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Very quick Southend report

As written by memory, and without the aid of a notepad. I did do a nice picture for you though…

– Losing in the last minute of a cup is always a pisser, although in a way we got more or less what we deserved. We could have (yet again) been a couple of goals down before the 30 minute mark, and it was only Southend’s crap shooting that saved us.

Us going 1-0 was, let’s be honest here, so seriously against the run of play that Essex Police would have been searching for us had we gone on and won. Stolen goods, and all that.

Even so, there was little bit more to offer than previous games. Although whether that’s because it was the JPT and the Shrimpers didn’t think it was quite such a big deal remains unclear.

The youngsters do have a bit of desire in them, which is both pleasing and worrying (will they have the enthusiasm sucked out of them?). And it’s a shame that Fenlon went off injured.

It’s fair to say that they’re one of our very few bright spots right now, and they might get a few more opportunities this month. I just hope for our long term sake that their confidence doesn’t get battered once the next shit storm sets in…

– This all said, it still doesn’t hide some pretty deep looking problems. Despite Merrifield’s goal, we didn’t appear to have any sort of cutting edge up front. I can’t remember Midson or Harrison doing much, and even when we did look like getting on top, we didn’t look that cohesive a unit. For all the running, it does seem that each part of the team does its own thing…

Like Saturday, if we had had more of a spark about us we could have won last night. It would have been unfair, but it’s cup football and that’s never fair. However, if you don’t take any little opportunities that come your way, you don’t deserve anything.

A neutral/casual supporter went to the Daggers game and said how “fragile” we looked. Last night, they might have said the same thing…

– Will we ever have a cup run in anything ever again?

-  I noticed the players did the cliched huddle thing before each half kicked off. Whether that’s an attempt to build a siege mentality, or whether it’s just a front to simply give the impression of one, I don’t know.

We’ll see in the upcoming games, but has a little weight been lifted from the shoulders? I guess for the players themselves, being in some sort of limbo when you don’t know what the future holds isn’t easy.

Are they still playing for the current regime or simply themselves now? Somebody more cynical than I may suggest the huddle was in fact the players giving their own team talk, although right now you suspect there’s an ounce of truth in it.

From the outside looking in, you do get the impression that things have come to a head, that “plans have been made” and we’re just simply seeing which way the proverbial cookie breaks and whereabouts on the floor it’s fallen.

In other words, something has happened and we haven’t been told yet.

Apparently, and according to an SW19 reader (literally) close to the dressing room last Saturday, the half time team talk was “very quiet, almost silent”…

– Finally, I can’t help but feel a little disappointed that less than 140 of us turned up. It was only a fiver to get in, and Southend is do-able in the evening. And yes, it’s “only” the JPT, but there does appear to be an enthusiasm gap right now.

Not that it’s unique to us at the moment, and some of the crowds from last night are shocking. This competition really is one that only gets people going when the regional finals are met, and it only exists because of the Wembley final.

Which given that the playoffs are held there too, is that as much of an incentive as it used to be?

One other thing – I noted that quite a few Franchise fans turned up to Sixfields. I suppose for them, it’s one of the few chances they’ll ever get to see what a real football club looks like, and even they had no excuse not to go.

Shame the cunts lost.

Oh, and for anyone going up to Northampton on Saturday though, bring some disinfectant for the seats. You know exactly where the arse of the average Frenzy has been…