And lo, the anger of the Deities of Football descended from on high, bringing frozen arctic rain, ravaging winds of pain and destruction, and temperatures decreed from hell. And so it was, that the overlords biding thy time on the Field of the Monarch sacrificed the evil empire from the desolate mounds of the South and East of the Capital. Hearts were broken. Minds were forever corrupted. Souls laid to rest in the frozen ground. And the monster of red and blue ilk was slain, its wretched blood of chaos and all that is improper and wanton poured out liberally, its haemogloblin steaming in the cool night air, leaving the purveyors of truth, justice and light to forever stand on the high ground. Or something.
OK, it was only their yoof team, but whatever way you look at it, Good 2 Evil 0 is a damn fine scoreline. Somehow, all the crap we’ve had to watch on the field seems a little bit distant. Remember what I said recently about the comfort zone? Well last night, our players knew they had a fantastic opportunity to prove a few points to people. Not just themselves, or to DA but to us as well. I really think the criticism from some quarters (and let’s face it, it wasn’t exactly unwarranted) stung them.
It’s best not to get carried away, after all an average RP team will probably cause us more problems than Palace did last night. And I will stick by my assertion that we do need another wholesale change in the close season to avoid having to struggle against relegation. But for now, this could be the big boost we need. We have been drifting recently, and who knows, maybe Molesey will get a jolly good whipping?
The game? Oh, that. I missed the first goal, I was in the bar. Just as well as it was absolutely fucking freezing. It was scored by good old Frost, fast becoming our new Lawrie “I only score important goals” Sanchez. I ventured out into the cold to see us net the second, Mark Jones shooting off RB’s arse… actually, I’d better rephrase that, Mark Jones’ shot deflected off RB to send us 2-0 up and into joyous rapture. Either that or it was the cold.
Plus points: A win. Against top flight opposition (don’t laugh). Clean sheet. Best performance in a while.
Minus points: It was fucking cold.
The referee’s a…..: Even he wasn’t bad. At least, I didn’t hear anyone moaning about him. Probably all too busy slagging Palace fans to notice. The fourth official was apparently the most casually dressed referee you’ll ever see – track suit bottoms, sporting top lifted from the chav section of JJB Sports and matching headgear.
Them: They’re Palace. No further comment necessary.
Song sung blue: They all came out last night. “Where were you when Leaburn scored?”, “Released in the summer” to their goalie – he’ll probably join us now – and the good old classic “Going down”. Not to mention “You’re Premier League, you’re having a laugh”. And how did they respond? “We are Premier League”. Rate they’re going, not for much longer. By all accounts though, the away fans did seem to enjoy the experience…
Point to ponder: As mentioned last night a couple of times and other places. Do we miss playing these big teams more than we collectively let on? OK, plenty say that they’re happy playing the likes of Bashley and Ashford Town etc. And yes, they’re pleasant enough people and they’re nice enough to visit. But consider this : a majority of the AFCW support started following when we were a league club, and the teams we grew up with were people like Palace. Not so much rivals as in equal size of club, ground, support etc – though for most of the 90s we were the top club in South London – but sort of the bigger boys that we like to kick the goolies of. Last night there was a genuine sense of history – we knew that it wasn’t that long ago that Leaburn put two past them. And yes, we reminded them of that fact. We don’t get that with T&M.
What last night proved to me was really, we need to be at least a Conference side again. Am I being ungrateful? Possibly. Am I forgetting the roots of AFCW, or WFC? Depends, I first starting supporting us as a division three side so maybe my own roots are in that level. That’s what I think AFCW’s natural level is anyway. Said it before, will gladly repeat it : I would not watch R1 level out of choice, I watch R1 because that’s where my team play. In short, I want us to be another Leyton Orient than a Leyton. And I bet I’m not the only one.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Delia Smith’s, ahem, call to arms being played on the PA system during the game. She’s believed to be a bit of a boozehound and a stuck up cow to boot. And she has more than a striking resemblance to that iffy Labour MP Margaret Hodge. (2) The pitch looked very good, especially considering that at 6.15pm the game was touch and go. (3) Somebody mentioned it had a pre-season feel to it. Suppose that’s true, we tend to win our pre-season games.
Anything else? Yeah, overheard a copper mentioning that a couple of Dons fans were in the ground who had been, ahem, discussing the weather with some Palace fans at Clapham Junction recently. Old habits die hard. Incidentally, it’s quite possible that this thing could be happening a bit more, hooliganism does seem to be making a bit of a comeback (coin throwing at Everton, that guy running onto the pitch at Burnley) and as those following us in the 1970/80s will testify, we weren’t exactly immune..
So was it worth it? You jest, surely?
In a nutshell: Palace? Who the fuck are Palace?