Pussys 0 Beavers 4. OK, check the date. Yup, it’s April the first. There’s no way we could ever surrender a run of form like that. There’s no way we could ever lose a “must win” game in such a fashion. There is certainly no way that we could go from fourth to seventh just like that………..
Bah. Reality sucks. Oh well. So let’s get it over and out of the way. This hurt. This hurt far more than the first fixture against them, when they stole the three points. This wasn’t the 4-0 against W&H last season which had comedic qualities. This was Comedown Central, and it felt like a kick in the bollocks with steel toecaps.
And yet, you just sensed that there was one further game this season where everything would crumble and turn to dog shit. You see, after Heybridge, and after Harrow, and especially after Wealdstone, we were a little bit too, well, confident. We were thinking of possibly third, maybe even second. Right now we’re seventh, which technically puts the playoffs out of our hands. It won’t work like that of course, but this is the last time we can play like that all season. No ifs, buts or “hmm, well…”
Right now, the Best Defence In The Division (R) looks anything but. I genuinely think they will be the reason why we’ll be in the RP again next season. Ignore the two penalties after the break that killed us, we shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place. Poor Andy Little must have felt he was dumped somewhere in Afghanistan with a “I’ve converted to Christianity” t-shirt on. As it stands, we’ve now lost our most consistant player for a couple of games, just when we need him most…
The thing that worries me most of all is how we always, seemingly without fail, fuck up these big games. Today, we had 3313, next time it’ll be nearer 2313 and we’ll win 4-0. When we played against W&E, we had another big gate and spectacularly underperformed. All this week, we were informed that everyone was up for it and revenge was ours.
I think I’ve found out why we lost. We froze. I don’t know why, but the pressure, the expectation we put upon ourselves to win yet again killed us. I have come to the conclusion that there is a massive mental block at AFCW. I think we – fans, staff, players – know that if we lose all hell breaks loose. When you lose against a Chelmsford, it’s one thing. When you psyche yourself up like plenty of people did today, the fear of failure only seems to get higher.
Today, when I was in the tea bar, the bloke in front of me pointed out that if we played today like we did last week, we’d win. I certainly don’t believe there is that much wrong with our team or manager. Hell, the last few games have shown us at some of our best, and certainly got the rest of the division sitting up and taking notice. What a difference a week makes.
The same old arguments will doubtless pop out, the same old retractions to follow. Excuse me while I stifle a massive yawn. Fact : there is a big psychological problem in the AFCW mindset. It will still be there even if DA was pushed tomorrow. It was there under TE, and if truth be told it happened in the WFC era. I think as a whole body, we just can’t jump over that big game hurdle.
Look at our recent “big” games. We lost to St Albans. We lost to W&H in the FAC. Thurrock took us apart. Remember AFC Wallingford? Yes, I know we played well, but we still lost 3-0. Hell, even Colne in the FAV did us. You could argue the toss over Sutton in the SSC, but it’s not really one of the top trophies. See the pattern?
Am I being unfair? Maybe. Am I trying to deflect from a very shite performance? Possibly. But I came away today shellshocked. Not angry, not upset, just gobsmacked. Remember when we lost 7-1 to Villa? It felt a little bit like that. OK, we tell ourselves that we will not play as badly as that again this season. It may be keeping our spirits up, but somehow it’s got a bit of truth to it.
Even after today, I don’t think we’re in too bad a position. OK, if the season finished now, we’d be at Chelmsford again next season. But our fixtures certainly give us some hope : they are all winnable, and even with the possible exception of W&H they’re not what I describe as “big” games. Yes, they’re all extremely important, but right now I’d rather be playing Hendon than Heybridge. This division is going to go right down to the wire, and we won’t be the last fucked up result of this season. And thinking positively for a moment, when would you prefer the inevitable stinker to be? Today? Or the penultimate game of the season?
I suppose I ought to mention something about the game. It could well have been different had they not got two penalties. I’ve watched enough football over the years to know that most teams can go 2-0 down at half time and the game isn’t remotely over. Their second penalty was straight out of the Drogba manual (at least their sizeable and silent following felt at home). The ref was doubtless enjoying his poultry based meal beforehand. Certainly was enjoying munching on a cock anyway. And OK, perhaps saving SS for Tuesday isn’t a good move by DA, but then a cup final does bring in money…..
Anything else to add? Not really. I can’t be arsed to go on a tourette splurge and print every swearword under the sun. As said earlier, I’m too gobsmacked and nowhere near angry enough to use the word “beaver” in its other context. The crowd support was pretty good, very little obvious bloodletting as well. Also, still can’t believe that exactly a year ago, we lost 4-0 to W&H….
And if you’re still pissed off, and none of what I said makes you want to step away from the noose, Franchise lost.
(final thing. The new forum is now up and running. Yes, I said it yesterday, but it’s now officially replaced the guestbook. You can still somehow find the guestbook, but it’s a day away from finally being pulled. You don’t have to register, but it should now be spam free…)