t say much about how pre-season goes, let alone the actual proper games, but it was a lot nicer than the 7-0 gubbing those years ago.

And yes, I still remember that. I’m going to sue for emotional trauma caused by that game one day.

So, what did today teach us? Well, your editor got there ten minutes late for a start. Piggot and Pinnock aren’t the same player, despite having the same haircut like they do on lads holidays.

Our new Dover signing can cross the ball.  Tom King is a big mouthy bastard with a presence and an impressive kick to boot. No pun intended.

Appiah and Barcham looked OK, and the other thing you need to know that it was quite enjoyable.

Oh, and we go 2-0 up, Trotter comes on and we go to 2-2…

Actually, he was part of the 30-minute squad, full of youngsters, who played like they had a point to prove. And our third (especially) and fourth goals showed they have a bit of skill as well.

If we don’t get in players by the Fleetwood game, why not give some of them a chance?

OK, I think we can guess the answer to that, and while we looked good in a friendly in early July, it’s pretty obvious we’ll still need to get the signings done sooner rather than later.

I wouldn’t want us to have to keep searching around for a lot of them after QPR next week – even if across the board, players are holding out for better offers at the moment.

More positively, perhaps literally, is that we seem to be much more attacking as a unit. This is only a good thing, as we’ve always been more effective when we decide to have a go.

We scored four goals today, which was almost the same amount as we scored by September last year.

As it’s too bloody hot, and you’re probably still getting pissed on Carlsberg/hungover, expect the rest of this report to be the literary equivalent of a 60-minute runout…

Plus points: We won. Promise in some areas. More attacking. Impressive play by the youngsters.

Minus points: Stifling. Going from 2-0 to 2-2.

The referee’s a…: His pre-season too, so no need to discuss him. Could have broken the protocol of games at this time of year, when he could have carded a Reading defender late on. Guess he didn’t fancy the paperwork in this heat.

Them: I recognised about five of their first team in the second half, and I was gobsmacked to discover many more of them starting the game.

Your editor covers them a bit, and while it’s pre-season etc etc if I was one of their fans behind the goal I would be just a tad uneasy right now. They lost to Eastleigh last week, and they let a comeback slip against our kids.

Remember how our PSF campaign in the season that TB got sacked went?

Not too many from Berkshire, for reasons that are quite obvious, although them singing after they scored was just a little bit too enthusiastic for such a fixture…

Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) 12pm kickoffs are never that fun. 2) The religious/sports day event at the athletics track next door. Can’t imagine alcohol sales were that good.

Anything else? As it turned out, it was £10 to stand up and not £15 – some wires crossed there for my last update. Point about pricing these type of fixtures stands though.

That said, who is responsible for putting basic information up on the OS? I tried double checking the price this morning, and rather than just stating it on the pre-match info article, you had to find out via the ever-reliable CRM.

And we all know about its “quirks”.

OK, it’s a minor thing, and I know comms at AFCW has never been that good, but it’s not a trade secret. Especially when you’re asking people to spend their dough to help the club’s coffers…

So, was it worth it? I think so.

In a nutshell: Something’s coming home.