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How (Har)low can you go?

Sorry, I just don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the moment. I mean, Turkeys 1 Hawks 2?

I think I’m speechless. No, really I am. This was just, well, wrong. After the euphoria of Wembley came a performance that was all too reminiscent of those nightmare games at Leyton and Boreham Wood. Back then the squad was unsettled and not kicking into life. Today was….. well, OK, point taken.

Seriously, I don’t just know what to say. What do you want me to say? That we were fucking shit, everyone was a bunch of cunts and the sooner the entire AFCW setup resigns and fucks off to MK the better? I could do. I suppose I could also take the other approach and suggest that at least we had that sort of game now rather than a week on Tuesday.

In truth, my thoughts are somewhere sitting uneasily in the middle. I’ve been angry before, I’ve even been serene after losses, but I just can’t remember the last time I was stunned like I am now. It’s not a case of, we absolutely mullered them but they broke away in the 93rd minute with the luckiest, most undeserved goal in the entire history of the world. It was just how quickly a squad can suddenly turn in two different games in just seven days.

OK, we woke up in the second half, and their goalie deserved MoM all by himself. I think I made the comment “it’s one of those days” by about 3.17pm. Even our goal came about after we’d hit the bar. Everything that went right against Ashford went wrong today. To concede a goal in the opening minute is sloppy. To go 2-0 down is shocking. To not even look like coming back is outright scandalous.

Before I go on, I want to address why I didn’t write up Wembley. No, I didn’t think my attempts at ticket touting would have made an interesting enough story, and if truth be told I lost my notes anyway. But towards Wednesday of this week, I felt anti-climatic and a bit low after that weekend. I wasn’t the only one feeling that either. And I think that’s why we lost today. We were due a major, major fall after strutting round last weekend about how wonderful we are. Planet earth, meet AFC Wimbledon. Don’t think you meet too often. If the first minute didn’t wake us up then nothing did.

But I suppose we saw it coming. Be honest, were you really up for today? I know I wasn’t. In fact, I had a very, very odd feeling about the whole thing. I suppose there was a bit of Lord Mayor’s Show about it. Nobody could really pass the ball that well, nobody got going sufficiently enough, etc etc. Maybe we knew about it but didn’t want it to happen? Maybe we just blocked it out of our mind, and just concentrated on the memories of Wembley? Suddenly, today starts to make sense, even if it’s particularly unpaletable.

I’ve become more scared of the playoffs than I was before. At the back of my mind last week, I was concerned that the evil AFCW would turn up. The evil AFCW is the lazy bastards, the ones that just don’t click. The surly AFCW, the AFCW that decides it can’t be bothered. Or strops when things don’t go 100% its way. The AFCW I saw today was the evil AFCW, popping its poisonous little head up and stinking the place out by shitting on your carpet.

I wanted to see the good AFCW today. The swashbuckling AFCW that really would murder any team. Last week at Ashford, we saw the good AFCW. We haven’t seen much of the good AFCW this season. Sure, we see it in glimpses, like last week, the second half vs Billy Rickay and even second half at places like Wealdstone. I’m scared because after games like this, I don’t believe the good AFCW exists. I’m sure those rampant games are just a figment of my imagination. Or if it does, it’s been locked in a secret cupboard somewhere while evil AFCW runs amock.

If you’re feeling positive, you’re probably saying that this is the last we’ll see of evil AFCW this season. Surely it can’t ruin our summer by turning up unannounced and letting Karl “Uncle Urchin” Williams wipe his cock over us. Good AFCW puts us in a decent mood for that week, evil AFCW makes us question everything and everyone to the nth degree. Good AFCW will be the ones to carry us through the playoffs to the Conference South. Evil AFCW will ruin our summer.

I’m not sure if I want to write much more TBH. All I’ll say is this : we have one game to piss about in, then it’s time to get serious. I’m not in the mood to put up with evil AFCW any longer, and by the sounds of it neither is anyone else…………

Plus points: Getting the theme tune to Weekend World played just before the second half.

Minus points: 3pm to 4.50pm today. Crossing shit.

The referee’s a……: Christ, he didn’t like us did he?

Them: Fair play to them, they wanted it and got it. Certainly the Harlow bods in front of us looked very relieved to get those three points. Their goalkeeper effectively kept them in it, and sometimes there ain’t nothing you can do. I just hope that’s the last decent goalkeeping display we have to put up with this season. As for the rest, they seemed a nice bunch of people, more of their fans turned up than I thought would, and seemed quite vocal without being cocks about it. Shame they had to bring a bloody drum…

Point to ponder: If I’ve been waxing lyrical about good AFCW vs evil AFCW, wonder what the Staines/Coldseal equivalent is right now? I’m going to put my head on the line – the team we should fear in the playoffs that isn’t called AFCW is whoever finishes fifth. It could be anyone from Hendon (hmm), Ramsgutter (gulp), Tonbridge Angels (can we throw away another two goal lead?) and Ashford. And I wonder if they’ll now roll over for Chelmsford like their manager allegedly promised us earlier this season?

Meet the manager: Here’s the latest MP3 of his post-match interview below :

TB on Harlow – click here

Got to say, I’m pretty concerned that he still hasn’t found his favoured XI, but then again, he does point out that whenever he thinks he’s found the answer the players go and fuck up in the next game. Maybe he’s banking on evil AFCW getting delayed by traffic for the playoffs as well. Dunno why Lewis Christon was rested today TBH, but as the return of Mickey Haswell has shown, putting in “favoured” players doesn’t always have the desired effect. Maybe we will just be giving certain players a runout next week just in case. IYSWIM….

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) The TV gantry. Looks like the Plough Lane one, bar the vertical ladder. (2) A certain election candidate canvassing again on KM grounds. And again, the question gets asked. Is AFCW endorsing this, even by implication? Would a non-“named” AFCW fan who may represent the BNP (who hold quite similar views to Respect/Left List in many instances) be allowed to canvass even in the bars? Let alone get free publicity in WUP? What I do know is that a lot of people around me were pissed off by this – any negative fallout over this is clearly the club’s own doing. (3) Was this really the last regular season game at KM this season?

Anything else? Yeah. There’s something symbolic about the ticket arrangements for the playoff semis. Basically, they went on sale. Then they didn’t. Then they did. Eventually they weren’t but those who did buy tickets could get a refund if we aren’t at home after all. Cue many pissed off people. And it does seem to sum up AFCW generally right now – inefficient and in places quite shambolic. You either sell them or you don’t – want to sell them today? Fine, go ahead and sell them, and accept responsibility for any fallout if we’re suddenly away. Don’t want to tempt fate? Simple – make the decision to force people to either phone up or come down to KM on a separate day once it’s confirmed. It’ll inconvenience some, but at least it’s “fair”. Don’t keep making last minute decisions that leave everyone confused and wondering just what the hell they’ve bought.

After the tix fiasco at Wembley last week, it proves something I’ve felt for some time – the communications at AFCW leaves something to be desired. Actually, scrub that – it’s pathetic. For a club that likes to show how professional it is to the outside world, it hasn’t half been making a pigs ear of things recently. We all know that the OS basically exists to flog KM Live (actual news items relating to AFCW seem to go in spurts). It failed to get any sort of clarification over Wembley, even the Player of the Year presentation seemed a little bit haphazard in its organisation. I know we have volunteers and they all work very hard etc, but seriously AFCW – get a fucking grip. We have looked distinctly amateurish recently, and ordinary AFCW fans are having their patience tested. Try putting emphasis on working smarter rather than harder……

So, was it worth it? No.

In a nutshell: Here we go again….

And finally: Thankfully, this is my last regular season match. Next weekend, I will be here, watching the return fixture of this. I’m right hard, me. Therefore, while I’ll be back for the playoffs, I’m going to require somebody who’s off to Coldseal to do me a match report. Please? I may even give you a special present of a burnt out firework.