[No images due to the usual, ahem, technical difficulties]
There was something CCL-like about Ferret 1 Mongoose 3. Maybe it was because I passed a sign to Hartley Witney en route. Or maybe it was the army barracks setup for the burgers/beer/hot dogs in the ground? Or perhaps it was the slope on the pitch, which Sir Edmund Hillary trained on before he attempted to mount Everest?
Whatever it was, it was nice to get a CCL scoreline of sorts. Another 442, a decent enough performance from Paul Smith, which has already rendered my new front page out of date (come on, I needed a new one quick and it was all I could think of) and some good goalie/defensive fuckups to boot. Certainly Richard Butler capitalised on one – their goalie went out to kick it, hit a defender and up he popped to slide it home. Though given we were kicking uphill at the time, it was more a full powered shot that trickled over the line
There wasn’t really that much else happening. I think we were going at quite a low gear for the first half, certainly. It was cold, muddy etc, and just like last season I’m sure we would have got more if we’d applied ourselves more.
Which is exactly what we did in the second half. We came out quite lively, and eventually – thanks to yet another defensive equivalent of getting piles – Rob Ursell made it two. And a minute later, Randall made it 3-0. The job was done, except that Fleet decided to kick us a little bit. Oh, and they scored about 2 minutes before the end, but we were feeling generous by that stage.
Had enough? Fair enough, here’s…
Plus points: A win. Away. Tricky surface. Paul Smith looking better. Defense looking quite confident. Better team without really trying too hard. Good second half spell
Minus points: Them scoring. Richard Butler going off – at this rate, we’ll have less strikers than a Nottinghamshire coal mine.
The referee’s a…..: He didn’t do a bad job as it goes, better than J Beadle on Monday. Though even a mix of David Blunkett, Jon Bon Jovi and the creator of Garfield would have done better than J Beadle on Monday.
Them: We gave them their record attendance, which they were well pleased with. Quite organised, though the tea was pricey at Â£1. And for that, I do expect them to put the bloody bag in before the hot water. This isn’t the United States, you know. We were treated to their choir, ie about 11 fourteen year old wannabe chavs. Hope they’ve done their homework. Oh, and their physio was about 80 and ran either with a limp or ran very camp..
Three’s a crowd: As said above, we did break their attendance record. Though it must be said, an SW19 reader showed me his tickets. Yes, tickets as in plural. Basically, they gave him two tickets for him on his own, so it might be worth Fleet rechecking their figures somehow.
Point to ponder: As discussed today – if we go up this season, where would we finish in the Ryman Prem? Seems like I’m in the small minority who thinks we’ll be mid-to-lower table with the current squad, yet most people seem to think that we’ll be unlucky not to reach the playoffs. I’m not too sure if I’m basing my assumption on us doing the minimum for these sort of games, or whether it’s because I’ve watched people like Yeading, Salisbury and H&R this season, but I can’t help thinking there’ll be a lot of disappointed people next season
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Being thanked at the end by an official looking Fleet person. This is CCL all over again. (2) The PA playing Robbie Williams’ “Radio” tune. Twice. (3) Yet another minute silence for the tsunami in Asia. With all due respect, I think I could do without many more minute silences for a while now..
Franchise watch: Haven’t done one of these in ages. They were in the FA Cup 3rd round today, where they lost to Peterborough. In front of a bumper crowd of 4k. I really wish they would hurry up and die. The team is shit, the club is shit, the fans are shit, the town is shit, they are shit. They are football’s equivalent of a trapped fart : irritating, embarassing, impossible to finally squeeze out and with the potential to stink the place out. Please, if there are any Franchise people reading this, just kill yourself. Preferably quickly, your screams of pain will merely disturb us watching the telly, and you’re not highly regarded enough to warrant you distracting us….
Anything else? Apart from Fleet town centre being a dump, too many pedestrian crossings and too many pedestrians acting like the brain dead morons in Wimbledon? Not really.
So, was it worth it? Suppose so
In a nutshell: Who needs the FA Cup?
And finally: I’m out of here for the next couple of weeks, back for the Newport IoW game (weather and jetlag permitting). There will be reports from Bromley and Dulwich, though I’ve just realised I’m also missing Fisher. Oh well. Obviously, there won’t be many other updates, though the guestbook is still open. Please don’t let the serial spammer put you off, I will clear his muck as and when I can, though it will be sporadic. And if anyone knows who he/she/it is, just tell them that I can legally buy firearms in the US and some states have something called justifiable homicide….