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County court

So, looks like all is well with the world again then? Funny what difference a whole week makes, especially when it ends SW London 3 Cymru 0.

Be honest – before the game you were fearing the worst, weren’t you? A lumbering, slumbering performance awaited against a side stung by opening day humiliation capitalising on our recent ability to turn to horse shit at the slightest bit of pressure. Cue the inevitable woe and doom from our fanbase, with many an Xmas dinner ruined by inevitable defeat by Fisher the next day….

Which is why the £10m we paid for Danny Kedwell is value at twice the price right now.

Actually, I’m pretty happy with that as it goes. No, it’s not going to go down as a classic 3-0er, but with our penchant for fucking up against people like Chelmsford, H&Y, Eastleigh etc, it’s these sort of games that might guarantee us yet more heart attacks come May.

Assuming of course that Fisher don’t have their swansong against us, we’ve now got a helluva good chance to start closing gaps and hoping that other clubs slip up for a change. We’re out of all the cups worth playing in now, so there’s no excuse for a distraction. I don’t think we’ll be going down the route we did last season of about a zillion players going in/out, so developing the squad into a unit becomes a lot easier. I do firmly believe that no team is unbeatable in this league – we may have psychological barriers against some, but that’s down to us, not them. And a lot can and will happen between now and the final kick of the season.

At some point over the Xmas period, I’m going to dig out the Staines playoff final and watch it again. Partly because it was undoubtedly the event of 2008, but also to see how far we’ve come in a few short months. We would have killed for today’s performance back then : now, we held off some early pressure, got half a snip at a goal, took it expertly and we did basically what we should be doing. No, I don’t mean missing sitters in the way we kept doing, but instead killing the game off. What was this, our first clean sheet in the league since H&W way back in October?

Granted, we’re not going to play a team as crap as Newport were every week. But adopt the attitude we did today and we won’t go far wrong. There was a little flash of what we got up to earlier on in the season – by that, I mean we eventually reduced the opposition to a bit of a gibbering wreck. Bit like the way Holdsworth was when he got caught shagging Linsey Dawn McKenzie…

Can we keep it up, in the metaphoric sense? Well, in one of the quirks of the BSS, we now get to play Fisher twice in a week. The same Fisher who are so skint that they’ve now got a transfer embargo against them, and are even allegedly stopping producing programmes. Rumours abound that they won’t be able to even field a team against Dorchester after the festive period is up. Needless to say, they’ll all want to play against us, and if anything it could end up becoming one of the hardest couple of games of the season. But then, an early goal or two, and who knows?

As for now, treat this as an Xmas present. Especially with the opportunity to give the Franchise lover some stick….

Plus points: We won. Clean sheet. Danny Kedwell. The defence (for once). Pullen having precious little to do. Taking our opening chances. Kedwell and Main together. Always looking for the next goal.

Minus points: Should have been at least six. Chelmsford’s last minute penalty.

The referee’s a…..: Get the impression he was really pissed off having to referee a game in the first half, rather than go out Xmas shopping.

Them: Probably the biggest turnout by an away side in a league game since the AFCW era started. But then, I do consider them the biggest club behind us outside the Conference. Shows the difference between a fanbase that has experienced league football and the bulk we come across who haven’t. As for their team, well….. Actually, they probably could have considered it unlucky to be 2-0 down at half time, but they offered just an exhausted sheep in the second. Guess Deano of the Franchise really is good at half time team talks. Shame I didn’t tape his post-match interview, although he responded to the chants (by us) calling for his head with:

“Am I getting sacked in the morning? I don’t think so, not as far as I’m aware. They had some idiots behind the goal and behind the dugout but they won’t get to me.”

Hmm. Maybe he’s pissed off because he realises he’s a bit shit? Or maybe he’s finally realised that nobody entirely believes him over him going to Franchise…..

Point to ponder: Was it me or was there a slight feel of it being a league game today? Or at least a Conference one? Don’t ever kid yourself that we don’t miss those days, because subconsciously we do. Incidentally, seems like the people doing Newport’s commentary have the same views as us – describing a lot of lower divisions as full of “pub teams” and basically finding it hard to get up for a lot of it. And they say it’s just us and our massive bollocks.

Three’s a crowd: 2945. Disappointing because it’s one of the ones you expect to be over 3k, or happy because it’s the last week before Xmas and everyone is otherwise engaged with propping up the economy?

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Our applause for Kevin Cooper (mark 1) when he got subbed. All of us clapped, although a lot of the visiting fans didn’t. Something Holdsworth could only dream about… (2) Speaking of Deano of the Franchise – no WUP today? (3) Keeping a clean sheet, thus rendering my last front page out of date. Hope you like the new one though. (4) Won’t mean much to most people, but I’m glad AFCW have finally got handling of the press passes sorted now. If it ain’t broke, don’t send it to the repair shop with a £50 bill…

Anything else? Not really. Just wondering what was going on between our fans and the Newport mob standing next to the heddlu during the second half? Probably a couple of beers too many. I don’t get singing “God Save The Queen” to them though, last time I looked Wales was part of Britain. Methinks if anyone wants to sing that, we should organise a friendly against Derry City.

So, was it worth it? Yndi (oh, just google it).

In a nutshell: Merry Xmas.