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The grind continues

Christ, do I really have to write something about the St Albans game? I think my mental capabilities of doing just that have been drained after writing the Big Tissue one. Guess this is what it feels like to be one of our players right now.

But I shall dig in and be brave. This was a must-win game that wasn’t, er, won. The only saving grace from last night was that we didn’t have to listen to the PA announcing that H&R got yet another 99th minute winner.

Seriously, this was awful. Despite a decent crowd of 29,943, this was flatter than Kylie Minogue’s chest circa 1988. Both on and off the pitch as well. Our passing was shit, our midfield was shit, the referee was shit, the whole vibe was shit. Tony Finn is not good enough to start. Neither is Tom Davis. Way too much has been placed on DK and JM’s shoulders, and we’re now seeing the logical conclusion to that.

All in all, this sucks.

Yet for some reason, when driving home last night (and thank you, whoever was responsible for closing the A3 northbound turnoff at the M25 junction), I didn’t feel that bad. Maybe it was relief that this run of awaydays is over? While doing the other report, I did a startling bit of mathematics – in the past ten days, we’ve as near as dammit done 550 miles. It’s exhausting for those going to watch the game, so fuck knows what it’s like for the players.

There’s also a couple of other reasons for this strangely serene mood. We did look better when Kennedy came on, and we did almost snatch it at the death. Not to ignore the other 80 minutes of complete and utter horse crap of course, but for the first time in a while you sense that our play will start to improve in the upcoming games. Quite simply, it couldn’t have got any worse. I do think the penny dropped for a lot of people last night – we ARE playing badly. There’s been an element of arrogance and cockyness recently that has been passed off as positivity. This game was another wake-up call, in case the game at WSM didn’t make you snap out of it.

But I’ve accepted now that this season will go down to the wire. The not-misplaced hope I had that we could kick on and open up a double-digit gap has now evaporated, and it’ll need a major boost in form for us and H&R to stop defying gravity for that to happen. I do openly question the sanity of anyone who thinks it’ll be great to have an “exciting” end of season run-in though. Probably the sort of people who stick nails in their genitalia or watch DVDs of England’s recent cricket tour to the West Indies.

I think the worst is over for us now, although I reserve the right to change my mind when Dorchester beat us 2-0 on Saturday. I say that because now we know that something needs to be done. For all the talk of a new striker, TB is now identifying errors in midfield, which is pretty much what our major problem last night was.

Although somebody came up with a brilliant analogy last night about our current plight. I’m not a massive cricket fan but this makes perfect sense – we are like a batsman chasing a century and is stuck on 93 runs. The nervous nineties, I believe the expression is. Right now, we are so scared of getting things wrong that we can’t get anything right.

So, how do we overcome that? That’s for TB and the players to work out. Hey, they’re earning money out of us, so they should be able to think of something. That could be out of their hands though : we need that one little spark of inspiration to give us a (legal) injection of energy. A new signing? A well worked goal? A deflection off a defender’s arse? Just something to lift us out of this rut we’re in.

Half-jokingly, I suggested to somebody last night that we need to go a goal down to get us fired up again. Worryingly enough, I think that’s what we need. We need that “oh shit this could go wrong” happening to make us put our head down and go for it. In effect, we need to copy what H&R are doing at the moment and what Chelmsford did around December. We haven’t had a last minute blitzkreig in a while, so we’re due a couple. Seriously, when was the last game where we won it in the last minute? August?

Just imagine on Saturday if we’re 1-0 down with two minutes left, and then we got two late goals to win. What would that do to us? Apart from the usual coronaries. You can see that happening, certainly the bit about us going a goal down. That is where our boost is going to come from. Teams who win titles do that once in a while. How many times this season have you heard over the PA that a team below/above us has got a last minute winner? It’s something stupidly high like ten, though I haven’t bothered working it out. Be nice if we grew a pair and did that to other people for a change.

It’s strange, my mood is a bit better now than what it has been, despite us putting in performances that are regressively worse. Presumably, it’s more a case of, we really can’t keep going backwards like we are. In all honesty, I think I’m just waiting for something to happen. Within the next couple of games, something will occur that will prepare us for the title or the playoffs. The worst thing is right now though, we don’t know what it is…