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The (very) long Good Friday

It’s the last day before the Biggest Weekend Of The Season So Far. A period of three days that will go a long, long way to determine whether we’re at Oxford or Dorchester next season.

Quite exciting isn’t it?

First things first though – don’t expect too much of a report from the Basingstoke game tomorrow. I’ve got to work on Saturday, which means research Friday night. So no complaining, unless you’re prepared to pay me for doing this….

Second things second. Whatever else TB has said to the players this week, I hope that he’s told them to concentrate 20000000000000% on the game tomorrow. This is a should-win, but it’s also the sort of game that can cost titles if you’re not careful. Can you imagine the mood at 5pm if we come away from KM with only a draw or, dare I say it, a loss? Especially when Eastleigh inevitably pick up yet another three points against Bromley earlier in the day…

To be fair though, there’s been no obvious outward sign that people are getting carried away this week. I think everyone at the club knows the task in hand, and what the rewards are at the end of it. We’ve gotten all this way in the season, we’re still top by two games and you just feel we don’t want to blow this. I wonder if the wretched month of March is still playing in the back of peoples’ minds?

Even after Chelmsford earnt the love and appreciation of Wombles everywhere on Monday night, there was a pang of “let’s not blow this” soon afterwards. Yes, the Eastleigh handball incident still rankles even now, but after everything that’s happened in the last month, we’re still in the driving seat. Win tomorrow, and do the same on Easter Monday, and the pressure switches to the chasing pack. Neither H&R or Eastleigh can afford to slip up this weekend. The Axewounds certainly suffered a big blow at Melbourne Park, and we now have a great opportunity to start giving them a shit weekend for a change.

Funnily enough though, I can’t help thinking about Eastleigh. We seem to focus so much on H&R that we could still have a nasty shock from the volleyball team if we’re not careful. Their run-in is a lot easier than even ours. Though one wonders – and certainly hopes – that their increasing cockyness will backfire on them. The Conf South this season certainly has a habit of doing that to teams with mouthy fans – ask Chelmsford. And ourselves.

In all honesty, we’re best off concentrating on ourselves. It really is a case of, three wins or two wins and two draws to guarantee the title. That’s how close it is, and that’s how close we are to mucking up if we’re not careful. Believe it or not, we could actually win the title on Monday. It would mean that we would have to win tomorrow and on Monday, Eastleigh to only pick up three points over Easter and H&R to not win either game. And it’s extremely unlikely. But if it did happen, you couldn’t help but think it would be a little bit of what we deserve…

But forget that scenario. Seriously, just forget it. The phrase “next day delivery” has never sounded so apt in this context.

Speaking of tomorrow, there’s been a bit of hoo-har about the game kicking off at 3.05pm. Basically, it’s Good Friday and apparently some bearded bloke got crucified at about that time. Now, being one who prefers Anton LaVey’s version of the bible, I personally couldn’t a shit about this. But obviously people do, and it’s got some of them right het up. It’s always a difficult subject, religion – yes, Good Friday is a day off, but there isn’t one in Ireland. And that’s a bit more religious (though thankfully declining) than this side of the Irish sea. Interesting to note that Eastleigh are kicking off earlier, and a couple of other games are to. What I don’t get is, we kicked off at 3pm last Good Friday….

Anyway, enough has been said and written about. We don’t seem to be living on our nerves again this week, maybe because we know we have to perform now. One thing is certain – if you don’t win these sort of games, you don’t deserve to go up…