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Walk, don’t Crawl

Well, that was good wasn’t it?

Ten men, playing pretty rubbish in the first half. Then, lo and behold – Blue Angels 3 Red Devils 1, in probably one of the best second half performances I’ve seen this season.

No bullshit either.

I’ve got to be honest, when it went 1-1 I feared the worse. Crawley should have done better with a couple of efforts in the first half, but thankfully they didn’t. You know how many were predicting it going to extra time and penalties? The way they were all over us at times, it seemed we would have taken that there and then.

But after DD got sent off (and will he suffer the same fate as Tom Davis?), something happened. I don’t know what this something was, but by fuck am I glad we had it. At times during the second half, it was impossible to tell which team had the man disadvantage. It was as though the carrot of a Monday night in lovely South Bermondsey made them realise what they were possibly throwing away.

Whatever it was, we’re all damn glad of it right now. Real backs-to-the-wall stuff on occasions, and it was the traditional Wimbledon adversity triumph coming back again. Think of the WFC days and Watford in the FAC quarter final in 1988, thus denying the world the Horns v Luton in the semi-final that year (the demolition of the current White Hart Lane would have started 21 years earlier had that been the case). Even that had a sending off…

Anyway, it’s now Millwall away. On the Monday night too, due to “police advice”. Namely they fancy some overtime, and as we’re likely to bring more than 200 they’ve decided to give everyone a weekend off to prepare. And there’s no guarantee that this will be on telly either. Still, I expect we’ll take a four-figure turnout regardless – if Wycombe was a novelty last season, then going to Millwall feels more like a nostalgia trip. True, it still has that intimidation factor, even though it’s no worse than many other places, but it’s local enough for many people and there’s a sense right now that we want to turn out and give ourselves at least some advantage. And who knows, maybe the first really big legitimate upset of the AFCW era?

While you prepare your combat clothes for the trip…

Plus points: We won. Trip to SE16. Second half, despite being down to ten men. Paul Lorraine. Luke Moore. Increasing confidence for Ricky Wellard.

Minus points: The first half. Pullen looking a bit injured. DD’s red card.

The referee’s a…: Was he the same one as Saturday? Anyway, he was pretty OK as it goes, can’t really remember anything bad he did. Even gave us a free kick or two.

Them: If I was a Crawley fan, I would be seriously pissed off with their second half performance. Especially after the first half when really, they should have been a couple of goals up (and us with 11 men). Did they have any attempts on goal? Their goalkeeper was certainly on our side – we can even forgive him for his minge hair on his chin.

Tonight gets even better. Not only did their coach break down on the way back, apparently, but with the post-match comments from Steve Evans, courtesy of the Wimbledon Guardian:

“Credit to Wimbledon but if the referee does his job right then they play most of the game with eight men, not ten. It’s as simple as that.

“But it’s not about the ref, we didn’t take our chances. We had seven or eight and the same happened on Saturday. That’s why we are out of the FA Cup.

“There has been one team in this tie and the best team is no longer in the competition.”

Oh, stop laughing. Reportedly was VERY arsey with reporters even before the interviews started. No wonder Crawley’s attendances are going southwards ever further with such an astute manager. Obviously his fraudent activities branch out to watching a game of football too, because if they were the best team….. I guess he should quit being a football manager and become an accountant instead. Oh wait, he’s not very good at that either.

In other news, Ben Judge re-activated his shoulder injury tonight after laughing too much.

As for their support, fairly decent turnout from them again. Is it true that they had their own counters on the turnstiles this evening? This is why we shouldn’t mouth off too much about other clubs allegedly trying to rip us off -  a bit of discretion in future, maybe? Also allegedly, some of their fans threw bottles at Pullen. Maybe he told them they didn’t sing enough.

Point to ponder: Now that Jon Main has finally responded to SW19 slagging him off mercilessly the critics, is Derek Duncan about to become the new boo-boy target? He’s got this massive opportunity to stake his claim ever since Hussey left, and he can’t have done himself any favours this evening (even apparently kicking the dressing room door off the hinges). Especially as when BJ slotted into left back we looked a lot better. It seems like at all previous clubs he’s never had a run in the team. Tonight, I think we might have found out why…

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) This from the Millwall website tonight. Look at it carefully and note the irony. (2) The sight of stewards sprinting towards the bars after the game, followed by coppers. Anything happen? Unless Steve Evans was caught hanging round the matchday monies room… (3) James Pullen’s injury. Did that happen before or after the alleged bottle throwing incidents?

Anything else? Not really, only to say tonight felt like old times again. Even down to a certain individual behind me who almost cost me my front teeth when we beat Boro in the FAC all them years ago. Somehow, the bundles I experienced seemed worth it…

So, was it worth it? Yup.

In a nutshell: Where’s my red jacket?