Jesuz christ. Horse 2 Cart 3 was not only a Get Out Of Jail Free card, but a free house in the poshe part of town, a guaranteed income of Chelski’s transfer budget, a knighthood in the Honours list and the phone number of the best French hookers in town wanting to practice their oral skills. OK, maybe it wasn’t as melodramatic as that, but for a long period in the first half, it was probably the worst I have seen us play for eons. It was almost like the original Wimbledon Common team versus Brentford.
Needless to say, it all started off hunky dory. A nice playthrough by RU leaving the much maligned Richard Butler to net through the goalie’s legs. 1-0 and yet another arsewhipping of cannon fodder was merely forthcoming. Except it wasn’t, for Horsham not only got back into the game but the bastards even had the cheek to go ahead, a slow defence and a free kick thrust us towards our first defeat.
Second half started and we put them under the cosh so much it got inhumane. But no matter what we did, it wasn’t going to go in. Shots that would have settled ties went wide, or hit a player, or got saved by the goalie. Sometimes all three. And when Bolger missed from about 3mm out, I was writing the obitiaries. Then came the drama. The much maligned Richard Butler got fouled in the box. Penalty. I expected the goalie to save it, but RU proved me wrong. Cue mass orgy. Then we pressed more and more. Two minutes later, a free kick. Whipped in, headed onto the post. Up followed Steve Butler to nab it in.3-2 to us and more mass orgy. I think that at least three of our fanbase are now pregnant as a result, whilst a couple will be nervously waiting for the test results from the VD clinic.
Anyway, shall we?
Plus points: Fantastic comeback. Gritty. Never gave up even when it was apparently obvious that we were doomed.
Minus points: Defence. Midfield. Attack. Most of the first half. Ginge limping off. Too much fancydanning when we needed to be direct, too much direct stuff when a bit of fancydanning might have been wise.
The referee’s a…..: Oh dear. Kept getting called a “Nazi” in the second half. Presumably he likes listening to Skrewdriver in his spare time. His linesman was a bit, ahem, non league shall we say….
Them: Nice and cheap, Â£6.50 to get in is very reasonable. Quite pleasant as well. Their fans may have sung a lot (see below) but they weren’t exactly threatening. Nice lady in the tea bar even gave me the last bottle of water. They did some crunching tackles (what is it about Horsham teams? YMCA next door weren’t exactly shrinking violets) and they looked POed at the end. There there.
Song sung blue: For once, they outsung us. Some of their stuff was dead weird though, and probably not for us urbanites. They gave us “Is that all you take away” – quite – and they wittily retorted “Shall we drink a beer for you?” when the PA said there was no way AFCW fans could get to the bar at half time. At the end, they got treated to “Did you really think you’d win?” by us. And then there was this ditty.
To which we replied with :
You don’t get this at Premiership games.
Point to ponder: Read this theory on W&WW, although I don’t think anyone played overly special. Were the CCL players (ie those we had last season) the worst on the pitch? I know I had to ask whether Matt E was playing, and he’s one of the few I instantly recognise. JS was called onto the pitch by many though I don’t think he had that much impact. I wonder if once you knuckle down in this division your frailties show? In other words, looking good at CCL level is a lot different to looking good at R1? If so, KC and Sully won’t be the only ones out on their ear….
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) The sight of Randall getting involved in an off-the-ball after 10 seconds of coming on. (2) Seeing some of our stewards, er, stewarding. Thought we weren’t doing it anymore for our away games? (3) The relief after the FT whistle blew. (4) The PA. Half Heart FM, half crap local radio (yeah, I know Heart FM is the radio equivalent of constipation). Even played the cover version of Buck Fizz’s “Land of Make Believe”, the same cover version that even had the TOTP presenter taking the piss out of it.
Franchise watch: Trouble in Frenzyville. Firstly, they lost to Bournemouth at the NHS. Secondly, they do it in front of a WFC saving figure of 3230. But even better, it transpires that somebody confronted Stupid Murdick outside, told him to quit and got told “Is that what you want?”. There are better things than being MK’s manager, for example severing your testicles with rusty barbed wire, but if Murdick does get the hint, perhaps SW19 could have a little fun. Who fancies applying for their manager’s job?
Anything else? Yeah. This has to be a wakeup call for AFCW. Not just the players but our fans as well. Had we lost, I think that many would have blamed the referee as a scapegoat. We will NOT walk this league. We will NOT turn this into a CCL mark two. Our fanbase is very arrogant at times*, and while we have a right to feel confident after our long, long unbeaten run, I really was wondering how we would react if we’d lost. I fear it wouldn’t have shown us in a good light. We generally do expect things on a plate then moan like whinging shits when we don’t get it. With luck, we learnt something today, a lesson that we won’t get things our own way.
* – yes, I do sometimes refer to the opposition as cannon fodder but most people are aware I do it with a certain amount of tongue in facial area. Some of our fans however really do think that we’re always right and beyond reproach.
So, was it worth it? If the players are forced to watch the performance from the first half again, then yes.
In a nutshell: Smash. Grab.