So, guess we’d best get down to the nitty gritty shall we? In our first competitive game ever, it finished Army Training College 1 SW19’s Army 2, we went 2-0 up in 90F+ temperatures. First goal ever by Kevin Cooper (AFCW version), forget who scored our second but it was in a period where we bossed the game. Actually, for much of the first half and a period in the beginning of the second, we were doing lots of defending. Their goal BTW came after our goalie (sorry, know hardly any players’ names ATM) saved a shot, it rebounded off the crossbar and their player followed up.
Second half, we did actually do quite well, and towards the end I thought that we could have had at least a couple more. Sadly, it didn’t happen, but hey, we won.
All right, I wasn’t taking THAT many notes about the game, you shouldn’t be that surprised. I’ve never concentrated on writing what actually happens on the pitch before and I ain’t going to start that boring shit now. But today, that didn’t matter. Some of what I saw today was very non-league. Very non-league. I should expect that having spent most of my football watching in the professional game. However, I witnessed something that I haven’t experienced for years, and a little thing that we’d all forgotten to an extent. We had fun. It was enjoyable. There was, how shall we say, less pressure. The players when they walked off loved it, in fact as I type this they’re at a pub in deepest SW19 consuming vast quantities of ale. And I really think it shows. That “Blaydon Races” song, about all the lads and lasses with smiles upon wor faces could easily apply to us ATM. Seeing people I haven’t met in ages, that kind of thing. Still having doubts about AFCW…………………..?
Plus points: 100% unbeaten in the league this season. Good defensive performances. The spirit was in abundance. Knowing how to press forward. Sim Johnston marshalling in centre defence. Going up a gear after Sandhurst scored. Just being there
Minus points: Could have been about 30F cooler. Wobbled a bit between their goal and HT. Attack needs to learn where that big white inanimate object with a fishnet is.
Ugly points: One ballboy in his Sunderland-esque red/white striped shirt was being sponsored by something with the initials “CK”…
The referee’s a…….. : ….. OK, I don’t know much about the standard of refereeing at this level, but he wasn’t a goatfiddler like his pro counterparts. Let quite a bit go.
Causing trouble: Your humble and esteemed editor getting his first warning for swearing by a steward after 1 minute 34 seconds. This was followed at 4 mins 50 seconds by his second warning for swearing. I apologise, it was the heat.
Quotes: (1) “Stewarding you is a full time job” – above forementioned steward who does actually do a good job in trying conditions….. (2) “It’s like a fete” – Mrs Dunford snr on seeing the newly-renamed Batsford Arms and surrounding group. No tombola though. (3) “It’s like the Cup Final all over again” – Mrs Dunford snr, clearly on a nostalgia trip. (4) “He’s got the Andy Clarke syndrome” – Mrs Dunford snr yet again, this time on our #10. Poor sod. (5) “Good old fashioned Wimbledon goal” – CUNW after our second. Somebody else getting nostalgic. Hmm, that kind of day I think.
One to watch: Our #2, who showed defensive skills and manoeuverability akin to John Scales. Shooting also akin to John Scales, though.
Sing Hosanna: This was a strange one, I don’t think we really got going TBH today. We had some good uns – “Franchise are losing”, “Are you watching Raynes Park Vale?”, though sadly the Champagne Song seems to be buried, yet another sad victim of political correctness. Fuckers. Best chant of the day had to go to Sandhurst – ” Oh Sandhurst Town is wonderful, oh Sandhurst Town is wonderful, it’s got nothing but a burnt down Tescos, oh Sandhurst Town is wonderful”. Should point out the nearest Tescos got burnt out a couple of weeks ago….
Point to ponder: This occured to me as we went 2-0 up. The sheer size of our support shitted the opposition up. Maybe all the times we pretended when we were the other club that size of support didn’t matter were just us deluding ourselves? Especially as we are now probably one of the best supported clubs anywhere in non-league.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) I’d never thought I’d go into the Batsford Arms ever again. (2) Breaking Sandhurst’s attendance record AND the CCL record in our first ever game. (3) Seeing lots of cars down the A3 with AFCW garb on the windows. (4) The Sandhurst offside trap was utterly tedious. Typical small club, always trying to kick and scratch at us big clubs.
Question: What era is our kit based on? Mid 70s? Have to say, I just don’t like that massive yellow stripe down the sides.
Franchise FC watch: Today, they played at Watford and lost 3-2. Funny in itself, but there were reportedly only 80 gimps willing to be prostituted by Koppout and a couple of cardboard cutouts as well. Perhaps the most pathetic bit of spin came from MKFC Prava, which made the proud boast that a “coachload” of MK residents made the journey. This is actually not something to boast about, as (a) the turnout was shit, and (b) one coachload at a very near ground to MK is even more indicative of the apathy up there as anything we’ve ever said. Really, how much longer can they keep it up?
Anything else? Yeah, nice one to Sandhurst who really milked the occasion. They made us all feel very welcome and deserved all praise.
So, was it worth it? When is seeing history in the making not worth it?
In a nutshell: Back.