Humble apologies for this being 24 hours later than I hoped it would. I’ll give my considered (?) opinions later in the week. For now, enjoy via Chalfers..
Well, REPD couldn’t be bothered to attend the first half of Stones 1 Big Boulders 5 prior to witnessing Harlequins stuffing by Leeds in the Northern oval ball game, so it is left to a drunken stand-in with no notes to try and inform the SW19 readership of Saturday’s events.
Heading to the “quaint” stretch of North London commuter belt that houses Northwood FC’s ground, a spread of allotments and a nicely appointed cemetery (we could have been in Croydon Athletic’s ground given the view) the talk was of how we would screw up against lower table opposition as always happens after some promising results.
Surprisingly we were wrong. Very wrong. Off the scale wrong. This was an arse-whipping of such major proportions that frankly the 5-1 scoreline flattered Wealdstone – they would have been hard-pressed to
complain if we had racked up double figures.
So what went right? New boy Barney sure knows where the goal is and would have finished ahead of any member of England’s Commonwealth sprint squad in a foot race; Smeltz took the piss and looked like an international playing with boys; the midfield battled and supplied the front pair with copious good balls; the defence was solid and Andy Little is a goalkeeper who inspires confidence rather than panic.
In summary, the team is gelling at the right time and the strength in depth provided by our last 4 signings is awesome. All we need to do now is get into and win the play-offs to keep the squad together to have a chance of Conference South glory next year …. oh how we know something is going to go spectacularly wrong now !!!
On with the show …
Plus points: A big win; finally that stuffing that we’ve threatened has been handed out. Paul Barnes’ pace and finishing ability – although there was some ironic moaning that he only took 3 of his 6 chances …
Minus points: A small element of the crowd.
The referee’s an…….: anonymous soul. Which is just how I like them.
Them: Has to be said that the vast majority of Wealdstone supporters were friendly and the club put on a welcoming reception; shame that a small minority seemed rooted in maintaining their reputation from the 70’s and 80’s of being the non-league Millwall. It seems that the fairly minor skirmishes at the end of the game were as much the fault of one or two idiotic Dons fans, but how long do we need to put up with unsegregated away games and drinking on the terraces before people put two and two together and realise that is the catalyst for all the trouble that we have had on our travels? I won’t go into this anymore on the basis that I didn’t see much of this in person (despite REPD’s well known like for some malicious gossip ;)), but rest assured we haven’t heard the last of it. As for their team, Hendon’s incompetence is probably the only thing between them and Ryman 1 next season.
Spotted: Lawrie “I only score important goals” Sanchez. Again. Can’t keep away these days … are we close to getting players called up for Northern Ireland or is DA in line for a coaching job? 🙂
Point to ponder: The much-maligned Dwayne Plummer’s continued resurrection. He not only looked a happy part of the team, but was positively beaming when the “… he’ll come and fix your taps” chant echoed around the ground as he came off to let Brennan get a chance to get some game time. Does cheering for players actually help more than criticising them every week? You decide.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Watching a burial no more than 60 yards behind the goal in the first half … a Simon Bassey penalty (do you remember Coney Hall at GGL?) could have taken out several mourners. (2) Lee (“number 1 as long as I’m in charge” – Terry Eames) Carroll in goal for Wealdstone … relying on 3 goal line clearances to keep the score down. His kicking hasn’t got any better either.
Anything else? The crowd was fairly quiet but the performance was so good that it was more of a “bloody hell, that was a good move” appreciation type of day rather than a cheer the lads on event. Having Steve Butler on the bench and Les Battersby, Gelly and Lil’ Butts to return from illness/injury certainly give the impression that this could be a more usual state of affairs than has been the case since New Year. The acid test will be if we can repeat this form at KM … roll on H&R …
So, was it worth it? Yes. It’s always nice to know that REPD has missed a classic 😉
In a nutshell: Get in!