Oh dear. How can I even begin to explain the carnage that Hens 3 Cocks 0 became? It seems like everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong. Suddenly, there was no plan B, no likelyhood of scoring. All shots went over the bar, or wide. That is, when we weren’t miscontrolling the ball. It felt like we had been magically transported back to the dying days of OGEM’s era. Painful, and just as depressing.
This was the first time in AFCW history that I’ve seen us totally capitulate like this. This was as bad as some of the Premiershit drubbings. This wasn’t a teething loss like the 5-0 vs W&H in the beginning. This wasn’t an honorable mismatch like the Watford and Luton friendlies. This was against a team, one division above us, who have just lost their manager. This was the sort of team who, if we have even remote pretences at being a top non-league club, we should beat. Or at least not totally fuck up against.
The worst thing is that we started off very well. OK, our crossing and finishing could have been better, but we were certainly getting in behind their defence. Indeed, I timed their first shot at 25 minutes. So, what happened second half? They scored, and scored again. And should have scored some more. Every time they went forward, I winced. This could have been 4-0 or 5-0 to them and it wouldn’t have been unfair on us.
The most worrying thing is that when we do lose a league game, and it will happen soon (we are seriously teetering on the edge), we will lose about 4 or 5 games on the trot. Witness how Arsenal can’t seem to win at the moment (1-1 vs Palace tonight being the latest example). We haven’t looked convincing in October and this month. I know there’s a lot of pressure with this damned run, and yes, when it comes down to it I would like to see us lose after Bromley – hell, I want the record – as I think it will refocus us. But a run without looking like winning could hurt us loads. The talent is clearly there, but is the attitude going? Will the confidence plummet? On the basis of this, we are just about to find out..
Plus points: First half wasn’t bad
Minus points: Rest of it was shite.
The referee’s a ……: Well, some think that the ref was being a bit favoured to the higher division side, missing handballs etc, but quite simply we can’t use him as a scapegoat. Or if we did, we’re in trouble.
Them: Christ, what a shit area. Looked like Liverpool or the St Helier estate. Ground had a Plough Lane feel, from the bus outside to the skipping PA system. All we needed was that Sydney Youngblood record that Jimmy King always used to play and it would have been home from home. Dunstable levels of organisation, namely one tea bar open. Then telling me that there was another temporary stand selling the usual stuff, though that queue was bloody long as well. As for their players, their #2 was an expert in masturbation techniques. So good was he that a photographer took some snaps and showed a couple of his copper mates…
Sing when you’re winning: Was it me or was the atmosphere a bit like our second half performance? The Hendon fans were in good voice (when they were in the lead, quelle surprise), with “3-0 to the real Dons”, and “Pub team from Surrey” being aimed at us. Might have been a couple of Dave Anderson chants as well. Oh well, we’ll probably be playing them next season. Plan revenge mission now.
Nee naw nee naw: Unusual amount of coppers today. I suppose they were all on training exercises from the local training college. Anyway, for the first time ever the police dog seemed to be a golden retriever type mutt. Normally, you would expect a police dog to be a big alsation to scare the bejeesus out of you or a beagle to take a great interest in your crack. But this? I know the police have funding cuts, but what next? A sausage dog?
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) DA, on pulling off our #8 (?), commented to the people behind the goal that “I had to take him off – he was tired”. Right….. (2) How kewl was it to be able to go on a tube journey to a game again? Morden to Brent Cross is so easy it’s unreal. (3) Hearing “what a waste of money” to one of our players. Last time I heard a chant like that, I was paying entrance fees that equalled the entire cost of today’s game. (4) Hendon have the Sheep Raffle (where you win a cash prize, I hope), their junior club is called the Lambs and their big mascot is a bloke in a giant ram costume. Was Hendon’s founder Welsh?
Franchise watch: Go on. Grab a beer, sit down, forget our game and piss yourself at their latest loss. 4-1 to Brizzle City. Yeah, it’s obsessive and petty, but as Danny Baker once said, it’s as much about them losing as us winning.
Anything else? Yeah. At about 2-0 down, I really felt our crowd turning against the team. Not in an obvious way, but the murmurings were getting a bit bitter. Coming back on the tube, that game five years ago vs Sheff Weds at Shitehurst cropped up again. OK, the circumstances now are different from them, but for the first time in years I felt that pit in the stomach over our performance. Christ, perhaps we ARE a proper football club again?
So, was it worth it? Fuck off and die
In a nutshell: At least we can concentrate on the league.