And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why we won’t be in the playoffs.
Whether it was over-confidence, lack of ability in scouting the opposition or just simply “one of those days” again, I dunno. But those expecting anything other than Celtic Crusaders 1 Harlequins RL 0 yesterday can justifiably feel deflated right now.
Forget the “goal”. Yes, I know the linesman may have suffered from a combination of bright sunlight in his eyes and chronic masturbation. But in all honesty, we weren’t good enough to right that wrong. We kept misplacing passes, we kept letting them come onto us, I think we played the grand total of 20 minutes looking somewhat remotely like the side we should be. Although worryingly enough, I am reliably informed that this was better than Chester in October.
People wanted to see Elder and DK together, and they got it. Unfortunately, for this game anyway, it didn’t work. The AFCW version of the twin towers ended up looking like the actual Twin Towers. Add the midfield looking like it got lost in North Wales, asked a local where the ground was, and ended up in Ellesmere Port instead. The sooner Steven Gregory returns the better.
Oh, and Ross Montague brought a whole new meaning to the term “injury time”, by damaging his knee on 92 minutes. He’s going to be the modern day Gareth Ainsworth or Jon Goodman at this rate.
So, now what? To be honest, I don’t know. I think all this game does is put an asterix against our playoff credentials, as in they may not be as real as first thought. Would a genuine playoff team have done what we did in deepest valleyland yesterday? Remember last season when we actually won these sort of contests?
This time last week, we were all getting giddy about whipping everyone’s arse in the playoffs, if we didn’t close the 11 point gap at the top beforehand. Needless to say, we’re horseshit again and TB needs to be sacked right this minute.
If truth be told though, we’re neither. We’re a decent top ten side at least, probably able to scrape into the playoffs if we get a good run and others slip up. We’d probably end up losing in the playoff semi-finals but could certainly find ourselves in the FAT final with a fair wind. We are, in effect, the same as that very first season in the Ryman Premier (minus the FAT bit).
Losing at Wrexham isn’t going to be the end of our season, but it certainly reminds us of how far we’ve got to go. I’ve been trying not to use the Learning Curveâ„¢ excuse reason, but that’s what it is. Yesterday, we learnt what it was like to believe our own hype a bit. Be honest, how many of you thought yesterday that we just had to turn up and get the three points? Especially against a side that would be knackered after 70 minutes?
What yesterday also taught us is a bit more worrying. We don’t seem to be able to use a contentious call to our advantage. After their goal, we should have been fired up, ready to snarl, and go on a battering ram-esque mission for the remainder of the game, pummelling Wrexham so hard that they consider becoming English.
Needless to say, we didn’t.
I’m not going to say we didn’t get progressively worse, because we didn’t. We did at least muster some kind of attack in the last 20 minutes, and had we somehow scored we would have won. I mean that. But I felt yesterday a bit like how I felt after Barf City away last season. Nearly but not quite…
Plus points: At least it wasn’t 2-0 I suppose.
Minus points: We lost. Away. No goals. Monty’s injury. Total contrast to Mansfield and even Alty.
The referee’s a…: Nat Lofthouse fan with skewered eyesight to boot. All right, we should have done better anyway, but you can’t win with officiating like that. Literally.
Them: If we’re being totally honest with ourselves, they should have won it without the “goal”. Obviously had a point to prove after their long layoff, and sadly for us proved it. Rumours that two of their players walked out before the game obviously didn’t have a effect, unfortunately.
Still, it’s interesting to see how far they’ve fallen, even from the days when they sung “You dirty English bastard” to Vinny Jones in the mid-90s at the FAC replay. Although there’s a great story about how they went into admin in the first place – basically, the bloke who was trying to close them down got to the point where he wrote a resignation note, screwed it up, threw it in the bin, then the other directors picked it up and subsequently accepted it. Administration beckoned, and the club is still alive and beating us today.
If only Koppout or Hammam had done that.
As some of you may know, I’ve ghost-written a couple of reports for the Wales on Sunday on Wrexham games in the South East, so technically they’re my “other” team in this division. It was nice to meet a couple of the Wrexham people on their own turf so to speak, and they were genuinely gracious in victory. Either that or they were a bit embarrassed by their goal…
Point to ponder: Have we gone into some sort of reverse since the turn of the new year? By that, I mean we now can’t seem to win away but are pretty decent at KM. Lest we forget that it was victories on the road that kept us going when Fortress KM was Theme Park KM. Thing is, why? Have teams sussed us out? If so, why are we winning at home now?
One day, we will work out the perfect method of ensuring getting the home form and away form as equal. Though knowing us, it’ll probably mean we end up losing every week.
Meet the manager: Yes, a special from an away game. Your editor put the questions to him…
Hmm, not good about Monty is it?
Do wonder if we’re going to go on another spending spree, although in this case our hand may be forced by the result of Monty’s diagnosis. We’d have to move quickly if we do, especially as DK is still being linked away from us and the transfer window shuts in not many days time. Perhaps we should spend the transfer money on a witch doctor to keep DK fit. Or any potential suitor away from him.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Why does everyone in North Wales have a scouse accent? Fully expected to hear “mind yer car, mister?” at some point (2) Seemed a bit of a cockup on the ticket front – you could pre-purchase tickets beforehand for a reduced price, but they didn’t seem to know where to collect them. Or indeed numbering properly. I await the fun next season when Newport County come to visit. (3) Speaking of our friends from South Wales, anyone seen the BSS table recently? Can’t see them doing a Champions Elect, somehow. Ominious about Bromley though. And try not to laugh at a certain village side lower down…
Anything else? Yes. I was in the press area so can’t verify this myself, but apparently the dick who shouted out at the beginning of the minute silence (who was it for BTW?) was from our end. No doubt some cockend who can’t handle his pint of shandy. Out him, and force him to watch Franchise. Besides, you’d know that said penis breath would be the first one whinging if the Mansfield fans had broken Allen Batsford’s silence last week.
Also reportedly, some seats in the away section were broken. So, another bill heading our way, and we start getting a bit of a reputation with it. By that, I mean the police and other authorities start looking at us a bit more, and the stewarding starts to get a bit more heavy handed…
OK, I don’t particularly want us to get a “reputation” full stop, but if we really must have one, at least have one through 80s style toe-to-toe combat. The sort of stuff that those Cass Pennant books are made of (you know, “we had 50 West Ham against 5000 Man U supporters in the Old Trafford car park and we beat them all up without a scratch”). Seat smashing and breaking one minute silences is a bit common criminal, and just makes us look like nobs.
As an aside, while travelling up I saw there was an incident at Keele South services – road blocked off and police cars/vans aplenty. Turns out it was the Welsh Defence League turning up en masse there, on their way to an English Defence League rally in Stoke yesterday. I wonder if a couple of our more, ahem, patriotic supporters made a detour there yesterday? One thing I’ll be interested to read this time next year, the amount of banned fans we have. Could be a surprising number…
So, was it worth it? Hmph.
In a nutshell: Anws blewog.