It was either that title or â€œTo Be A Pilgrimâ€. Which right now, after Mayflower 0 Woolwich Ferry 2 might not be a good thing to be.
The fact that this particular fixture was one of the massive ones that you dreamt about throughout the summer is one thing. To go away from there with all three points is another. And the fact it should have really been more is something even the most gullible of optimist wouldn’t have dreamed of…
There are a couple of caveats about this win, which we’ll get onto sooner or later, which is why we should keep our feet on the ground and dampen any giddy thoughts of the playoffs. In the first half, we were dreadful.
OK, that might be a bit harsh, but it’s fair to say we weren’t very good. We didn’t seem to do much up front, Plymouth had too much possession for my liking, and it was summed up best when Seb Brown decided to pass it to their player from his own penalty box with no defenders around. Thank god the oppo player was shite…
Needless to say, the old second half Lazarus act came into play again. While we certainly ain’t perfect, it should have been about 4 or 5 in the end. Perhaps with this Mythical New StrikerÂ®, it will be in future?
It was certainly pleasing to see Jack Midson net both goals. Since he’s signed, one senses he hasn’t been given the fairest crack of the whip, presumably for the crime of not being Danny Kedwell (who still hasn’t scored for Gillingham, by the way).
I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that a few fans want him to fail, but his mistakes seem to get picked up upon more than most players in the side. So on that basis alone, last night should have hopefully shut a couple of people up.
If one thing from last night has become clear, our confidence is returning and at the right time. It did seem to dip after Crawley and Brizzle Rovers, and you do wonder how important our last two wins may end up being.
Already, we’re now expected to win against Hereford on Saturday, and win it comfortably. Again, how many of you predicted we’d be in that position after a mere four games? If we do end up losing, it will be seen as an annoying lapse in concentration rather than anything more substancial…
Plus points: We won. Comfortably in the end. Clean sheet. Jack Midson scored twice. Being able to change personnel/tactics and flummox the oppo.
Minus points: First half sucked. Still think a better side will punish us BRFC style.
The referee’s a…: Can’t remember him or anything he did. So he must have been OK.
Them: The other caveat about yesterday’s win is that they’re so skint they’re having to rely on 18 year olds (as opposed to us, who employ 21 year olds through choice). Not to mention one of their ad hoarding still advertises the Plymouth WC2018 host city bid..
They started off well, perhaps should have been ahead in the second half then you could see their heads drop immediately after the first goal.
To be blunt, you can see why they lost 4-1 on Saturday. To be even more blunt, they’re another Wrexham in the making. You can really see them being on Premier Sports next season losing to Telford or Alfreton (like Grimbsy did against Braintree last night).
To put it in perspective : when your editor started work for the agency he’s currently with, the first game I covered was Watford vs…… Plymouth. This was in our first Conference season, and you can’t help but think they’ll be spending more time in that division than we did…
Point to ponder: At the risk of angering the footballing gods, and sending us into a spiral of dispair and having to re-sign Drewe Broughton, could League Two end up being the most disappointing one since the Conference South?
By that, I mean I expected the gulf in class and skill to be a lot more than it turned out to be. Considering that we’ve now played three out of the four relegated sides (so we’re not even talking League Two stalwarts here), it’s quite an eye-opener.
Assuming all goes to plan, people would reasonably expect our goal difference to be radically improved come Saturday evening.
Even during our lousy first half performance, it felt more like a bad L2 game generally rather than us looking out of our depth. And that was just us being our usual slow starting selves, which says more about us than the quality of the division.
I don’t doubt we could still end up struggling, but it’s already become apparent that we’d have to fuck up big time to do so. Could you ever see us become as bereft of confidence as last night’s opponents?
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Plymouth’s programme, featuring a headline typeface that made the word â€œMilkâ€ look like â€œMilfâ€ and probably the best Q&A session in a programme ever. Things like, would you burn a butterfly for a sum of money, and if you were being coveted by a good looking gay man or an old hag (yes, the actual terms used), who would you go for? They ought to stay up for this alone. (2) Four games into the new season, and Terry Brown has already used the phrase â€œleggyâ€. Surprised it’s taken him that long to use it. (3) British Fireworks championships in Plymouth last night. Or as an SW19 reader put it, â€œthat’s just the home fans blowing up Peter Reidâ€.
Anything else? For some reason, we always take a fair few down to the South West. Last night was around 423, but unofficial counts suggested even more. True, the Sun’s cheapy tickets helped (and much appreciated they were too), but even so last year we took a good 350 to Twerton Park for an evening game in winter.
When you consider that we struggle to muster 200 for evening games in t’North, it makes it even more puzzling. I know that we have a smattering of fans in yokel land, but unless we’re all a bunch of druids (OK, I know…) or supporters of an independent Cornwall (and christ, can you imagine it if that ever happened?) it just doesn’t make sense. Especially as we didn’t sell out our Daggers allocation.
Granted, there’s still a lot of novelty value, but it does bode well that we’ll take some decent figures to away fixtures. And speaking as one of the sub-120 hardy souls who went to Hillsborough for a Premier League match in the 1990s, that’s something that still takes a bit of getting used to…
So, was it worth it? I would say so.
In a nutshell: Peter Reid’s a football genius.