Who’s walked round today with a little bit of a spring in their step?
Even if we find ourselves in second place again come 5pm on Saturday, at least we’ve proved to ourselves that we can claw back nine point deficits. I didn’t go last night, so Greg V has stepped up to the plate (see below), but from the sounds of it, perhaps the performance one might expect with a result you daren’t dream about.
This could have been nasty on so many levels, not least because I bet that many people thought at 5pm yesterday “shit, we’ve got a match”. All the attention has been on Saturday so much that this may prove to be the biggest win of the week so far.
Yes, the pressure is on us, but it’s a different pressure now and one we probably can cope with – the pressure that we are now currently the best side in the division and everyone will want to knock us off our perch. Like that’s a new phenom. Suddenly, a draw on Saturday becomes a missed opportunity for Chelmsford – granted, I want three points to put a gap between us, but right now the opposition have to match our results for the rest of the season. Tall order between now and the end of April? Maybe. But at least this season we’re doing it the right way so far.
Anyway, I’ll let you read Greg V’s thoughts on last night. I will pick on something he brings up afterwards, so keep tuned in when you get to the bottom….
It was with some trepidation that I accepted the offer from REPD to write up our mid week â€˜game in handâ€™ as my previous 2 offerings this season were our home defeat v. Eastleigh and a rather dubious draw at welling. Last season was no better with no wins to my name.
So personally, it was with a huge sigh of relief that it finished Park Life 0 Wonderwall 1 and the jinx was finally laid to rest.
Last night was another one of those tricky ties against a team who had hit some decent form recently. It was much like Maidenhead and Braintree all over again and I heard more than a few Dons fans in the bar before the game saying that maybe a point wouldnâ€™t be such a bad result. Despite our 8 match unbeaten run stretching back to 2nd December and a seemingly unnatural ease in scoring at will, there seems to be a certain feeling that we mustnâ€™t expect too much. Remember, this was supposed to be our season of consolidation as we built a young squad to prepare us for the BSP in 2 or 3 years time. But by fuck, itâ€™s hard not to raise those expectations when you go top of the league playing some of the best football seen since our formation.
There are some supporters who believe that promotion this season would be a bad thing and that progressing too soon could have a detrimental affect on the club. But we are destined to go up, so why not this season? We have played everyone bar St All Bran and letâ€™s be honest here; there are no teams to really fear. Yes, there are well organised outfits such as Eastleigh, H&RB and Chelmsford who have the capability to challenge for the title. But we have one advantage over these (and the rest of the BSS) and it is quite simple. We are AFCW and everyone wants to beat us. These teams have their 2 cup finals a season where they raise their game to try and claim bragging rights. What Terry and Stuart have done with this current crop of players is to instill a philosophy that we have to play 42 â€˜cup finalsâ€™ if we are to be successful this season. The pre match statement from TB talked about focusing on last nightâ€™s match to ensure we didnâ€™t undo all the recent hard work and it worked.
Last night’s performance showed that we have come a long way in a short space of time. We never really got out of 2nd gear for most of the 90 minutes but we still controlled the game. Sure, Storford had a couple of good chances but we created so much more and in the game of percentages, you just knew one would go in. Inevitably it was Kedwell who got the all important winner at the 4th time of asking. Following 2 outstanding saves from their keeper and a header which flashed inches wide in the 1st half, he finally got his just rewards in the 2nd half shrugging off the last defender to fire past Nicky Eyre from close range.
This time last season we would have blown this game. The fact that we go into Saturdays clash ahead of CCFC (albeit on goal difference) instead of needing a win to close the gap may well prove to be a psychological advantage.
Another interesting point to note is that the Chelmsford fans at last nights match (yes, as expected some did turn up â€“ all 6 of them) arenâ€™t happy and are fearful of a drubbing on Saturday. The revolving door is still very much attached to their dressing room and it appears that there is a little unrest in the camp. Apparently 2 first team members had a difference of opinion a fortnight ago and during last weekâ€™s game v Welling, one refused to pass to the other. Very childish but long may it continue!
Plus points: Ability to win a game 1-0 without breaking sweat. Little v Pullen for the No. 1 shirt. Kedwell scoring when Main doesnâ€™t. Dwane Lee potentially looking to be TBâ€™s shrewdest purchase. Going top.
Minus points: Haswells passing. Judge at right back. No chips at the food wagon
The referee’s a…: Pretty average really. Seemed to blow the whistle at the right times and did attempt to allow the game to flow. He was hindered somewhat by his assistant, Al Murray who struggled to keep up and waved his flag for off side when 10 yards behind the play.
Them: They reminded of a bottle of alco pop â€“ pretty to look at without any punch. With a couple of decent strikers they could climb the table. After all, they called on the services of a one Roy Essandoh so you can guess what I mean. Off the pitch their fans are a friendly enough bunch. No pro-franchise songs heard anyway. A very nice little ground within a minute of the M11 for easy access. Built 7 years ago, it had modern facilities and cover on all sides. Oh, and the playing surface was probably one of the best weâ€™ve seen all season.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) It wasnâ€™t only me but someone else spotted that the BS keeper looked like a young Glenn Roeder. On page 19 of the programme: A few minutes with Sam Higgins.
Q) What style of clothes do you wear?
(2) An advert in the programme for Jacqui Ison Theatre Arts offering; â€œA diverse range of exciting workshops on actingâ€. So thatâ€™s where Alan Devonshire sends his players for midweek training!
Anything else? Yes, Sam Baldock made the night complete saving an injury time penalty for the mighty Leyton Orient against those cock munching franchise faggots from Bucks. Joy and salutations!
So was it worth it? Absofuckinglutely
In a nutshell: Bring on the Clarets, thereâ€™s business to be done
I couldn’t help noticing the comments of the Chelmsford fans. Now, I’ve been around long enough to know that there’s probably a bit of kidology going on here – how many times in the past has a team been in crisis yet manage to win the next game 3-0? Make no mistake, this game could easily turn out badly for us.
Though as I type this, word reaches me that their striker Bertie Brayley has gone off in a bit of a huff and has even resorted to removing Claret fans from his Facebook friends bit, whatever that means. Maybe there are problems there after all? I don’t think it’ll be such an issue for the Saturday game as much as what happens if/when they have another bad run of form. Remember last season when there were Chinese whispers about dressing room discord for us? We just, just, just got away with it. At least we know how to handle expectation simply because we’ve had to do it for every single game played since 2002. This is a new thing for Chelmsford…
But whatever happens, Saturday won’t be for the faint hearted. Just worried about the love-in between us and their fans right now, especially as it’s getting to the stage where body fluids start getting exchanged. OK, it’s better than snarling at each other, and you can have an intense-yet-friendly rivalry (go to a Cork City v Derry City game and you’ll see what I mean). But come 5pm this Saturday, I won’t mind us being a little bit unpopular…………