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Lesson learnt


Did somebody say wake-up call? If there was a measure of how much further we really have to go – and not self-delusion that we can get into the Conference without more wholesale changes – then Arndale 0 Lakeside 2 would be it. This was our cup final and we lost it.

Let’s be honest here. Conroy going off, referee not giving us the rub of the green, the weather, whatever the excuse, is irrelevant : today, our naivety showed up. It’s all very well stuffing the likes of Met Police and Ashford, but today we played a Conference South team. A good one at that, top six they are, and they have a good away record. We needed to be on top of our game today and we weren’t. When you get about a dozen corners in a row and don’t come close to converting any of them, it reaffirms the school of thought that we ain’t nearly there yet. I don’t doubt we’re a Ryman Premier team, but if we were a Conf South team, we wouldn’t be in the top 12.

I suppose we didn’t play too badly, we didn’t disgrace ourselves totally. And yes, forcing god knows how many corners shows we weren’t always on the defensive. Would have been interesting to see how well we would have done if we’d scored first. But we didn’t – their first goal was exactly the same as what Matt E did to CCL defences last year. What goes around, and all that. Second goal came about 5 minutes after HT and practically killed it for us – a good lob and you couldn’t say it wasn’t coming.


Plus points: Wasn’t a humiliation. Did press forward even at 2-0 down. I don’t have to use the Magic Of The Cupâ„¢ cliche for another season

Minus points: Losing. At home. Not scoring. Out of the FA Cup. Centre back position fast becoming like the drummer in Spinal Tap. Far too many high balls. Even a Suzuki (or was it Isuzu?) jeep could have taken a corner better than us.

The referee’s a…….: At least he blew the full time whistle before the rain started again. I wouldn’t say the Main Stand were unhappy with him, but I think Boris Johnson would be safer in Liverpool than the referee in the posh bit.

Them: As said previously, top six in the Conf South and you can see why. They looked sharper up front, certainly capable on the break, but probably most importantly of all, they were professional. They knew how to break the game up, knew the little professional tricks. In short, they had seen it all before. Stood next to a Thurrock fan who basically agreed with the above sentiments expressed – quite a few of them as well (took one coach, approx 75 there) and made a loud noise when they scored…

Weather Channel: Rain. This sucked. Even I gave up on the hAE and stood in the JS stand for about 30 seconds before getting fed up with the crush. It eventually stopped raining about 10 minutes before the end, though we did get treated to a nice rainbow behind the WB end.

Point to ponder: Anyone else think that us going out of the FA Cup is not exactly a major catastrophe? I’m not one of those people who wants to sacrifice any and all cups for the league – you need a bit of a fillup otherwise it gets tedious – but I would rather us get promotion and make a damn good go of the FAT. I think we can forget the LSC and the Bryco Cup, they’re nice to win but I doubt if there’ll be many suicides if we lose in both of them.

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Your humble/esteemed editor saying before Thurrock’s first goal, “they’ll score from that”. Ladbrokes have since banned me from their stores. (2) How bad was the water on that pitch? I was almost hoping that the game would be abandoned. (3) Me having to buy a programme and forgetting to take one despite paying for it. Don’t ask, it was that sort of day.

Anything else? Yup, whoever was doing the “He used to have grey hair” chants in the JS stand, please take a bow for the biggest laugh all day. And some Just For Men for the subject of said chant.

So, was it worth it? Piss off.

In a nutshell: We can concentrate on the league