Thank christ for thatÂ – after the last couple of days, I think estate agents and rope salesmen in Bridgend were expecting a huge upturn in business from SW London…
So we drew. At home to the league leaders. And to be fair, we can justifiably say that we got the reaction we needed, and put in a spirited performance.
Because let’s face it – we had to do something last night.
Typically, your editor managed to miss our first goal at Theme Park KM (where all visitors go home happy) since Hartlepool. OK, I also missed their goal too, but I mention that very stat for one good reason – it shows how woeful we’ve been up front recently.
It’s now close to the middle of March, and the last goal before last night at KM was scored in the last week of January. And *that* was Hylton’s only contribution since he’s been here.
Last night, bearing in mind I’m a part timer these days, we worked very hard against a very decent side (who also needed a performance and result), but it still didn’t seem right up top.
None of our strikers seem to fit in. Wyke tries hard but is still a young lad being asked to do a man’s job. Hylton apparently had his best game last night since he got here, which doesn’t say a lot about his impact. And things obviously were so bad on Saturday that even Sheringham was forced to sit at home and get his dad to show him how to turn the telly on.
Which leaves Midson. While I don’t think he’s nearly been as effective when he has taken the field this campaign, it’s easier finding out what happened to that Malaysian airline than why he’s so far down the pecking order now.
He could have made a difference last night. I’m not saying he would have, but he would have offered something a bit different that would have made Chesterfield think a bit more.
I can only guess that he’s done something to one of our management team that has forced him into football’s equivalent of being on remand. Did he say “good morning” to NA in a tone of voice our manager just didn’t like?
Or indeed, given NA’s penchant for stats and scientific data, did he openly challenge Midson on saying “good morning” because there were a few clouds in the sky that could give off rain?
We’ll never know. But it would be nice to get an explanation of sorts when he does go in the summer, if only because Midson did arguably save his job at a certain game in late April 2013…
I haven’t seen yesterday’s programme, but apparently NA is saying that he’ll sort out the striker situation in the summer. Until then, it looks like we’re going to limp through the rest of the season with every single striker either shit, out of form, or just plain ostracised.
Which does worry me a bit, because like the alleged “defence” we had last season almost fatally crippled us, our alleged forward line may end up making things a lot more tricky than they should be.
We’re not out of the woods yet, we still have to get three more wins, and despite this morning’s pats on the back – none of our strikers hit the target yet again.
As good as the spirit was last night, we still have ten games left. It means nothing if we don’t capitalise on a good result – the stats may prove that we’ve only lost one in the last four games, but there’s still plenty to do this season.
As we know all too well, this collection of players are more than capable of taking their foot off the pedal and go on yet another run of losses.Â Bassey has said pride has been restored, but it’s still only one game.
And a game where our backs really were against the wall beforehand.
What has been a genuine positive this season is that for all the problems up front, for all of NA’s negative tactics, and there being a lot more to do during the close season, we are capable of getting results when we really need them
That proved true again against the Spirites. I shudder to think of the mood this morning if we’d lost, especially considering Northampton* and Torquay won.
* – and given what has just been said, it would really – really – be nice to go up to Sixfields and for once put a struggling team to the sword. Of course, you just know that we will put our worst performance of the lot in that evening….
But at this stage of the season, it’s points that matter. I can’t remember if we went up a place or not, but as Chuck Berry once told the Wentzville judge, it’s better to be looking up than down.
A few other thoughts about last night. Chesterfield are the best side I’ve seen in this division this season, some of their movement could have caused us serious damage.
You have to wonder why, if we’ve supposedly put so much into our fitness regimes, we still hardly move. That was the case early on in the season, so it’s obviously not a new thing.
Our defence looks pretty solid for the most part, and Frampton returning does make a difference. By fuck we’ve missed him. Defended a bit deep towards the end, even if I don’t think we looked much in danger, but that’s down to tactics and a crap forward line.
KSL started, and proved why he should remain an impact sub. Remember how good/bad Andy Clarke was when he started fixtures?
There were some notable gaps around me yesterday (no, more than usual). I guess it proves that our fans are exactly the same as anyone else in the FL – you can only feed them crap for so long before they start to make other plans on match days.
Fortunately for the club (and supporters) there are only four KM games left now, because I sensed last night a growing weary outlook about how feeble we are up front.
Assuming we stay up – and we are good enough to do that – we can have a good close season and properly sort out the front. Because if the club really are looking into raising season ticket prices, it has to offer more to the paying punter than just the “it’s your club” platitude these days.
There’s been some grumbling about players not mixing with fans afterwards – to be honest, I think it’s far more important they win games and get points on the board rather than being chummy with everyone.
They are employees of a football club called AFC Wimbledon, and in the pro game players don’t mix with fans as much. That’s the nature of the beast, and like fans not wanting to watch crap we’re no different from anyone else.
And anyway – after a win, the players are always your best mates.
One final thing I noticed last night – what’s the deal with some high profile people and beard growing? You can excuse those who always wear beards, like motorcyclist types and those who consume real ale. But there does seem to be a fashion for it right now.
Whether it’s for charity, or just some hipster thing I don’t know. But if the football casuals of the 1980s saw no irony in dressing like Lennie Bennett, I guess they’re not bothered about looking like Peter Withe…