… whatever is done is done, we’re going to Wy-yy-combe, que sera sera.
When it comes to cup games, especially the FAC, your sole task is to make sure you get through. Nothing else. That we managed to do that against York last night is one thing.
That we actually started to look decent in doing so is another.
OK, relatively speaking looking good, but for the second time in four days, we did what we needed to do and perhaps offer a little bit more than what we normally get.
First things first – your editor missed their goal, although so did our defence and keeper. There was a growing sense last night though that if – if – we could just get that one goal we would go on and win it by a couple.
Thankfully “Whistling” Jack Smith did exactly that. And even more thankfully, AA and Tubbs finally combined for the latter to net his first goal for us since Doomsday.
Our man from Bournemouth has received quite a few brickbats recently, some for him not finding the net whilst others believing he’s looking for a way out in January.
Class is however permanent, and all that, and your editor kept looking at him when yet another run just failed to pay off, he was clearly feeling the frustration from somebody who knew it would happen for him if he just kept going.
Which, when he ran onto an AA header for him to finally connect to, to finally put in the net, he did.
Ever had those moments at games where you just knew we weren’t going to let it slip after that? That second goal was one of them. I guess it proves that football really is a game played 80% in the mind.
Speaking of which…. our third strike. This is one of these occasions where you hope the camera was rolling the whole time, because if it isn’t put on one of those cash-in Xmas “blooper” DVDs it should be.
Picture the scene : York get a late corner. Their goalie rushes up to do his impression of Jimmy Glass. Except he doesn’t. The ball bounces away, and there is nobody up the other end bar Tubbs and a defender.
Said goalkeeper is stranded up the other end, as one of our players launches it up to our scorer, who beats said player. From then on, it becomes like the opening scene out of Casualty, where the toddler is playing in the street in one shot, a speeding car in another, and you just know the third shot will feature the frantic mother rushing out.
Of course, Tubbs could have missed, which would have put the cherry on a farcical cake, but thank fuck he knows how to control it.
Seriously, when was the last time you saw that kind of thing? It’s like 20-yard own goals or foul throws – by the law of averages they should happen a lot more than they actually do. Not that we’re complaining…
Not only did the goal pave the way to a tie against the legit Football League side in Buckinghamshire, but also led to one of the funniest things we’ve seen at this often po-faced club for some time.
York had another corner, and I have never seen so many people yelling at the opposition keeper to go up and help his team get a lifeline in an FAC match. The spoilsport obviously didn’t realise that we were encouraging him to give his side a late goal, and make it an exciting climax. He probably thought we were taking the piss. As if…
Still, he clapped us off at the end, and now we can start making plans for Wycombe. This was the second game in a row where NA changed things and it paid off. Last night, Francomb and Rigg were hauled off, Azeez and Moore came on, and we got the result.
Luck? Judgement? Who cares? I don’t, and if it means we keep getting results neither will anyone else. As the JPT proved, a cup run gets the cockles glowing, and we are now just ninety minutes and a good result away from the moneyspinner against
Millwall away Manchester United.
We have two league games since that Sunday fixture (and your editor is immensely thankful for that rearrangement – fuck you Keep Sunday Special religious types), or one if you discount our mandatory defeat against Oxford.
Now wouldn’t be a bad time to have a bit of a run of form. Tubbs has found the net again, we’ve coped with yet another Frampton injury better than we have done previously, and the confidence is slowly coming back again.
On and off the field.
There are still some questions, and not just about whether Tubbs is off in January. Rumours abounded last night that KSL was left all on his own in the dressing room, and you now have to start thinking that he will be joining Chris Arthur in “getting some valuable game time” elsewhere come January.
Like Charlie Strutton, his pace may hoodwink some people into forgetting why he won’t be in blue-with-yellow-trim for much longer. Actually, the two are quite similar – they ran around a lot, they had one or two games where they actually looked the part, but one or two games doesn’t cut it in League Two.
I don’t think Strutton had the issues with discipline that KSL reportedly has, and as somebody this morning put it – Azeez has as much pace but knows what to do with it a bit more too.
Could we have done with him last night? I’m not sure, and if in January we get somebody in better, then the answer has to be no. True, the Cardiff trainee is a crowd favourite, but we’ve survived after jettisoning crowd favourites before.
By the way, Jack Midson has scored three times for Eastleigh this season. Just thought I’d mention it.
All in all though, it’s a nice feeling to be winning. There were plenty of smiles after the game, and the enjoyment factor has been all too rare in recent times. As usual, best to enjoy it while it lasts, before the latest shit sandwich gets served up.
What can we expect from Wycombe? The last game at Adams Park was, well, disappointing. But they didn’t look too special on Monday night, and it’s an immensely winnable tie – especially if our collective brains are in gear.
Also, maybe we can take over 1000 there this time? It’s always puzzled me that we never do – I know plenty moan about the lack of pubs around there, especially the Real Ale types, but surely it’s not that prohibitive to get to?
Unless of course some people take the boycotting of Buckinghamshire a bit too far…