Let’s have a quick show of hands before I continue. Who here before the game predicted a tight victory, a draw or even a gut-wrenching loss? Go on, don’t be shy…
Many of you? Thought as much. I certainly did anyway. Which makes Trouser Press 5 Iron 1 all the more gobsmacking.
Unlike last week, where we really did ride our luck, today we didn’t. Now, being from the school of pessimism, I would prefer three lots of 1-0 wins from today until this time next week rather than a guaranteed 5-1. And at some point our striking will dry up (as long as it doesn’t happen at the worst possible time…). But thinking about it some more – is this a surprise? Is this really a blip or just a good run of form?
If this is merely just a purple patch, then enjoy it while it lasts. Yes, it’s a great feeling to return from another game with so many goals. But at some point it’s going to be a sharp return to earth. It could be next Saturday, it may even be at BS on Tuesday. And when it happens, it will hurt and hurt bad. Especially if the Champions Elect pull away again.
But on the flip side, this could be the “norm”. We’ve had mutterings about how shit the BSS defences are, not too loud lest we were being arrogant and/or leading us up to a fall. But if we really are that standard above, then it’s scary. It could be the biggest injustice going if we don’t go up. Perhaps that mettle has been proven already, the way we came back from a rather lucky draw at Dorchester and a pretty so-so 4-0 win last week (and yes, that is an accurate description)? See, in the past our great runs have been a lot of treading water – they certainly were in the Ryman, where at various points in the games then were some real pant-soiling moments. Right now, I don’t feel that. I’m naturally expecting the mother of all fuckups at some point, but I don’t have that impending sense of doom either.
Can we keep this going? Perhaps the more important question should be, can we bounce back when this run comes to an end? Can we pick ourselves up after a loss and go on another swashbuckling run? There’s a belief, and a strong one as well. Once the much maligned Sam Hatton struck another 30 yarder free kick to open, it just wasn’t in doubt after that was it? I’d even got to the stage of not bothering to write down that we need a second because it was coming anyway.
What I think did it today wasn’t those three goals before half time, it was the way we controlled the game after Hockton scored. It’s all very well scoring shitloads of goals, but one day we won’t be so proficient. If you look at any side that wins the league, or finishes second, you’ll note that when it comes to it, they can overcome playing badly and conceding a goal. We did it against Dorchester, and this side last year would have ended up drawing 3-3.
Because I’ve got to say, when they pulled it back to 3-1, there was that slight niggle in the back of my mind. And I bet you had it too. Be honest. So going 4-1 up about a minute after the restart was pretty much a relief, and even we couldn’t mess it up from there.
As much as I want to get carried away with this result, I daren’t let myself. The next two games really could decide our season, which is why I’ll be glad when next Saturday is over. Go top at 10pm on Tuesday, then win on Saturday and it’s in our hands. But slip up twice in a week, and the hard work we’ve put in recently to claw back a nine-point deficit will be lost. And no matter how good you are, it takes a while to recover……
Plus points: We won. Convincingly. Jon Main. Never looked troubled. Continued pushing forward. Looked pretty solid at the back. Dwayne Lee’s first ever goal for us.
Minus points: Conceding. Kennedy and Inns getting injured.
The referee’s a….: Lazy bastard. Well, that’s the only explanation I can think of for him not sending off their player(s) for Kennedy getting crocked. All that paperwork could put him off his hobby of collecting used tissues.
Them: Crap, basically. Except for Hockton, who once turned us down because Bromley offered him more money, and always has a habit of scoring against us. When I say they were crap, I mean it in the H&W manner – you expect to stuff Bognor and Fisher, but last week plenty were gushing about how Braintree battered Eastleigh and how many of us reasonably thought today could even be a loss. And people wonder why some of us are starting to get a little bit disappointed by the BSS.
Point to ponder: Why are Chelmsford fans claiming they’re going to pop down to BS on Tuesday as neutrals? Are they really going to applaud us if we get a 97th minute penalty to win the game, and congratuate both teams on a thrilling contest? Let’s be honest, they’ll be borrowing a couple of BS scarves and pretending to know the home team’s songs. Sure we’ll recognise them by the cheering should DK or JM get stretchered off….
Meet the manager: Sorry about the slight muffling, that’s either me forgetting how to use the software or TB eating a pizza.
Anyway, he seems pretty confident, though he is a bit worried about what will happen if either DK or Main end up crocked (and was it me or did he sound like he’s pissed off with Belal?). Maybe we’re about to see another Luis Cumbers/Ramone Rose loanee come if/when necessary? For all the trouble we had last season with the amount of temporary playing staff, and as much as I believe our season has been helped by a settled squad, I wouldn’t be surprised if we get a little bit of news down the line…
Three’s a crowd: 3229. Considering there must have been less than 50 visiting fans (we didn’t need to segregate) that is pretty bloody impressive. Success breeds success, after all. Could next week be the biggest BSS level crowd since Weymouth’s 5022 against St Albans (give or take 30k obviously) three years ago?
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) The Sky Sports darts music after the goals today. Top chav marks for anyone who went “Oi Oi Oi” (2) The WB sung a chant which I hadn’t heard in ages – the one that has the lyrics “somebody kick his fucking head in”. Question is, to whom was this act of violence directed at? Somebody who caused us great strife in the past? Although that would be a long list (3) Hate to say it, but who was the minute silence for? Impeccably observed, needless to say. One aside though – the poor BBC Radio Essex bloke next to me kept getting feeds from his studio during it asking for updates. And you thought a phone ringing during a silence was bad…
Anything else? Yeah. Wasn’t there something a little bit nostalgic about these pictures this week? They were the same school that we hosted today as well. I think that whatever else happens in the AFCW era, we must never, ever lose that accessibility. OK, TB and the players there wouldn’t have been able to do it if they were part time (and going properly full time is going to take a LOT of planning), but when WFC got it right over that sort of thing, it paid dividends. Christ, Dave Beasant used to take lessons at the school opposite SW19 Towers when I was growing up, and more of that will get more kids interested in AFCW (which is why we must keep making it affordable as well). From little acorns, and all that.
So, was it worth it? Quite possibly.
In a nutshell: Tree felled