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Forever Blowing Doubles

You know, I was hoping for a bit more joy than what we eventually got from Borstal 2 Academy of Football 4. And no, it wasn’t even WHU’s first team, although we didn’t get to say farewell to George Moncur…

And when you have the PSF results we’ve had, you do start wondering at what point the usual “they’re only there to get fitness” line becomes an excuse. True, they are in the first couple of games, but surely you should see it coming together by this stage more than it’s doing.

I can’t remember if it was the last time or the one before that where I said this, but it feels like we haven’t had enough games. It’s more than likely that we’ll be going into the Stevenage game with our new first XI playing one game together beforehand – at best. And that’s assuming that we even do that on Wednesday…

What has become abundantly obvious is that we’re going to need the ten games grace period to judge things, as like the new KRE I’m not convinced we’ll be ready for Chesterfield. Granted, we won’t be able to judge how good the Spirites/Burton/Bantams/Daggers teams will be either, but there’s a sense we won’t be going into these games with an advantage.

Still, we did learn a couple of things today. Namely that we look worse when MMK is playing and Pim isn’t. There were occasions against PNE that Pim bailed out the man with the unfortunate initials, and today our Dutchman didn’t look too shabby alongside Angus MacDonald. We definitely didn’t look as good when our new captain came on, although having Jim Fenlon giving the ball away didn’t help.

To be fair, we didn’t do too badly in the first half – or at least started to show a little bit of pre-season promise. Steve Collis certainly got a testing, and to be honest he didn’t look any worse than what Seb Brown has done too many times last season. Put it this way – if Collis plays for us at Broadhall Way, I wouldn’t be shitting myself for that position.

Cummings? Looks a bit slow, doesn’t he? He might be OK if he’s simply there to defend… Whether Strutton and Kiernan are going to have anything against L2 defences is something we’ll find out the hard way, although you already fear for Byron Harrison if he’s getting even less game time than normal. And yes, I know he took a knock at Eastbourne.

Sammy Moore and Jack Midson are as reliable as ever, though Osano going off didn’t help. And other than that…?

Plus points: We scored twice. Pim will be a very important player. Collis looks decent and has a presence.

Minus points: The amount of conversation between people in the crowd when we were 4-2 down says a lot.

The referee’s a…: Didn’t really get a lot from him, though it is pre-season.

Them: No George Moncur. I’m not sure how good the side they sent down to us is, although their first team lost 3-1 at Portman Road. Frederic Piquionne scored a hat-trick though. I hope for our sake it’s a decent one.

Point to ponder: So why is it important to start getting it together in pre-season? This time last year, we were on a high so we didn’t really take much notice of us going around Ryman Premier grounds. But we got off to a good start in the Conf promotion season because we had some good, strong results with some good, strong performances at the pre-season stage.

And for various reasons that are pretty bloody obvious, we are going to need a decent start this campaign.

In that Conference promotion season, lest we forget that we had just gone full time, and as such we had a fair amount of rejigging done anyway. But we came together when we could have easily used it as an excuse, and we did all right nine months later.

Indeed, if you’ve got as many players through the revolving door as we’ve had this close season, you need to get them settled and playing together as much as possible anyway. I’m really not convinced we’ve done that – I can’t look at PNE or today (or in all likelyhood, what Pompey will be) and say that the team that takes the field at Stevenage has been coming together enough in those games…

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) At least the Cherry Red Records tie-up has a use now – the PA played Dead Kennedys “Holiday In Cambodia”. Sadly, they couldn’t find “Too Drunk To Fuck”… (2) … although it did play Boney M and A-Ha. Even radio stations aren’t as eclectic as we can be when Mikey T does the PA. (3) Attendance at 1067 seemed a bit low, although as somebody with a bit of clout said to your editor today, isn’t that just us becoming a “normal” fanbase?

Anything else?  Dunno, really. Can’t decide whether I want the season to start or not…

So, was it worth it? It got me out of the house for an afternoon.

In a nutshell: Hmm.