Thank fuck that’s over. Maybe it’s the excitement of South Wales next weekend, but I really cannot remember a pre-season that has been so underwhelming as this one. At times it’s really dragged along, and in some cases taken the piss as well. Not to mention the Â£8 entrance fee and occasional tenner….
At least Angels 0 Devils 3 finished the football equivalent of a phony war on a high. For once, a player of ours comes back to haunt his ex-club, which makes a change from the usual suckerpunches we have to endure. And rather promisingly, JM looked sharp enough to start next week. Certainly the best of the pre-seasons anyway, and the kind of performance you expect from games this time of year.
Actually, the first goal was funny – it was a rather dodgy passback to their keeper, and obviously they still thought that Main was still playing for them. Cue one sheepish defender and one even more sheepish PA announcer, announcing to everyone that “there’s not much to say about that”….
This by the way was after two minutes. It wasn’t that much later that Main – again – got upended in the box and we got a penalty. You knew damn well he was going to take the penalty, and score it. Which he did. Again, this PA bloke must do night club compering at weekends, because he said “And that penalty scored by Jon Main. It hasn’t quite got the same ring this year has it?”. Bless him.
Then it sort of went into pre-season friendly mode, although they did hit the post late on in the first half. All right, in the second half we did another (semi) mass change, though Main did net his hat-trick by this stage, when their goalie let it bounce loose. No idea what the PA man said, but I think they had to hide any nearby rope.
And that was that really. Nobody ever goes in 100% in these sort of games anyway, which explains why Main got to last the 90 minutes 😉 Maybe Tonbridge didn’t get the full payment if he got crocked in this game? Perhaps the only real disappointment was Bocande. A comment was made in the first half that “does anyone want to pass to him?”. Yes, he’s got power but he was as bad today as he was good against Slutton. He may have just had a bad game, but if he’s a player who plays well one week and shit the next, we should keep Paul Strank’s cash in our pocket.
Allegedly, after the game TB was talking about getting in one or two strikers (as proper first teamers, not ones for the future). Ideally, I would have preferred this sort of news in May rather than the first week in August. As welcome as it is I can’t help remembering how awkward JM fitted into our team initially. OK, he’s now our most invaluable player, but unless we arrange a quick friendly this week against somebody like Ashford Town we’ll be putting a new striker in at the really deep end. Though of course, that can work both ways – not every player takes a long time to settle in.
Still, a win is a win, and a comfortable one at that. I guess we’re just waiting for next Saturday to come around. I think the fans are ready, and quite possibly the team is a bit more ready as well too. Bet this week goes really slowly now…
Plus points: We won. Away. Without conceding a goal. No injuries. Jon Main looking sharp. Midfield looks all right. Starting to look more and more of a unit rather than a collection of 11 players.
Minus points: Bocande
The referee’s a….: The lino missed a couple of TA fouls, but other than that…..
Them: I cover a lot of what I want to say in “Point to Ponder”, but they had somebody who really put the effort in and made everyone sit up and take notice. Sadly for them he was in the tannoy box…..
Point to ponder: Just how important was THAT last 10 minute spell in our last competitive fixture? It struck me today most of all that we don’t have to come here next season. OK, we may get an FAT/FAC visit, but this is where us going into the CS really hits home. Also, and perhaps more importantly, we’ve now played two RP sides in a week, one of which will be a big spending one, and both times they’ve been quite ordinary. OK, we’ve clicked together better this week than we have before, and they are friendlies, but seriously – how the fuck did we struggle as much as we did last season?
I’m not going to suggest that we try this by the way, but I wonder what would happen if this particular group of players play in the RP this season? Glad we won’t need to find out. Incidentally, the SLP had an interview with Jamie Pullen this weekend. Bearing in mind he has CS experience, he said he absolutely hated the Ryman because some of the tactics used were “barbaric”. And no, he didn’t mean us.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Going to Tonbridge, going 2-0 up and not drawing 2-2 at the end of it. Mind you, we did have a goalkeeper today. (2) Couple of people I know kept thinking today was the start of the season. It’s been quite odd, because we start a week earlier these days and all of a sudden our next game is the big kickoff. Just think, this time last year we were looking forward to our friendly against Ks….
Anything else? Not really. Made the now traditional homage to Clacket Lane services, which were utterly packed out. Incidentally, they have free wireless internet now, so cue comments that I now have no excuse on getting SW19 up before 7pm.
So, was it worth it? Well, you could be watching the cricket.
In a nutshell: The hard work starts now.