A few further random thoughts on yesterday, that I forgot to mention as I was close to crashing out.
I promise to try and not mention our defence, as even TB has admitted he has to do something about it now, and I’ll attempt to keep the churlishness down to a minimum for once. I’ll leave that until after we lose 3-1 to Macclesfield on Tuesday…
– We won yesterday because we didn’t give up. It was certainly a great last 20 minutes, the best for some time, and with luck we’ve finally gotten over a big psycholgical hurdle.
Question is, why? Well, it really did prove that fresh blood was needed, and for once our loan signings in January have already paid off. Imagine our mood right now had they been Elder/Broughton-esque. But when the likes of Knott come in and you feel they’ve been here for a long while, we might have finally struck lucky.
The “old” squad could never have done what we did yesterday, and it’s interesting that some believe the remaining members of those who came up with us have since upped their game. Luke Moore scoring twice in two games isn’t exactly a coincidence, and many were praising Toks for contributing to the game changing.
WhenÂ the goonage from the players (and TB) on the field afterwards matched that in the stand, it clearly meant more than just a comeback…
– Perhaps this might be a turning point in our all-round mentality? When it was 3-1, you felt “here we go again”, and it really did have that vibe that Port Vale last week was a blip. That probably explains why the first 70 minutes have been all but forgotten – same old, same old, and all that.
Which does beg the question – why can’t we play in the first 70 minutes like we did in the last 20? Fear? Poor pre-match preparation? We were apparently more relaxed yesterday than we were at Port Vale, yet we still have to come from behind. Then again, that has been a feature for the last 4 years…
– The proof in the well-egged pudding will come Tuesday. We badly, badly need to get some wins at Theme Park KM (the place where all visitors go home happy), and Macc will be a good time to do it. I’d almost go so far as to say how we have no excuse not to win that game – Jason Euell will be back, ditto Jolley, we’ve won two on the spin, our opponents have lost their last three League games…
Macclesfield are 19/10 with Skybet right now, in case you’re asking.
– Could this have been the most important 20 minutes of our season? I have to admit, I would have happily accepted the draw yesterday. Four points from six on the road isn’t a bad tally, after all. That it’s P2 W2 is better than many (OK, most) of us expected a couple of weeks ago.
Somebody came up with a sobering stat after the Port Vale game. Had we lost up in the Potteries, we would have been 20th. This morning, we’re 15th – a position most of us will give our reproduction tools to finish this season – with an eleven point gap between us and the drop zone. And better goal difference, somehow.
This month was always going to be important, and it’s one that could have seen us in real relegation shit at the beginning but ironically could see us almost safe at the end of it. Tuesday is important, though not as vital as it could have been – even so, win that and we’re suddenly five wins away from the magical 50 point mark. With nineteen games to get them.
One thing that TB has proven in the past is that he is capable of getting the needed results when they really are needed. Think of how we got promoted – not only to the Football League but from the Ryman and Conference South too. While I think TB is starting to hit a glass ceiling in terms of his management ability, he needed these last two results like no other.
He got them.
– This all said, I still don’t believe the calls that we can push for the playoffs. Our [CENSORED COMMENT ABOUT DEFENCE] but also I don’t think the club itself is ready for yet another push upwards for a couple of years.
Think of how far away we were from being an FL club in the Conference South, or even in the first season of the Conference, and you get some idea of what we need to do. I know D&R and Stevenage did it, but look at Daggers now. And I wouldn’t fancy Stevenage to remain in L1 when the Westley effect goes. Older heads will tell you what happened when WFC went into Div 3 for the first time, and Wycombe and Chesterfield are currently proving that it’s not easy in the next division up…
Of course, the fact we’re even talking about the playoffs shows how far we’ve come, even in attitude. Two weeks really is a long time in football.
– I’m not mentioning much about the game as I still can’t fully take it in. Did we really score three times in the last twenty minutes to win? I suppose we must have done as I had one of those journeys coming back home. You know, that kind of glowing one you have when you know you’ve witnessed something good.
Was it as good as Eastlands, as some are hinting? The best result and drama since then, yes, but nothing will match the significance. I don’t think it was as good as the West Ham 4-3 or the Aston Villa 4-3 in the WFC era, as [CENSORED COMMENT ABOUT DEFENCE] and therefore it was a rarer event to go 3 goals down so readily.
But it was special.
Funny how people can react in different ways to results like this. Your editor got blasted in the comments of last night’s report for being “tepid” over it. I wasn’t, not intentionally anyway, but I was knackered when I wrote it and there were outstanding issues that haven’t been sorted. Great for yesterday’s entertainment, not great for our long term substainability.
(in the interest of balance, somebody else said I was “fair”. Guess you can’t try and please everyone, because if you do you just end up pleasing nobody).
Come to think of it, the reaction generally has been a little bit mixed. There are those who are now nursing massive hangovers and will have impending paternity suits in a couple of months time thanks to JM’s 90th minute goal. There are those who think all is OK now. And there are those who certainly enjoyed it but aren’t getting carried away by a result that could have easily gone wrong.
Who’s right? Or wrong? The truth is, nobody is. It’s a bit of a shame in a way that we do have a game Tuesday, as we don’t get to bask in this result in the way we had to endure a week of scab picking gloom after some recent defeats. Of course, a win at KM…
– How nice was it to see us take our allocation up? 1163 is a decent turnout, albeit one typical of games we’ve had in Kent and the south coast generally since 2002. And before that, if truth be told. It certainly looked good on the telly, anyway.
What that does prove is that even with a recent poor run of form, we know that a third of our home support will turn out for these sort of short trips – in time, that will go down but wasn’t WFC always a case of people picking and choosing?
We’ll never take 1000+ every game we go to, at times we’ll struggle to take 400 (we are a L1/L2 level side after all) but the novelty of League football has worn off and yet we still want to go. And after the years of abuse we took for our small support, isn’t it nice to read a table like this?
– Finally, hands up anyone who said “Can’t Kedwell take one for us?” when we got the penalty….