If by some miracle we are holding the Conference Trophy aloft after the Grimsby home game, we may look at games like Trams 1 Trawlers 0 and replay them again on the commerative DVD just to see where the league was won.
Did we deserve to win? Not really, although I don’t think Fleetwood had too many efforts themselves. We were lethargic, out of sorts, you name it. The fact we’ve played eleven games in five weeks may be considered as an excuse, and had it been a draw (or worse) it would have been very irritating to listen to.
But we won, and we can justify whinging about it.
Indeed, the fact we gained 17 points out of 30 possible – and had we not fucked up against Barf it would have been 19 – and only one (admittedly painful) league defeat is not bad going. This last five weeks could have gone very badly for us, but we’re still top and still gaining points on the board.
Today’s game was like the WFC games we used to play against somebody like Coventry City. Go on, cast your minds back to those wonderful days. You have the right to feel depressed at the memory of them. For those with shorter memories, or those who jumped on the AFCW bandwagon post-2002, imagine the Thurrock game away in the CS. Actually, searching back, that was at a similar time of the year to today, too.
That the goal came from their keeper trying to punch it over the bar and somehow, er, not doing so kind of reflects the game though. MakeÂ no mistake, this was one of the shittiest, wankiest, turgid piles of whale semen that has ever been called a “contest”. If Shoot magazine was still around, it would have given a match rating in minus figures.
But we won, and we can justify whinging about it.
I think my over-riding emotion right now is relief. Relief that we won today (and I can justify whinging etc). Relief that our horrendous fixture pileup has come to an end. Relief that we do get a period of normality now – there’s only something like four midweek games left now, although we do get to go to FGR on Easter Monday.
And relief that Crawley and Luton now have to start playing twice a week themselves.
There’s not really a lot more to say about this game, simply because there isn’t much more to comment about. It really was that shocking. This was probably the worst contest involving AFCW that I can remember this season, and in fact for quite a few others. This was on a par with some of the hellhole games that the Ryman Premier produced, although the difference is that back then that was normality.
This time next week, we will be playing York. We will haveÂ had a week’s rest, and a week of proper training. The chance to avenge the 4-1 is there, and if we’re not actually living a lie being top right now, who knows what may happen……….
Plus points: We won. Clean sheet. Christian Jolley being in the right place at the right time. BJ and Stuart at the back.
Minus points: The most painful and morally unjustifiable excuse for a “game” there has been for a while. Wind didn’t help.
The referee’s a…: Hey, we won, so I can justify whinging about him. The fact he got a good ten second ovation after he gave us a decision proves we got somebody who forged his refereeing exams.
Them: No mugs, except for their keeper 😉 One of those sort of sides who might get a purple patch and find themselves in the playoffs, though what will happen when their money man runs out the door remains to be seen.
74 of them turnedÂ up (which in true AFCW smugness mode is half of what we took up there on a Tuesday school night), all of them taking great delight in reminding us what our identity was. At least we have one…
Point to ponder: At what point does reality set in? I mean, we’re top of the league yet without playing brilliantly. We got away with it again etc etc, and there has to come the time sooner or later when we slip down the table.
Question is, what if we don’t?
We have been remarkably consistent in our results, even if not our performances, this season. We have won games where you feel we’ve scraped through, although I expect if you watch such games on AFCWTV this week they’ll look somewhat more comfortable. A team doesn’t remain top totally by accident after all, especially not with fourteen games to go.
Even now, there’s relatively little pressure on us. Certainly not from our supporters, at least not yet, and I’m quite glad we’re still generally being over-looked by the other two (and by those outside the club too). This doesn’t have the feel of the last few months of the CS season, where we jumped face first into the wringer. Nor was it the RP – what’s most notable at the moment is how relaxed everyone is.
What we don’t know about us yet is how weÂ handle pressure. If we’re still in contention in April, that’s when we’ll be tested. We may go into our shell, but conversely we could just as easily thrive. The one real pressure cooker game thus far this season was Crawley, and half of that was down to fan-generated hysteria.
We did all right in that game.
We may be doing well simply because we didn’t expect this. That’s probably no bad thing – after all, we did exactly the same in 1985/86…
Song sung blue: Their poor keeper – “You let your team-mates down”, and “1-0 and it’s down to you”. There is no truth to the rumour that the Fleetwood team bus had to hide sharp objects on their way back to Lancashire.
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) The sight of the ref blowing for a free kick at the end of the first half, the two benches thinking it was half time, starting to walk across the pitch and them getting sent back. Like the goal, it seemed to sum up the game. (2) Speaking of describing the contest – was it me or was the smell of sewage particularly potent today? And no, I don’t mean our passing. (3) Spotted : Richard Money, Luton Town manager. According to one of SW19’s spies, he had very nice shoes on. Urm…
Anything else? Not really. Just think that no matter how shit today was, we won. Which is more than you could say about Arsenal…
So, was it worth it? I’ve had better Saturday afternoons, to be honest.
In a nutshell: We won. Feel free to whinge.