In a week where we could have almost effectively booked our place in L2, there’s not only a sign of a pulse but also a heartbeat in the body that we call AFCW.
I’m a tad occupied elsewhere, so I’m not going to write too much on us beating Peterborough. We won, with a penalty no less, and it’s as good a result as Donny – but something struck me last night.
It wasn’t at the game, but afterwards, with this tweet from Robin Bedford on Twatter.
True, huddles are a bit wanky, and unless you’re Celtic they seem quite forced and inauthentic. But looking at that picture, you felt something has changed.
Last night, I saw us put in one of the more solid displays I can remember for a good while. Yes, we’re lacking in quality etc etc, but there’s more of a togetherness that at practically every other time this season.
Walter made mention of a “reconnect” between supporters and the club again, and he’s right – there has been a disconnect. One that has been bigger than some within AFCW want to admit.
So, why the change? Well, winning games helps for a start. Two victories at home (a tougher ask than it should be) against two sides hovering above the playoffs isn’t to be sniffed at. Especially with two clean sheets.
But why now? Why not earlier in the season? I think that’s down to realising we’re still in deep trouble, but as the WHU FAC game showed all too well – we can play well when the mood takes us.
I don’t know whether that game started it all off (I think Rochdale did), but now is not a bad time to rediscover your mojo.
And that’s what we’ve lacked as much as anything else.
Since he’s arrived, Walter has tried to make us hard to beat above anything else. He hasn’t always succeeded, he’s found it harder than first thought, and it’s always difficult to raise a side on the floor.
It does seem like it’s finally working, though. Last night and Donny were two games that I expect from an AFCW that is in mid-table in L1, not bottom of it.
Our recent form is stupidly good, and now is the time to hit that…
“Hold on,” I now hear you say. “It’s all a false dawn, isn’t it?”. Perhaps it is, but for the first time in a long while – I’m not so sure.
As said earlier, something is different now. And that’s because as of the final whistle last night, we’ve given ourselves a chance.
We are now just four points off safety. It’s nearer five, because of the goal difference, but within the space of a week it’s within grabbing distance. That does wonders for the confidence.
As does knowing that there are now a lot of teams above us looking over their shoulder. There’s nine games left now, and we face eight of them.
Suddenly, survival is achievable.
There will be twists and turns, and at least one setback coming, but everything going down to the wire at Valley Parade on the 4th May seems ever more plausible.
We have to keep this up, but if nothing else now – it won’t be for the want of trying.
The game last night? I can’t fault the defensive qualities of anyone, and I don’t really give a fuck whether Connolly “acted professionally” for our spot kick. Christ, how many times have we been diddled out of them this campaign?
Yeah, it was luck. But we’re getting some now.
Methinks Posh should keep quiet about any grievances about our penalty, especially given a certain Mr Maddion’s actions last year. I’m glad he’s still playing, despite losing his life in that clash…