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Fish supper for the New Year

Well, you can’t really say a lot about that, can you? Big Mac 3 Filet-O-Fish 0, and finally it does seem that we’ve at least sussed out how to win these sort of matches. Though I’m sure Bognor will end up ruining our weekend…

Comfortable? Yes. Nervy? Not majorly. Welcome? Oh, for sure. This is the kind of performance that I do expect from us against a side near as dammit to the bottom. It’s good for the goal difference, and I always enjoy a win, but you can’t gain much kudos from these sort of fixtures. Secure the victory, and people roll their eyes and say “that was expected”. Draw or even lose and you can guess the reaction.

The fact that people like Main and Kedwell are starting to look like the duo we paid £40m plus combined for can only be good. Which makes it triple disappointing that DK has now picked up a calf strain. That news is as welcome as finding out you’re in an Israeli embassy and the cleaner standing near you is a Hamas operative. So for now, it’s up to Main to keep scoring and indeed for the likes of Finn, Godfrey and Belal to step up to the plate and show us their early season form.

And it will require those sort of players to prove themselves (not JM, but a couple of others). To quote an old trailer from MTV’s The Real World, this is what happens when people stop acting polite and start acting real. In other words, now is the time to stop fucking about and prove that we mean business. There’s no FAC, or FAT to distract us. We have a minimal fixture pileup, weather permitting. Our fringe players should keep themselves sharp by the Slurrey Senior, and there is no excuse why we can’t put this sort of performance on week in, week out. Though if we win 3-0 every time as well…

Needless to say, Chelmsford won again in the last minute against Furruk and it’s all a bit of a pisser. That’s twice in the same week. Yes, it’s annoying. Yes, they’re fucking bastards. Yes, I know that they had a fifth official who was the bloke in that parrot outfit. Yes, we should never announce it as read over the PA system. And yes, I know we were doing the same early on in the season, but that’s different…..

You’ll hear TB’s post match interview later, but I’m sure there’s something you’ll pick up on. Namely that no matter what anyone else does, it’s up to us and us alone to finish top. Twas ever thus, and all that. At some point, Chelmsford will come undone by their habit of late goals – happened to us this season, which took a good month or two to rectify, and contrary to popular belief teams who win titles don’t do it every week.

And I’m now going to make a bold statement for this new year. I mean it absolutely sincerely, and I’m prepared to run the risk of ridicule come May.

We are more than capable of winning the title this season.

Yes, I really do mean it. There will be many ifs, buts and more than a few maybes, but unlike last season the team (and squad) feels more capable of getting there. Whether we will win the title is another matter, of course. It’s still January, and we’ve still to have our usual fuckup. It may even come on Saturday at Bognor. But there’s something a bit different this time round full stop. Last year, we would have drawn or even lost this game. Today, we were able to go up that gear, to remain patient knowing with full confidence that we would finally get something. And the funny thing is, we put in this performance and result, and most people don’t bat an eyelid.

It’s quite possible that we’ve got too much ground to catch up on even at this stage, that Chelmsford are destined to win the title this season. If that is the case, we’re certainly good enough to finish second and by some considerable distance. While we don’t want to go through the playoffs this time around, we are capable of getting through those two games without the massive slice of luck we got against Coldseal and Staines.

There’s another reason why I think we’re capable of winning the title this season, despite currently being nine points behind (albeit with two games in hand). You’ll find out what I’m getting at later on…

But for now, our most important game is on the south coast this Saturday. That won’t be a foregone conclusion either, they drew 2-2 at H&W today. And it wasn’t even their cup final. Win that, and then an evening trip to Dorset becomes that much more important….

Plus points: We won. Comfortably. At home. Clean sheet. JM. Danny Kedwell. Potential banana skin avoided. Not really having too much to do defence-wise

Minus points: DK’s injury. Chelmsford winning

The referee’s a….: Was he the same one as the one on Boxing Day? If so, refer to previous report.

Them: By the sounds of it, they were better today than last week. Which admittedly isn’t saying much. In fact, they had an air of a club (let alone a side) that knows it’s on its way out. Apart from their player messing up his one-on-one (and it was bloody offside anyway), I honestly can’t remember anything they did of note. They didn’t even resort to fouling people. Incidentally, their transfer embargo was lifted this week due to Fish being able to pay a player who they didn’t. No prizes for guessing what game funded that. A lot has been written about them going bellyup, and they may well do. But we got the six points we needed off them, so all else is irrelevant…

Point to ponder: Today’s crowd was 3190 (of which, 3180 was ourselves). Wonder how many it would have been if it been a game with a legit local following? One can only hope the fixture next year will be Woking…

Meet the manager: Don’t do too many of these nowadays, but his latest musings are below.

TB talks about Fisher – click here

Apologies for the muffled sound at the beginning, our manager was stuffing his gob with what appeared to be some sort of pizza…

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Where’s the TV gantry on the JS side gone? Don’t tell me the cameramen finally got fed up of the smell of piss from the regulars that side? (2) The reaction from other certain quarters to our reaction at the final whistle about results elsewhere is a tad odd, I have to say. Why is it considered bad form to be pissed off by it? It just shows our ambition and our competitive nature. Oh, sorry, I forgot – this is non-league we’re talking about…

Anything else? Yeah. Remember what I said about why there’s another reason why we’re capable of winning the league? Were you paying attention? Anyway, it’s this : I’ve come to the conclusion that this division is quite, well, ordinary. Seriously – has anyone jumped out at you and made you believe they would run away with it? Even the defeat at Melbourne Park was mostly down to us playing arseholey in defence, and by the sound of it the game there today was on the crap side for a large part of it.

With the right attitude, it’s possible to put on a decent run in this division. I’m starting to believe it’s not significantly better than the Ryman. Granted, the games generally in the BSS are nicer to watch (your editor went to Tooting v Horsham last Saturday, and it was pretty unreconstructed in parts), but is it any co-incidence that the top two are both promoted sides, and that other promoted sides have done the running in the past years?

So, was it worth it? Yeah, guess so. Until Fisher get kicked out the league, that is.

In a nutshell: Merry new year.