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It’s me, isn’t it? I hear all about us playing so well recently, I turn down work, hitch a lift down to Folkestone (thanx Steve) and I end up watching Michael Howard 1 Charles Kennedy 0 instead. I knew I shouldn’t have broken that mirror the other week.

The one thing that grabbed me about today was frustration. By that I don’t mean the kind that you get when you break both your wrists, can’t move your fingers then feel you need a wank. This is a different sort – two steps forward, half a step back type of thing.

It’s funny how just under a week ago, talk was of the playoffs being a mere formality. One or two exhasperated whispers that, you know, we could be champions. Just win against Folkestone, watch us fly. Watch us go. Just watch us. Er, not quite…

Actually, if I’m being honest, I don’t quite know how to approach it. Until the next victory, I’m resigning myself to RP football next season. These sort of games determine whether you go up or not, and it’s clear we’re not there yet. I know there were quite a few “what ifs” today, like what if we’d scored within the first 20 minutes, or what if we’d got a few more decisions in our favour. Bit like those Luton/Coventry type games we always used to have.

But until we rise above that, we’ll have to get used to such a journey for next season at least. I have no doubt that we’ll end up beating Worthing 3-0 and everything will be all right with the world. That’s the sort of thing we do. I also have no doubt that we will fuck up against Slough and Leyton. Again, it’s the AFCW thing.

It wasn’t that we quite deserved to lose, with a bit more accurate shooting, more alertness in defence and a little tiny slice of luck we could well have won. Granted, it wouldn’t have been vintage, but I’ve never been one to turn down a victory for decent football. Maybe today is simply a loss? It does happen to teams sometimes. Even ours.

We’re still only 3 points away from a playoff, lest we forget, and the rate this league is going, nobody is running away with it. There is still plenty to play for. Just make sure that we don’t drop too many more balls.

Had enough? Good. Here’s…

Plus points: Well, Rob Ursell looks promising.

Minus points: Don’t ask.

The referee’s a ……: If I was writing this professionally, I would say that he failed to note a couple of handballs for the away side. As I’m not, I will say that right now, he is inserting various shapes of fruit in a rather vulgar manner in front of a webcam, charging similarly minded persons $5-99 a month for the “privilege”.

Them: Seemed quite a civilised lot. More like Dover than Ramsgate. Didn’t think much of them TBH, which makes the loss a zillion times more frustrating. Their goalie celebrated the win like he’d won the lottery, the World Cup and a promise of a quick swallow off Cheryl Tweedy.

Point to ponder: What the hell will happen when RB leaves for Brentford/Wycombe/Aldershot? Without him today, we looked ordinary, and the signing of a third genuine striker to rival him and the Kiwi is a priority. Poor SS can’t do it on his own (and why has he suddenly become good?). Peters will probably either last 3 more weeks or come good a la RB. When he got stuck in, he actually wasn’t that bad. Of course, getting him to come near the ball was another matter. And there was a distinct lack of reaction when he got subbed….

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Wasn’t the pitch awful? Any invading German army during either of the World Wars would have gone through the football club and met a nasty grave. (2) Speaking of the army, was it me or was there some converted army barracks/munitions type factory behind the ground? (3) The last time I went into such open air toilets down the uncovered end was at Ayresome Park. Did we really put up with such facilities back then? (4) Def Leppard’s “Photograph” on the PA before kickoff. As somebody put it, the PA guy got a copy of the “Best Air Guitars” album for Xmas.

Franchise watch: Had their cup final and lost it. Sounded quite an exciting game for them, which makes their loss even more funny. Shame for them that nobody paid much attention……….

Anything else? Not really. Unless you want to hear the words “gerbil flaps” to describe the first half, and “this has ruined a decent lunch” to describe the second.

So, was it worth it? Bollocks to this, I’m going back to watch QPR. Although they’re not entirely wonderful to watch either…

In a nutshell: That’s all, Folkes.

And finally: In all seriousness, and as the front page says, I am out of here until about the 25th/26th. We’ll probably be top by the next time I get to a game….