Bloody hell. Two wins in a row? At home. With no goals conceded? Anyone would think we’re not playing teams down the bottom…
The difference a week makes, eh? This time last Monday, I was really trying to motivate myself to write something – anything – over yet another surrender to a struggling side.
I gave up, and looked upon Burton and Morecambe with dread, which would further confirm our freefalling into yet another basement scrap. Today, it’s somewhat of a different vibe.
Anyway, here’s Jampot…
“Please, sir, I want some more”.
Having missed the Burton match – which I thought we might do well in – I was slightly more apprehensive about Saturday, particularly after last season’s 0-3 capitulation in a game where a win would have seen us mathematically safe last year.
But perhaps it is testament to the new found confidence in Mr Bumble (NA) that Oliver Twist 1 Nancy 0 was really not in doubt once we scored. OK, there was the same worry about defending too deep but I was calmer Saturday; or it was the after effects of having a nice few days in Scotland?
At last we seem to be moving towards fulfilling our promise. We didn’t totally miss Tubbs which was great as it suggests we have new options, so congrats to the youngsters Saturday most of whom I had not seen before. But credit also to the rocks behind them; Bulman and Akinfenwa.
So for now all is happy in the AFCW garden but a tricky trip to Newport awaits. Each game seems to be described as testing our credentials for this season. Another one to come.
But with confidence. After the weekend’s results it proves there are no easy games in this division. But I feel more confident we will get to 50 points this season sooner than last and may well push on up.
Plus points: Two home wins in a row. An excellent open game; Azeez and Harrison; Shea’s saves; The whole team again putting in a shift against fresher opponents. Clean sheet.
Minus points: Needed second goal; perhaps late substitution to replace a totally shattered Azeez.
The referee’s a… In hindsight did little wrong. Perhaps could have produced the odd card or two but tried to let the game flow. Good decision making on that, where once he called back a foul when we had no continuing advantage. Very rare that.
Them: Having ‘rotated’ their squad in the week and lost we had to deal with the big fresh guns Saturday. Totally shell shocked by Bayo in the first half they naturally came at us with fast pacy little ‘uns who we did well to handle. I fear as the season goes on they may be bullied out of it by bigger teams (P.S. Other fans think we are a big physical team… stop laughing!).
Points to ponder: Should Tubbs come in against Newport? Azeez, about 3 times rescued lost causes and set up attacks when there were none. Would he be a better option to soften up Newport first and then bring on Tubbs as they tire? An alternative and another confidence boost to the young lad.
And what of Harrison who had to deal with a real winger Saturday? Away from home would you consider Kennedy who looked quite feisty when he came on to help settle midfield/defence?
I don’t think we mess with the central defence no matter how much Frampton has attributes unless there is a specific case for him to play to counter a particular problem in their attack.
Has Fuller got over his ‘injury’ or was he on pain killers. Didn’t look quite as fast as usual but appeared more solid in defence.
Three’s a crowd: Well 3822 was better than Tuesday night but we would be hoping for a 4K crowd at home but, with no disrespect it was Morecombe. Probably about right. They, I think, had a drum which I heard at the beginning but never again. maybe it was confiscated (thank the Lord!).
Anything else? Not really. Had Ben Harrison’s granddad sit next to me. First time he had seen him play for the first team and please as punch. Apparently 4 grandsons all playing football. Nice.
Was it worth it? For entertainment at last it was; credit to both sides.
In a nutshell: Going in the right direction again.
Right direction indeed.
There are certain things in life that are just mirages, like water in the desert or Scottish independence. However, our ability to win against the sides at the top isn’t.
Funnily enough, there was an odd bit of confidence that we could pull this off before the game, and not just from the supporters either. When we went 1-0 up, even from your editor’s vantage point Amex press box it felt like we’d hang on.
Which just proves that a win on Tuesday changed everything. Suddenly, we can go unbeaten for the rest of the season, and they might as well hand us the trophy now.
By the sound of it, we held on a bit at the end, although that is always the danger of a 1-0 lead towards the end. I’ve no idea how bad their player’s header at the end was, but how many times have we said that about our front line?
Speaking of which, this was the first game this season sans Tubbs, and if you believe some people is what we’ll have to deal with come January when Bournemouth sell him.
How true that is I don’t know, although you would hope in the words of NA it’s more bombproof than that, but judging from reports after the game the other AA did well.
Yes, he’s young, and he’s still raw, and obviously our manager is going to treat him with kid gloves, but to be fair he hasn’t looked out of his depth as some strikers we’ve had in recent seasons.
As somebody put it over the weekend, for a third choice striker he doesn’t seem bad and has been proven better than some second choice ones.
Mind you, am I alone in thinking NA’s description that he’s “my little project” sounds a bit sinister? It sounds like some mad scientist creating somebody from leftover DNA.
Although he did create Charlie Sheringham after a post-curry shit.
I wouldn’t keeps Tubbs on the bench though, as a couple have suggested in the last 24 hours. You don’t drop somebody who scores with such regularity, especially when he strike partner is finally finding the net.
AA’s goal looked again like the sort you always expect him to get. And dare I say that after about four seasons we’ve finally worked out how to play League Two football? Although perhaps we should start beating the Hartlepools and Stevenages before we start congratulating ourselves…
Still, a nice week ahead for a change, without the brooding or the midweek fixture that inevitably ruins everything. The obvious Franchise game aside, we’re free of midweekers now for a while, except Plymouth (on the very day your editor buggers off to the US for a fortnight), so we can relax a little bit.
I couldn’t help notice this last week, although with Beere and (especially) Harrison stepping up to the metaphorical plate, is it such an issue right now?
I think I’d prefer it if we didn’t immediately dip into the loan market when we don’t need to – we’ll have to use it at some point, and we’ve all seen in the past how the revolving door cripples us.
By all means let NA and others keep scouting, get some notes written and databases updated (by the way, it seems that a certain Mr S North is being seen at some Prem u21 games with our management team…), but for the first time in a long while – getting somebody in is a bonus rather than a necessity.
We’ve mentioned the two obvious yoof teamers, but Joe McDonnell was also on the bench as well, and it’s obvious that Worner is going to remain at Woking for a while. Maybe the plan was to replace him with Shea and keep a young keeper on the bench after all?
Still, they’re issues for another day, and given recent weekends it’s nice to actually enjoy reading the Monday papers. While we should make the most of it while it lasts – again – we are good enough to have more weekends like this.
We have no excuse not to repeat it at Newport – after all, they’re no lower than 16th…