Skip to content

Athletic track

And after 10 weeks of recovering………………….

You’ll have to excuse the ring rustyness of the first game of this brand new dawn for AFCW, as it’s my pre-season as well. Only difference is, I’m not in the position to be pulled off (fnar) and have somebody do the second half of this report.

So, what can I say about CR7 0 SW19 0? Well, er, it didn’t rain. And it’s nice to get out of the house on a Saturday. And it is nice to see our heroes in blue-with-yellow-trim again. And er, well, um…..

OK, there wasn’t much to write about. Basically, this looked like a pre-season friendly. When they have to produce two teamsheets because we use our full squad, you know you ain’t going to expect much. For the first 15/20 minutes anyway it really was pretty dire stuff. Players clearly nowhere near match sharpness, though a pitch that looks like the rough at Carnoustie doesn’t exactly help. Trying to work out who plays where and how they do it. Lewis Taylor looking like Par Karlsson (remember him?) or Sam Hatton. Sam Hatton looking like, er, anyone but Sam Hatton. At least he managed to sell his alice band to a deserving case. Wondering who the fuck Michael Power and Aaron Wise are, amongst others.

But once we started getting into it a bit more, and we started to click a bit better, we didn’t look too bad. Even a bit promising. Shame about our shooting though, and we can’t even blame Danny Webb now. With luck, unlike last season I hope our effectiveness up front (lack thereof) really is down to just needing to work more at pre-season training, sharpen up a bit more etc etc and just get back into the swing of things again.

Other than that really, it’s hard to get a grip on the game right now. I suppose we were never really in danger of our first loss of the new season (and your editor’s first stroke), though for about the first 20 minutes their front line really left Inns and BJ looking slow. Could be a decent pairing though, and JG suddenly has a bit of competition. No bad thing though. For about the next couple of games we aren’t going to see the starting lineup for Newport – seems like the team in the first half will be at Met Police on Tuesday, while the second half side is travelling up to Northwood a day later.

While you salivate at those upcoming humdingers, here’s…….

Plus points: We didn’t lose. Clean sheet. More promising than not. Jon Main looking sharp enough. Triallists didn’t look too bad.

Minus points: We didn’t win. Better shooting in the streets around Thornton Heath tonight.

The referee’s a……..: First game since Staines and we still get done out of a penalty. Plus ca change. Other than that, it’s a pre-season friendly and even I can’t get upset at the officiating. Is it true that the lino told their keeper to “shut up”?

Them: Shame that the area around CA’s ground is full of chavs and knife carriers, as I normally like going there. Though I don’t like it enough to pay £8 for a PSF. Interestingly enough, they’ve franchised out their catering to a local greasy spoon, so it looked quite decent grub. As for their team, they played well enough, even if they did have two players with “16” on their back in the second half.

Point to ponder: Seriously, is there any point in getting excited about pre-season friendlies? This time last year, we whipped T&M into submission yet then found ourselves scoring less than a eunuch. Other teams have managed to do some stuffings of their own today, and suddenly we feel a bit inadequate. That said, I wonder if some statto type has ever done studies of teams that win promotion/get relegated and seen what their pre-season form was like?

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Being two miles away from the venue where we spent a good 11 years of our football watching life. The traffic has got worse, the surroundings are still shit and yet in April 2002 we would have remained there with glee. How times change. (2) Why did Jon Main go off after 30 minutes? Was it because we had to pay an installment of £1m to Tonbridge if he makes a set amount of appearances? (3) The first use of the word “cunt” of the new season – and not by your editor either – was reported about 4.30pm today. Also, the first bizzaro comment of the new season was today as well – something about Dr Who and regeneration, apparently. I guess you had to be there, although by the sound of it, most who heard it wish they weren’t….

Anything else? Yeah. The amount of people who just couldn’t wait to talk about the playoff final even today staggers me. It was almost as anticipated as the game itself . I reckon it really has taken ten Saturdays for people to just get themselves composed about it and reminisce with each other once they got the chance. I think PSFs are as much getting in training off the pitch as on it (after all, why would you bother to go to a PSF if it wasn’t to get back in the swing of things?). SW19 has certainly had a poor opening campaign though – it’s taken me three times as long as usual for me to write this small amount as it does for a “normal” (and far longer) match report. I really do need some more games under my belt….

So, was it worth it? Suppose so.

In a nutshell: Summer is over.