Well, that wasn’t in the script was it?
To be totally honest, the only surprise about Water Tank 0 Well 1 was that it wasn’t a surprise. Or at least, one you never saw coming a mile off. If one was to read back over the last 5-6 weeks, you’ll notice a trend of luck riding. Today, it finally, finally ran out. What was the stat – last game we lost was Eastleigh at KM on 2nd December? OK, we lost to Uxbridge in the FAT after that, but nobody counts that.
For some reason though, I don’t feel nearly as bad as I did after WSM. Or St Albans. But then, maybe it is logical after all? We need to remember how to lose, to remind ourselves that it might be a month until the season ends, but it’s still a sodding long way to go. I hope that today reminded us all not to get too cocky. There was a LOT of presumption this week that “when” we won today, and “when” Chelmsford beat H&R, we could start planning trips to Mansfield and Oxford.
See, nobody even believed that today’s results would happen. Which in a way is a good thing. Firstly, it will hopefully take a much needed boot to the arrogant and complacent bollocks that too many people have been swinging about recently. The next time some gobshite pops up with “I confidently predict that we’ll win the title at…”, throw a dart at them. Or show them today’s results, with DVD of today as well. The Football Gods had a bit of fun at our expense today, and is currently wearing their Brentford shirts laughing at us.
If this season has shown us anything, a team showing cockyness always gets smacked down a peg or three. Look at Chelmsford over Xmas – nine points clear and boy did they let everyone know about it. For some reason, we’re getting no lectures about how we really only have 17 fans and that they’ll easily overtake our average attendances because there’s no league clubs within 100 miles of their town. Funny that. This week though, we’ve been acting exactly like them…
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, that fear of losing has now reached its logical conclusion. Suddenly we can lose games after all, especially at Theme Park KM. You’d have to be as ignorant as a Franchise fan to look at our recent performances and not think that all is well with us right now. By being determined not to get it wrong, we just couldn’t get it right. Once again, today we put in the first half performances of the Worcesters, and Dorchesters, and WSMs. But this time, we did the same thing for the second half as well.
OK, if Danny Kedwell had buried that easier-to-score-than-miss header right at the end, we probably wouldn’t be saying any of this right now. But then, that would have delayed the inevitable. An inevitablilty that was always going to bite us on the arse at some point. Perhaps deservedly so…
What does it all mean right now? Well, we’ll now be having to do what I hoped we wouldn’t have to do – go down to the wire. Next week becomes must-win. Or at least, must-not-lose. And this was a game I earmarked for a loss as well. What it does mean is that we can’t play silly buggers any more – we have to regain that winning streak that put us from nine points behind to the current six in front. We’ve got to hurt after this, and I mean hurt.
If we’re sufficiently stung, we will go out next week, give Eastleigh a good hiding and say “fuck yeah, we’re back”. See, we’re due a loss which we now got, but we’re also due to give somebody a good hammering too. If we’re not though, then it all starts getting a bit pant-soiling doesn’t it? We can safely assume that H&R will win next week, so the pressure is now back on us. Can we handle it? We handled the pressure during February when it really was intense. We clawed back in the early part of this month when we should have lost (ie WSM). But now we’re really going to be tested.
After the game, I was reminded that on this date last season we lost 2-1 to ETU in one of the wankiest games I can ever remember. I don’t think we were nearly as bad today as we were back twelve months ago. But then we did come back two days later (this was Easter lest we forget) and beat Friends of Franchise 2-0. Mind you, that was a strange game as well back then – Finn departed before the game, Danny Webb (remember him?) missed two one-on-ones, and getting promoted seemed like light years away. We won but it didn’t feel right.
This time around, we don’t have that luxury of the next game coming around quickly. We have to sit around this week, plan meticulously and mentally prepare ourselves for what IMO will be the most difficult game of the season so far. Don’t underestimate Eastleigh next week. Perhaps after today, we won’t…..
Plus points: Still six points ahead (seven including goal difference). Another game ticked off.
Minus points: Everything else.
The referee’s a…..: Ron Ganfield. Do I need to expand further?
Them: Fair play to them. They came with a game plan, took advantage of our complacency and should have won by a couple more. You can see why they beat the Axewounds 4-0 last week. Actually, they remind me of H&R minus the thuggery and histrionics, and not a team I would entirely write off getting into the playoffs. Especially as Chelmsford are now becoming everyone’s easy three points. Have they left it too late though? Then again, as we know, it ain’t all over yet…
Point to ponder: Looking at the results up and down the country, was it simply just one of these weekends? A neutral would have raised his eyebrows at what happened at KM and the Beaverdome today, even though that we weren’t exactly surprised. I wasn’t anyway. But then, look at the Prem today as well. Who would have predicted Yernited losing not only 2-0 but two players at Foolham? And as for Chelski at Spurz….. Speaking of Spurz, apparently their game was delayed by 30 minutes because of a suspect vehicle within the vicinity. It was the only one in the area that was taxed and insured.
Meet the manager: And here’s my NLP interview with TB afterwards. The thumps you hear are me trying to hold the recorder AND make notes at the same time. So no complaints.
TB on the Welling loss – click here
TBH I’m surprised at what he said and yet at the same time I’m not. I gather the dressing room was very quiet afterwards – I don’t doubt TB hasn’t been in this situation before, I’d like to see what Aldershot’s run-in when they went up into the Conf was, bet they had days like today. Bit concerned he thought we were still leggy in midfield – thought it was the same all over the pitch…
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) A load of SI people turned up. No idea why, presumably it was to research for their next edition of that computer game they do. Shudder to think what they’d find about us. (2) I have now been asked by the toppest of top brass at AFCW not to make any more predictions that we will lose our next games. Mind you, he also said that “nobody died” today. If it gets more tense though, that could change. (3) Realising that it’s been 18 games since we last lost in the league. Or to put it another way, 1620 minutes without losing. Suppose that’s quite impressive, although one does fear that the law of averages is about to apply themselves…
Anything else? Dunno really. This time last week everyone was gloating about us being nine points clear. Fast-forward a week, and it becomes a three-game gap again. No doubt next week we’ll have ended up beating Eastleigh and H&R come a cropper, so the whole shebang starts all over again. The biggest amazement right now is that I don’t feel pissed off. And I think people generally were like that. Has a weight been lifted off our shoulders?
So, was it worth it? If we still go up as champions, then yes. Don’t even approach me if we don’t.
In a nutshell: AFC Wimbledon, meet planet Earth.