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Hello Sailor

So, that was that then. Another loss, Tubbs inevitably getting a hat-trick and our decline continues. Somehow, we may be making a late charge on the fringes of releg…


If ever there was a good time to get a win, Saturday was it. And beating Pompey is always nice as well. Jampot takes up the reins…

“It’s the hope that kills you.”

Such are the vagaries of League 2 football results that after Divorced Wife 1 New Wife 0, a quick look at the table this afternoon shows we are still tantalisingly only 6 points off a playoff place.

The visit of ex-hubby Tubby in the end proved to be a bit of a one shot wonder, although his glancing header going for the bottom corner was well kept out by the re-instated Worner.

Thereafter, bar a couple of comical mis-kicks and coming off worse with Fuller in a challenge, he seemed to disappear from sight like the ex-spouse he has finally become.

People can now stop feeling like he was a cheating husband who had promised himself to someone else but was just fucking us over in the meantime. He joins a long list of ex-Dons – including Paul McCallum – to have come to KM and left with nothing. Sweet!

This was – as our League places confirmed (12th & 13th) – from the outset the perfect example of mid-table apathy, both on and off the pitch.

The polite description of the game was scrappy whilst the crowd, both before and during the game struggled to get excited. OK we did when we thought Tanner had scored (at least from where I sat); only greater joy to hear ex-Franny Chorley had put it in

As someone mused, poetic to win by a ‘Franny OG.’ It was a shame for Tanner though as by the end of the game most admitted he had probably deserved that accolade today for his efforts.

So at the end, though not mathematically safe, history shows us that the relegation threatened teams on average never exceed 1.5 pts per game at this stage of the season.

So that’s 12 pts for the likes of Hartlepool and Cheltenham to hope to accumulate to miss the drop. It’s looking more like that is where the excitement in League 2 will occur this year.

But what for us? Safe in March, 8 games to go, its nose-bleed country. Does NA go for it with his best 11 or start to blood the youth? Well, his post match comments suggest the former but, with Beere being the first sub on yesterday, perhaps that shows he will put them in IF he thinks it is right.

Playoffs are probably beyond us this year but we have a basis of a good squad. If we could somehow find the cheaper two equivalents of Goodman and Deji and someone who can put the ball away a bit like Tubbs/Main/Cooper (mk2), we might well push on next year.

Until then, you know what is coming…

Plus points: Clean sheet and welcome back Worner; likewise MotM Goodman; Tanner beginning to really show what he can do; still creating chances; Reeves optimism his next pass will create a goal.

Minus points: Poor conversion of chances to goals (though credit to their goalie); flat muted atmosphere; people getting on Reeves back for not being Moore or Bulman and daring to pass forward.

The referee’s a…: card happy bugger wasn’t he? Any missed tackle with a bit of bite seemed to end up in his book. Otherwise he tried to let the game flow at times and generally was, compared to some of his contemporises, reasonable with only a couple of contentious decisions made.

Them: I was quite surprised how flat they were as well as us. I thought this was a team destined for the playoffs but their enthusiasm was no greater than ours.

A lot of possession with their guy Wallace being the outstanding player (head bandage not withstanding) but they really did not deliver in the final third enough. Hence why Tubbs was probably so quiet. Reminds me a bit of another team he played for….

They brought pretty much the full away contingent allowed of 900+ but were as muted as us until the drum, trumpet and bell started out up. Glad I wasn’t on their coach back if they continue to play. They kept going to the end and helped us reach nearly 4500 for the first time this season.

Point to ponder: Wonder whether NA going in for a long await hip op will mean one of the other two are in charge for the next couple of games? OK, he will probably ask them when they do his hip to surgically attach the mobile phone to his ear but…. It will be interesting to see what happens.

The next four – based on our history – look like a month from hell:

  • Tranmere away, poor away form and below us in the table looks nailed on 3pts to them;
  • Northampton at home, on a reasonable run of form to flirt with the playoffs and we’ve only taken 1 point off them ever at home;
  • Dagenham and Redbridge away is about to suffer the curse of the Volunteers Away day where we enjoy ourselves until the game starts;
  • then finally Oxford at home, a side we have NEVER taken a point off of them.

[SW19 note: except for this season at the Kassam. It got quite a bit of coverage]

If the management look at our history then they will know it will be no playoffs this year!

Truth is stranger than fiction: Smith throwing up on the pitch right at the beginning of the second half. Did someone give him a dodgy orange or what?

Anyway, credit where it was due he played on, had an excellent crack at goal, saved by their goalie, and was in with a shout of man of the match.

The loss of Kennedy doesn’t seem so worrisome and we might find our left back situation is resolved already for next year if he continues to improve… again.

Unlike Deji who by his standards I thought had a mare. In fact, after Smith’s experience I did wonder if he was playing whilst being unwell.

I cannot recall how many times he mis-kicked and then there was that slip over which he did excellently to retrieve from and come away with the ball without the Portsmouth player ever getting in with a chance of stealing it. But still, he just didn’t seem ‘right.’

Anything else? Not much except perhaps the tricky decision of making it all ticket or not. It certainly felt like a lot of fans were not there and the floating vote was down as the terraces seemed empty in places. But unfortunately until the likes of Portsmouth and Luton eradicate their reputations over a number of years we have to consider taking the hit.

Certainly with NPL on the horizon the last PR we need is crowd trouble even if it is not our own. Mud sticks whatever the colour.

So, was it worth it? In the end , a double is a double

In a nutshell: As Martin Luther King might have said: “Safe at last, safe at last!”

Firstly, the snark. I note that once again, our strikers failed to find the net, and now we’re even having to get opposition players to do it for us…

Now that’s out of the way, it’s good to see we’ve put our Week From Hell™ behind us. Which was part of the March From Hell™ which preceded the Month From Hell™ that was February.

We finish the March From Hell™ with Tranmere, and we’re usually shit over Easter anyway. Oh, and we’ve got Oxford as well.

I’m surprised we haven’t got relegated yet.

Much like the bitter ex-wife who can’t understand why her blowjobs are no longer adequate, but has found out her love rival is also lousy at swallowing, part of the glowing satisfaction this weekend is that Tubbs was kept quiet.

To be honest, I don’t really blame him for moving on, and it’s got nothing to do with the thought that he never quite bonded with us.

He lives around Bournemouth, apparently, and having spent yet another Saturday down there, I can see why he took the decision to join a club 30 odd miles away – rather than a 2-hour journey when it’s a good run.

And 4-hours when it isn’t.

If you assume that all professional footballers are mercenaries, then you won’t get annoyed when a player like him goes for pastures new.

Granted, we do miss Tubbs, but that’s as much down to who we replaced him with (“replaced” used loosely). That said, Tanner is getting more praise, although his remit is to score goals…

Maybe he just needs one?

Anyway, the league table looks healthy, and that niggling “six points away from the playoffs” thought is still in the back of many a mind.

If we do somehow make a run for it, we’re going to need something like 3/4 wins on the spin, which seems beyond us. We’ve managed two-wins-in-a-row, albeit sporadically, but it never gets to the third one.

To do that, we’re also going to have to overcome our, quite simply, pathetic record against the bottom sides, Northampton and Oxford.

Mind you, we did get our first ever win (in either the WFC or AFCW eras) over t’Stanley, so hope may yet spring eternal.

I noted a comment on JP’s report that NA may be using his best XI rather than blooding the youngsters. Perhaps it’s going to be both? If somebody like Harrison or Beere was to come in, it would be down to their ability rather than a “need” to blood them for its own sake.

If we are going to do that, it’s the best way. There is still a (faint) possibility of extending the season, and it’s a good target to aim for.

Rather that than being somebody like Oxford right now, who are two defeats (and teams below them getting two wins in a row) from being dragged into what looks like a horrible relegation scrap.

Though there’s no such thing as a “nice” relegation scrap. Unless Franchise are in it, of course.

Indeed, win against Tranmere on Saturday and not only are we 99% mathematically safe, but we equal our record points tally as AFCW in the Football League.

Amazing in itself, but before Easter as well. Blimey, this could end up being an all right season after all.

Which is both refreshing and pretty sobering. Not referring to this campaign, but just proving how much we struggled to adapt to life in League Two before this season.

Your editor will always maintain that we were woefully underprepared when we got promoted at Eastlands, and looking back on it and what we know now – perhaps more than we realised at the time.

If we don’t get another point this campaign, at least we don’t need the complete rebuilding process this close season. True, we need two new centre-backs, another striker (or two), and any other position you can think of.

But with the youngsters another year developed, we could be struggling even more for news of new signings during the close season, as we don’t need quite so many now.

Perhaps it’s a good job this summer will be taken up with NPL. If you’re relying on transfers, you could be tearing up the walls come June 2nd.

Still, it’s an unusual feeling to have, probably the first time that’s happened since 2002. It’s strangely liberating though, and I wouldn’t swap this for yet another season looking over our shoulder at the drop.

Finally, your editor was doing the day job at Wembley yesterday. No, that’s not selling over-priced hot-dogs. And no, that’s not a euphemism either.

My mind did wander to the Conference playoff final (which apparently is £10 to get in if you book early enough, though I can’t find it on the OS), but also to that stage of the season you often wish for if you’re mid-table mediocrity.

Namely, looking at the top of the Conference and the bottom of League One.

It looks like either one of Barnet or Brizzle Rovers likely to escape the hell of non-league, and it’s times like this when you think the club was right to vote for 3-up-3-down.

Still, that’s not our problem any more, and from an away travelling point of view we’d all want the Hive to visit. As for the rest, Grimsby have paid their dues, ditto Macclesfield. You wouldn’t object to either of those two names in the Football League again, although the journeys will be shit.

I think I could do without the drive from the M4 to Forest Green, and if Eastleigh go up at least it will make their games against Pompey, ahem, interesting

Those who have looked at the table may have noticed Woking making a bit of a charge. That would be immensely funny if they did go up, and if nothing else would sort out Boxing Day fixture wise.

Sadly that probably won’t happen, but if it did – remember when AFCW started out in 2002 how the Holy Grail was to play Woking and Slutton in a competitive league fixture…?

As for the bottom of League One, which sadly doesn’t feature the cunts, Yeovil are fucked so we’ll be planning trips to Huish Park.

Indeed, we might get lucky next season – Colchester, Leyton Orient, Crawley and even Coventry are in peril. Again, a trip to Brisbane Road is something that will get the cockles glowing, and as for the Ricoh…

As I was writing this, Notts County sacked their manager, but I think we’d all want Crawley to find themselves in League Two next season.

Yes, really.

Nothing to do with liking them, but the sense of unfinished business. It’s not a favourite place to visit*, despite being reasonably nearby, and some of the games in the Conference still leave a bad taste.

* – not just us, but quite a few proper journo types like to avoid going there as well. KM ain’t perfect, but at least we have a bit of a reputation of looking after people…

And they could be one of those sort of clubs who, like Hartlepool and Carlisle before them, could be fighting relegation again as reality hits them.

Now, imagine it’s the last game of next season, and we’re at their place. And they find that like us and THAT Fleetwood game they have to win. And imagine that they get a last minute penalty that they have to score. And whoever is in goal for us that day guesses correctly…….