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Bog Standard

Ah, a warm Saturday in July down on the South Coast of England. Waves lapping upon the pebble strewn shore. The breeze that makes the temperature pleasant. Seagulls micheviously looking for somewhere to aim. Dodgy looking chippies and amusement arcades, not to mention enough football shirts on display that would make a Sports Direct store look understocked.

Shame we had to have a football match, really.

So, what can one say about Rocks 0 Pebbles 2? If truth be told, not a great deal. It was the kind of game you expected us to win, even if we played the usual mixture of youngsters and still-not-quite-fit first teamers. I’m not sure what it says about our striking strength in depth when it took Jack Midson’s half-hour cameo to set things going.

We passed it OK enough, and we’ve got another 90 minutes under our collective belts, but as said in previous reports – this was down to the Jason Prior deal and nothing else.

I expect us to learn more on Tuesday at Woking. A lot more. Even so, there were a couple of things today that we can come away with. Will Charlie Strutton and Brendan Kiernan really have as much time and space as they did today, and get away with their selfishness/poor first touch? A Ryman side ain’t a L2 side.

Who’s this Aaron Racciny? Or Racine, or whatever his name is? Has Steven Old been released? Who’s this Dan Collier, who gave us some much needed excitement by scoring? And most importantly given this past week – how did Pim play? (Actually, not too bad, as it goes, although he does seem about 2 weeks behind everyone else).

And that is really about that. I can’t be arsed to write much more about this. Instead, here’s a nice picture and the rest of it afterwards…

Plus points: We didn’t lose. Nice day out. Decent header by Collier. Harris looks promising enough. Ditto Stacy Long.

Minus points: It’s a PSF against Bognor.

The referee’s a…: We had a referee?

Them: Welcoming hosts, and while their old clubhouse got burnt down, they got a nice one rebuilt. £6 to get in wasn’t bad, either (Maidenhead, take note), and both bar and tea bar seemed well used.

Funny that the last time we came here was on a cold day in the Conference South. A game I almost missed, but thankfully didn’t in the end. Back then, we were making our first steps towards promotion, with the first touch of the swashbuckling swagger that I don’t think has ever been matched since.

BRT went down to the Ryman One as we made our upwards steps, though are back in the Ryman Prem. And having a look at some of the teams they’re going to play (Concord Rangers, Leiston, Axewounds), aren’t you glad we didn’t follow them?

Point to ponder: Where were Toks and Byron Harrison? Come to think of it, Huw Johnson hasn’t featured much either this pre-season. Presumably they’re just being “rested” (yep, at this stage of the season) so that the fringers get up to speed. That said,  players need a good close-season campaign if they’ve been short on confidence.

This is especially true in Byron’s case, as even finding the net against Bognor will give some encouragement. I hope there’s a plan for him to be fit and raring to go at Stevenage, because we’ve paid too much money out for it to be otherwise…

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) Bognor’s scoreboard. We want one. And we don’t care if it came from Loftus Road circa 1983. (2) Their PA played We Will Rock You then AC/DC beforehand. Oh, and he referred to Jason Prior in the same manner as a darts player. Anyone remember the actual nickname? (3) That helicopter circling around before the game. (4) Decent turnout from us – wonder how many we would take if we played Hastings or Littlehampton next pre-season?

Anything else? Not really. Plymouth lost 5-0 to Yeovil and had a man sent off, so at least our 7-0 stuffing was to a Prem side. Apart from Barnet beating St Albans 10-2, even the other PSFs seem meh today…

So, was it worth it? Depends if you add the football into the equation.

In a nutshell: Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside.