Before Bedford 2 Iveco 2, I make a half-joking comment to myself beforehand that we’d try our hardest to get a replay. Why? Because AFCW’s beancounter department want a home game with all that lovely lolly from the beer, and we want to give the likes of Belal and Chris Sullivan another 90 minute run out.
Guys, I really was joking.
I dunno about this. It’s the FAC etc etc, but we really didn’t do ourselves any favours today. Thankfully, ITV.com are going to put up highlights of our game, which is just as well as I don’t want to describe their two efforts. I managed to miss Pullen’s assistance in their first goal, and their second one was just so blatant in coming it was unreal. Why oh fucking why when we went 2-1 ahead did we decide to sit back in defence and let them score? All this amongst our penalty (which wasn’t, in fact many of us were appealing for a corner) and a rather nice bit of movement which was scored by either Belal or Kennedy.
Know what this reminded me a bit of? That Tonbridge Angels game last season where we threw away a 2-0 lead. Yes, I know we did it twice for good measure, just in case you missed it the first time round, but there was something Rymanesque today. Even the ground felt like TA’s place (though to be fair, I’ve been to far worse venues). Nobody really seemed up for it, nobody felt the need to bust a gut today. I wouldn’t say it was like a PSF, but today was just……. there.
We did have quite a few chances, and it’s totally our fault that we have a game on Tueday. Maybe we do need another 90+ minutes of proper, intense football to get everyone’s brains working again. Despite his penalty, JM looked off the pace again, and it wasn’t that surprising he got taken off. Indeed, the SLP is hinting he might not play on Tuesday. DK is starting to find his feet with us, and Belal looks quite elegant at times. Though he does remind me of Walid Badir. Unfortunately, not for the first time, we had all that domination and hardly gave their keeper a prodding.
As I was driving home, I really was going to go to town over us letting it slip when I eventually returned to SW19 Towers. But when I discovered the results of some of the other sides in the BSP, maybe we got off quite lightly after all? In case you’re wondering, here they are – who would have predicted Chelmsford getting gubbed at Bury Town? Or Furruk’s result? Or Braintree fertilising our pitch for Tuesday with a load of shit? In fact, reading the reactions of many BSS followers, their teams really sucked the big one.
Is that a sign that perhaps the FAC has lost its lustre amongst non-league sides as well? We always like to think that sides at our level put their guts and sinew into progressing further and further in the competition. You can expect one upset, but half-a-dozen from the same division? And the joint highest division currently in the competition? I think it was pointed out today by somebody – we probably have to play too many qualifying rounds for it to be worthwhile these days. Especially when the Conference proper gets into the 4QR and only one match away from the first round proper ties – where it genuinely gets mouthwatering.
Those who lost today will probably be thinking “we played shit, but at least it’s not the league”. And there’s your nutshell right there. Thing is, we always have this viewpoint that teams battle their bollocks off to get as far as they can in the FAC. Could it be, quite possibly, that this is a myth? Granted, if we got into the 4QR then the excitement starts to kick in, but right now it’s just another game isn’t it? And I expect that far from the romance of the cup, it’s in fact a hinderance unless you get amongst the big boys. One does wonder if this is a new phenomenum, especially with the advent of the regionalised Conference divisions, or whether this is the FAC’s dark little secret.
Still, we live to fight another day on Tuesday. In theory, we should be too strong for them this time, and if we get our attitude right they shouldn’t have a hope. But then, never underestimate the power of the FAC. Or the word “if”……
Plus points: We didn’t lose. In the cup draw for Monday. Belal looks promising. DK getting more and more into it. Some decent passing in second half.
Minus points: We didn’t win. Threw it away. Pullen’s keeping. Our defence. Lethargic at times. Having to play an un-necessary game on Tuesday which we’ll now probably lose.
The referee’s a….: “He’s a slow tosser” – courtesy of one Mr B. Slayer before the game started. There’s no more to be said, really.
Them: Their cup final and boy did they celebrate. Should point out to them though that when you chant “Can we play you every week?”, it’s done when you’re (a) winning, and (b) not gifted two goals. Still, not going to slag them off too much – they hate Franchise as well, their ground is quite neat and tidy, even if a bit out in the sticks, and they were pretty well organised on the field. Tell you what though, we didn’t half rattle their defenders when we put a bit of pressure on them – remember when Furruck beat us in our R1 days? They knew how to get free kicks and other advantages through cunning, and it looks like we’ve developed that trait…
Point to ponder: Are we on a mini-slump? OK, that’s a bit harsh, and it just feels a little bit like it, although we certainly have lost a bit of our oomph recently. Maybe it’s the relatively hot weather that put us into lethargic pre-season dozy mode. Also, is it just me or has Pullen suddenly become a liability? Last week I started on JG’s sacred cow status, and now it’s the turn of the goalie who effectively saved last season. If everyone’s being honest, he was responsible in part for us having to replay this game. Unless he sees it as a way of getting extra match time and bonuses…
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) “1-0 and you fucked it up”. Us to them when it was 2-1. Fermez votre bouche dans l’avenir, s’il vous plait. (2) **IF** we win on Tuesday, we could get to face Ks, Slutton, Staines, Coldseal and/or Boreham Wood. While the first two are admittedly tantalising, the rest are almost enough to let Bedford win the replay. (3) Seeing a couple of our players at South Mimms afterwards (including Micky Haswell). Didn’t really have the heart or the courage to go up to them asking what happened (4) 1296 there. Not bad, considering a few decided to boycott because BT supposedly stock Franchise stuff in their club shop (wisely nowhere to be seen today), though not the 3900+ hinted at this week. (5) The FAC there for those to be photographed with it. Of course, some of us had that done in 1988 😉
Anything else? Yes. Since 2002, this was the first time we’ve played the closest to Frenzyville. Certainly Bedford Town play in an MK postcode, despite them being a totally separate place in a totally separate county. See, they’re even stealing the identity of other towns around them and passing them off as their own. They’ve definitely got some dodgy genes in their DNA.
The strange thing about all this was going up the M1, seeing the words “Milton Keynes” on the turnoff and just feeling, well, unmoved. I expect had I taken a wrong turning and come across their unbuilt white elephant and their mongs (more on that in a bit) I would have felt differently, but it was weird seeing the name and just thinking “oh, it’s them”. Today was a bit of a hurdle for most of us, how we’d feel about going up near there, and to be honest it went without so much of a squeak. Helped that they don’t like them much either, and why should they? It’s a bit like us playing Brighton and singing Palace songs to them.
Even pulling into Toddington en route, I would have expected to see at least one of them, but of course, none about. Here’s what grabbed me most of all. Driving around there, it was blatantly obvious that the whole area has NOTHING to do with Wimbledon. It’s so alien that still having the “Dons” afterwards is a mix of delusion and sheer provocation. Or is it provocation? For us it would be, but for them I really don’t know. I genuinely believe that they are that clueless about the whole thing full stop.
Reason I mention this is because whilst in South Mimms on the way back, I saw two of them shirted up. I would like to say this is the first time since 2002 that I’ve seen a Frenzy, but in truth I saw a few of them whilst on WISA missions back in the day. I can safely say this about them – they really are odd people. And I don’t mean that in a warm, friendly, “banter” sort of way. They really do look freaky.
At AFCW, we do have pretty normal looking people – OK, one or two who you may consider oddballs, but by and large we’re not too shabby a band to look at. No, I mean it. Franchise fans though are like the freak shows you see attached to non-league clubs. You really get the feeling with them they have low self-esteem, poor social skills, probably outcasts at school, frequent Games Workshop and go along with other retards to feel part of a community that is usually shut away from them. You could almost feel sorry for their simpleton demeanour and their “happy in their own world” outlook on life. Then you realise that OUR club was stolen for these deformed collection of [rather nasty insult about deformity censored] to have a team of their own and suddenly the hatred and anger rises to acceptable levels again.
Anyway, the retarded mutant cuntholes were done over 2-1 by Peterborough at the Wankiedome. Whose fans apparently kept singing “AFC Wimbledon” at them. Also allegedly was somebody using the opportunity to “visit” Wankie…….
So, was it worth it? Well, it was a nice day in the sun.
In a nutshell: At least we’ll have a home game this week.