[quick apology: I haven’t got my notes available, so I’m relying on memory for this report. And as I was NLPing it, and having to concentrate on the game, it may be a little bit more “dry” than usual]
Every so often, you get a performance like The Duke of Edinburgh 0 The Sportsman 4. Not so much as a rip roaring peformance, that will be released on DVD and sell like reduced cakes at Tescos, but one of those professional type games where you couldn’t even see us concede an un-necessary corner. Ray Harford’s teams were good at these sort of games, and now, it seems, DA’s side shows signs of it. Real football continues its return.
First things first. W&E were crap. Seriously crap. Can’t imagine Sky ever sending a camera to tape their relegation dogfight against Redbridge somehow. Second things second, we needed this sort of game more than ever after Bromley. Another difficult game yesterday, and we’d be out with the cyanide pills again. As it was, we could have gone home on the hour mark and still be 4-0 up as you read this.
And, third things third, we started to look more and more like a team. Presumably we’re now back to only needing two more players as opposed to needing seven (as was suggested against Bromley only last week). Yeah, it was only against the second bottom side, and doubtless somebody will say we should be winning these games 6-0, but you have to be seriously grumpy* to moan about a 4-0 win away…
* – no smart arse wisecracks, please. I rather enjoyed yesterday.
The game? Oh, that. Well, Matt York opened it up, pretty good header though. Not so good was their shot that hit the post and rebounded out. And to further ruin their day, a bit of shit defending gave it to RB to round their goalkeeper and net from an acute angle. And by the time the Plummer got the third (though did anyone else think their goalie saved the penalty?) that really was that.
Oh, and we scored a fourth. MC Harvey’s cross to RB. Anyone who put money on the scoreline would have headed to the bar by then.
Anyway, moving forward…
Plus points: Win. Away. Clean sheet. More or less everything. RB. And Dwayne Plummer (apparently, both were carrying injuries and shouldn’t have been playing). Even MC himself.
Minus points: Not many, though the A3 southbound nearly fucked up my attendance of the game.
The referee’s a….: Despite totally failing to send their player off for his GBH scything tackle from behind on DP (or was it SB? Told you I’m noteless) about 4 minutes in, he had about as much to do as Andy Little.
Them: Redbridge revisited on the pitch, Hastings revisited off it. I’ve done plenty of games at this ground, and I’ve never been exactly taken by the place (though this was my first ever non-Slough visit, bizzarely). Seem to be a bit of an elderly gentlemen’s outfit, although their top bloke was pretty appreciative. Not so much their fans though, reports of an act or three of small-time chants abounded. Mind you, there didn’t seem that many of them..
Point to ponder: Was it me or was it a pretty poor turnout? OK, 1012 isn’t that bad I suppose. I know some people who couldn’t – as opposed to wouldn’t – go, and the A3 didn’t help, but I would hope that we are capable of doing better. Slight Fi$heresque numbers by W&E didn’t help.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) On 29 October 1988, we played Derby County away and lost 4-1. Nothing so exciting about that, except the weather, pitch and level of facilities were exactly the same then as it was yesterday… (2) Didn’t it seem strange going to W&E’s ground and not play Slough? At least Slough give the impression, like Wealdstone and Hendon, that they have legit potential. Not on our scale, but could be a decentish Conference South club with the right backing. Can’t really say the same for W&E, H&R and Fi$her.
Anything else? Yup. A couple of cars in the car park behind the ground got done (ie had their windowscreen scratched/shattered) – at least one belonging to RB and another one to one of the top bods at AFCW. Seems like the area around W&E has its own little wannabe Headhunters (ie 12 year olds who act the part until somebody remotely looks threatening at them). Nothing will be done of course, although I bet that would change if human rights lawyers and fuckwit social workers got their property damaged on a regular basis…
So, was it worth it? A nice day out in deepest Berkshire? Quite possibly.
In a nutshell: God shave the Queen.