First things first – could the two people who said they could do the games I’m away for (you know who you are) please email me? I have somebody in reserve if you can’t do it.
Second things second. If the Whyteleafe was the NYD hangover, then Asylum Seekers 1 Illegal Immigrants 2 was the Alka Seltzer, cup of strong tea and high cholesterol breakfast. An apparent reversion to 4-4-2, and in the beginning, we were under a lot of pressure. So much so that I’d thought they would score. Still, we settled down OK, though couldn’t help thinking that we would concede. And christ knows what that would have done to us.
None the less, it was a bit of a shock to see us go ahead though. Frost, the player with a thousand cliches awaiting him, unleashed a damn good shot. First start, first goal. After the recent games, this was a major confidence boost.
Half time came and went, and we looked better. Really, we looked better. We were passing well, the spark from the beginning of the season was starting to flicker again. And, right on cue, Rob Ursell put us 2-0. Haven’t looked at Dons Online yet, but it did seem like a cross put in that elluded everyone. Like you care.
All was going swimmingly, expect that Dover decided to ruin it by scoring. Appeared a bit of a scramble, though we were living off our nerves a bit. After the ref played about 5 years of injury time, and us forcing a few corners at the end, we had won. And suddenly, all felt right again.
Now the boring shit is out of the way, here’s….
Plus points: A win. Away. Looking more composed. Paul Smith played well. Surviving early pressure well. Frost’s goal.
Minus points: Gell’s injury.
The referee’s a…..: His name was J Beadle, former presenter of Game For A Laugh. Yesterday he went to Dover to referee a game against AFCW. Now, what AFCW don’t realise is that he was going to give every 50-50 to Dover. Hilarious. And, to make it more fun, he was going to give every single minor infringement to Dover and – wait for it – ignore every tackle on AFCW. Side splitting or what? And for the climax – he was going to allow so much injury time for Dover to score at the end. Oh, how funny. Makes Soccer AM look like contracting cholera. Annoying? Yup. But hey – it’s, Game For A Laugh.
Them: Is Dover a port or a dockyard? Bit of a dock type place, certainly, with some rather rough looking pubs (with clientele to match) about. Shame we didn’t take more yesterday, but they enjoyed our money company. Their #10 was ex-Womble Victor Renner, who seemed quite touched with the “Victor is a Womble” chant as he went off. At least, I think he was touched. Their #5 had a viciously long throw, while their #6 looked like Eddy Grant. Oh, and their fans were asking “Why can’t Dover put this much effort in normally?”
Song sung blue: Shock. Horror. Some banter. No, this isn’t a joke. The Dover fans came down our end first half and we had a bit of a singing matchup. We won, needless to say, but it was good that they made the effort. Don’t know what they gave us, but they got “Small Town From Calais”, “Your food is taxable” – much to the shock of the Dover fan behind me – and something about baguettes and cheese. Most interestingly of all, they loved the Champagne Song. Isn’t it telling that other clubs’ fans don’t seem to find it offensive? Some even find it funny and a work of genius. Methinks a great deal of our fanbase should stop being so fucking over-sensitive and looking for something to be offended by.
Point to ponder: Bought up a couple of times yesterday – are away games better than KM games these days? There’s something about home games that are a bit nasty and surly at the moment. I certainly don’t walk away from KM with the pleasant feeling that I should, unlike a lot of away games. Expectations are high, that’s only natural, but something somewhere is wrong. Whether it’s Big Club Mentality setting in, or, for the third season in a row, there’s nobody to shout/scream/banter with, I don’t know, but for now moodyness has taken grip. In fact, it’s starting to feel a little bit like the last season at SP. When people say we need to be in a higher division for the club’s sake, perhaps they mean for the people watching as well?
Incidentally, I heard a couple of people talking about why the players didn’t seem to acknowledge us so much when they go off, with the quote “I don’t expect them to be my mates, but..”. Think this might explain a lot of the above surlyness I mentioned. In the CCL, a lot of people WERE matey with the players. We have our groupie element, after all. That’s changed, and things are more, well, normal. It would be nice to get clapped off but I would rather them play well and get us out of R1. They’ll be replaced if we go up anyway. Players generally are strange creatures, having met a couple in the past they’re not really the sort of people I would wish to mix with. I won’t say the love affair is dying, but the rampant lust is gone and now we’re getting used to the mood swings and occasional farting in bed.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Nice to see the opposition players and ballboys showing their support for our manager (see above). Think about it…. (2) If Dover’s food is taxable, why didn’t they give out VAT receipts? (3) Interesting to note that Paul Smith gave us a quick clap at HT and at FT. Players seem to like him…….. (4) Seeing a sign in Dover which said something like “Immigrant Rejection Centre”. Why couldn’t it have been in place when Hammam first entered the country?
Anything else? Yeah. Wonder if we’re happier playing Ryman Premier teams in general? It felt more like a football match yesterday, not knowing if Dover would come back at us enough. You may think I’m asking too many questions in this report, and surmising (?) too much, but those there yesterday will know exactly what I mean.
So, was it worth it? Yup. Still much more to do though.
In a nutshell: Smash. Grab. Sorted.