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Pool of vomit


And the most predictable result of the weekend goes to…

So, Hanging 1 Hangers 2. What can I say? Apart from having to write two big proper pieces on it before I started on this. No wonder I have found my enthusiasm strangely waning.

I got sent this haiku by Tudor soon after the game. I think it summed it up:

‘Pool get free ride on
Bouncy Castle Kingsmeadow.
Why are we surprised?

I don’t know whether it was the past five games in two weeks catching up with us, or whether it was us thinking we’d won the game as soon as Tubbs netted, or even just failing to get that second goal.

But the buzz after Luton and especially Southend this week is truly gone. And we get a whole week to brood over this one.

Make no mistake, this was depressing in two ways : firstly the way we played well then completely failed to take advantage of it. You knew that when Hartlepool started getting into it, we would somehow let them back.

Secondly, the sheer depressing familiarity about it. We all know we’ve won once since January, and that was a game that we ultimately couldn’t enjoy because of the admin fuckup.

Things were supposed to be a bit more different than this, were they not?

Look, we’re going to lose games this season, and I’m not convinced that we’ll finish in the playoffs – we’re now 9th and that’s where we should finish by the time May comes around.

But it has happened for too long at KM, and it seems a major cultural fault line that we just can’t seem to get over. We (semi) joked about this kind of fixture being a banana skin, but why should it be?

Our resilience has shown this season, and we’re now going to have to dig in again for St. Evenage come Saturday. We don’t have a particular good record against Westley, although we have a different manager now.

I’m not going to mention too much about the game. If you want to relive it, I assume you’re the sort of person who likes to wet their fingers then stick them in a live socket. For the bantz, of course.

All I will say is that if the ref had blown up after Tubbs missed the penalty, we could have got home earlier.

Want more? OK then…

Plus points: Tubbs scoring. Starting off well.

Minus points: Everything after Tubbs scoring.

The referee’s a…: Was he too bad? I’m not convinced he was, and he gave us a penalty when others say that we, ahem, looked for it.

Them: They came, they saw, they realised that we’re shit at home. They had a go and they took it. And you can’t really blame them.

You just knew that as soon as Charlie Wyke signed for them, he would score yesterday. Mind you, if we had just cleared the fucking ball to begin with…  Although given the way that we looked, it would have been delaying the inevitable.

Granted, unless you look like we did in 2012/13, you have to be wary of dismissing teams rooted to the bottom at the end of August, but even so you should expect us to come away with three points. Were they good? Not majorly. Were they better than us? Perhaps not, but they applied themselves a helluva lot harder.

One thing though, at least we don’t have this sort of thing to deal with. And needless to say, their manager sounded even more pissed off than his words suggest…

Point to ponder: Did the five games in a fortnight finally catch up with us? And if so, did NA make a mistake in not rotating yesterday? Or at least make changes earlier?

Had we kept the lead, we wouldn’t have asked that question. We would have given the players a couple of much needed days off, get back into training on Tuesday and start again from there.

As it stands, our confidence has taken a hit, and the mood is going to be a bit different this week ahead.

It might have been the first demonstration of what happens when you gamble on a smaller squad then fail. AA was ineffective, in fact most of them were. And as a result, we’ve suffered the setback.

The bench yesterday saw us put in a left-back who is 17, in Ben Harrison. Before the game, in the press box, a prominent AFCW media bod (OK, it was Chris “Slav” Slavin) said that it would be good if we were 3-0 up with 10 minutes to go to give the likes of Harrison game time.

Which was followed up with the all-too-knowing “but of course we won’t be”.

You have to wonder if NA is caught between two stools here. He wants to play the yoof more, which is more than commendable. But he has to win games too, and to do that he needs his best squad available.

And if they’re run into the ground because of five games in 14 days, perhaps putting them on regardless won’t hurt?

Later on in the season, I think NA might end up being bold enough to do that. There aren’t too many midweekers in the league left in 2014 (Burton and Plymouth at home), and our main XI should be able to cope with that.

It’s going to be around Jan/Feb/March where it starts needing to be done – cup runs (yeah, right), postponements and whatever else causes fixture pileups seem to be at their peak, and by that stage the youngsters will have gone through the u21 season enough.

For now? I guess we just let the first XI live or die by the sword, and we’ve learned a valuable lesson. Although we’re quite practiced at doing that…

Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) Missing : one scoreboard. Apparently, it doesn’t work, so I wasn’t taking the piss after my post-Chelski comments about it. 2) Listening to Mikey T on the PA having to read from a script to introduce the track of the day. Every cliche you can think of about the Inspiral Carpets (or whoever it was) coming out. No wonder he sounded uncomfortable…

Anything else? OK, just why are we so fucking shit at KM?

The stats don’t lie – since January, we’ve won once. But we’ve also drawn four and lost five, so it’s not like we’re the one-point specialists either. Perhaps worse of all, yesterday looked just so familiar.

It’s around this time that your editor makes the obligatory “I don’t get to many games” comment. Yesterday was my third game at KM this year, and the worrying thing is, I really don’t feel like I missed too many of them.

For the record, my last win I saw at KM was Pompey. That’s about ten months ago, and we’ve won a grand total of three at home since then. Unless I can’t count and missed something.

Even so, no matter how you try and spin that – it’s a dreadful record.

With that in mind, I’m surprised that attendances are holding up as much as they are. Although there were around 3500 yesterday, and you really can’t blame anyone for deciding that home games suck. You’ve turned up, but it’s not as though the team fulfill their side of the bargain.

There’s something about KM, and I wonder if somebody yesterday touched upon it – we don’t like going there because compared to other grounds in the division it’s uninspiring.

We know that we’re still here for three years at least, served a purpose, etc etc. But the spark that is needed at home doesn’t appear to be coming anytime soon (which will needlessly push us further down the table than we should be).

Our away form isn’t too bad, but already you’re hoping that we don’t have to rely on it. In theory, KM should be a graveyard for teams – it’s compact, it should be intimidating and it’s miles away from the better venues in this division.

It’s certainly compact and crap, but the other factors? Stop laughing.

How we change that I honestly don’t know. I’m not sure if NA himself knows. I would think it’s going to need the team to start breaking the circle of failure there, because you can’t keep expecting the fans to fake a level of enthusiasm they just don’t have.

I noticed how dead it was from half-way down the Main Stand, and plenty of others said that as well. It’s because it’s a case of when we fuck up, not if. And it’s gone on for far, far too long for it to be a blip.

Give people something to cheer about, and they’ll respond. We want to be entertained at KM, and get that nice post-victory glow afterwards. But despite all the changes, and all the optimism, it’s still Theme Park KM.

And it’s still the place where all visitors go home happy.

So, was it worth it? Fuck off.

In a nutshell: Thankfully, no games this week.