(Before I start – yes, there wasn’t a Guildford report. Shoot me)
Of course, we knew all along, didn’t we? Starlings 1 Swifts 0, and the push for the playoffs is back on. This was an absolutely massive game, and we massived (?) it well. If last week was the pus-filled zit, this was the squeezing and TCP application.
It wasn’t the best of games TBH. Swifts should really have gone ahead after a minute, but they fucked up. You just couldn’t help thinking that it was going to be another humiliation at KM by that stage. If you were writing our playoff chances off, join the club. I was having visions of “Anderson out” cries by more than a few, season tickets being thrown on the pitch, that kind of thing.
We got back into it quite a bit though, and it seemed inevitable that somehow we’d score. And when the increasingly-not-maligned Dwayne Plummer netted, all seemed well. Mind you, am I the only one who thought he was going to miss?
That said, we still look a bit out of confidence at home (Swifts had two goal-line clearances). At times, you really did think that once another ball was given away in midfield, and they went on a sprint that this would be it. Another two points thrown away. Or maybe three, given our ability to take a golden lead and flush it down the bog.
Mind you, we could have got a couple more ourselves. The move that sticks in my mind is just after the restart, when Barnes ran onto a ball that he shouldn’t really have reached. He crossed it for RU who just, just, just went wide with it. Had it gone in, the eulogies would be far warmer. Then again, knowing us, had it gone in we would have sat back, relaxed and drawn 2-2.
Incidentally, speaking of Barnes – he is by far the quickest player I’ve seen at AFCW. Quick to the point that he forces corners where there shouldn’t be corners. Seems quite skillful as well, and he does appear to like it here. What concerns me is if he gets injured and loses his pace as a result. Look at Jon Goodman…
So, we won, and what now? Well, there’s no point in saying that the next two games are must-winners. They all are now. The jury is still out on games against run-of-the-mill teams, especially at home (no disrespect like, you know what I mean). ETU and Harrow (both games) are more likely to decide our playoff hopes than Rickay and H&R.
That said, looking at the league table, you just know that we’re going to lose out to W&H. The thought of their Easy-chanting, Franchise loving Walton-till-full-time support lording it over us should cause even the most placid of us to commit ABH. Mind you, if Chelski are on at the same time as our game down there, there won’t be any need for segregation.
Anyway, we’ve still to face Harrow and Wealdstone, and I don’t mean the tube station, so by this time next week we could be planning our trips to Chelmsford again. Be warned.
Plus points: A win. At KM. Clean sheet. Massive debuts for Barnes and Garrard. SB looking solid at the back – John Scales revisited?
Minus points: Couldn’t keep the ball for longer than 5 seconds at times. Defence still shits me up. Wes Daly.
The referee’s a…….: As you know, six people were recently taken ill with very nasty side effects following a medical trial. While such accidents are extremely rare, the official had suffered himself with such a trial. Side effects included disorientation, cognitive nurone failure and early signs of chronic mental retardation. One assumes he found his way back to Kingston hospital after the game, hopefully he wasn’t unaided.
Them: Well, let’s face it – they ain’t exactly Braintree. In fact, despite having more confidence in certain times of the game, I thought we more than matched them. Which does make their coach’s (alleged) claims that we were shit even more Man City-esque*. Does seem to be a theme ATM – play a moneybags side, beat them then hear that really, we’re not very good. Margate springs to mind. Must depress them that we’re only average spenders yet beat them. And unlike Heybridge, I think we can improve, and at the right time of the season as well. Oh, and they’re the only side we haven’t needed to segregate since segregation was bought in. QED.
* – Man City fans are sometimes called Berties, ie Bertie McGoo = Bitter Blue. In other words, more concerned with rival teams doing badly than their own side. Excessively so.
Spotted: John Terry and Lawrie “I only score important goals” Sanchez. Seems like Terry was with Barney, with luck a few ears may be bent for a nice little PSF with Abramovic’s security blanket. As for Sanch, he really can’t park….
Point to ponder: I mentioned Dwayne Plummer’s resurrection in recent weeks above. I wonder if this has anything to do with a certain Mr M Harvey leaving? Reports that the copper slapper had a major half time barney with DA a couple of weeks before he left seem to tie up with recent improvements all round. Chelmsford last week notwithstanding.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) When was the last time that neither sides were able to pass the ball for long periods? And remember, these are two playoff contenders… (2) Those naughty West Bank types hiding the ball after it went in there during the second half. Shame the referee decided to add on time for it. (3) Nice to see the two new guys leaving the pitch last of all, taking (and giving) applause to our own fans.
Anything else? Yeah. It does seem our crowd took the general miserable malase at KM and did something about it yesterday. Practically non-stop singing, mostly pro-AFCW and very few anti-Chelski songs as well. I stood in Moaning Cunt Alley, aka the JS stand and even that was quite positive. I’ve heard that DA doesn’t get so animated in the second half, that he just sits there. He didn’t yesterday, and neither did Bassey. In short, everyone raised their game. And that’s why we won our first game since Boxing Day.
If there’s one thing I hope we’ve learnt, even if we don’t get into the playoffs, it’s this. Thinking and acting like we’re totally shit when we’re not fucks our chances up. I can understand recent attitudes if we were heading for R1. I can’t understand it when we’re in the playoff hunt. While there are some people not going to KM because of the standard, there are others who aren’t going because they’re pissed off with the unwarranted negativity. One is harder to get back than the other.
Yesterday, you could sense the relief – not just for on-pitch matters but off-pitch ones as well. As said earlier, we’re starting to come good at the right time, and I for one don’t want to fuck this opportunity up. Or put another way, I’d rather be in AFCW’s shoes than Heybridge’s for the next few weeks.
So, was it worth it? Yes, apart from knowing I’ll have to change my front page now.
In a nutshell: Swift retribution.