… two for joy. We’ve won four in a row, oh boy.
Look, it’s a nursery rhyme about magpies, the nickname of the team we played on Saturday, and we’re now officially in nosebleed territory. OK?
There are not one but two write-ups from Meadow Lane. The first one comes from Joshua Perrin, just subsitute “today” for “Saturday” as I can’t be arsed to do any further editing:
Wow. What a performance that was. After going 3 wins on the bounce, I travelled to Notts County expecting another Morecambe display to occur. Especially as it was their managers home debut, this had a defeat written all over it.
And after a decent start, their ex-Mansfield from last week guy hitting the post made me feel even worse about today. But then James Shea rolled it out to Barry, Barry typically launches it into the abyss, Elliott does something, Taylor a fancy flick then boom. The top corner ripples.
An amazing finish from a player that is finally starting to find his feet at the club. It seems to me that all Eliott needs is a goal and suddenly he is a world beater. Cambridge at home and Exeter away spring to mind. And today he was exceptional.
After the goal we didn’t stop. As the pitch looked massive today, we sometimes used the width (very ineffectually) and sometimes went through the middle (Reeves and Meades were unstoppable, apart from the odd slip on the turf) and we missed (or the old Northern Irish git who has done fuck all in his career made a save) numerous opportunities.
The funniest moment of the half however coming right at the death when Sean Rigg was fairly tackled on the corner on the attack. The somewhat inept ref viewed this differently and gave a foul and a yellow card. Cue the home fans singing “you don’t know what you’re doing” and cue the away fans joining in!!!
Somehow we were still treading carefully at one up at the break. The second half started as a much of a muchness with us being a bit in our shells and their franchise bastard wasting an opportunity even my nan could have scored (admittedly he is a c**t but he was by far their best player today and could do a job for anyone up top).
We then spurned more opportunities until *finally* Andy Barcham did something of note and score. Having hit the bar before and after he’d scored that was all he did.
Him and Rigg were very ineffective today and I felt the pace and tenacity of Rigg last season and Barcham earlier this season was just lacking.
On the other hand, Paul Robinson had probably the best defensive display I have seen in a Wombles shirt. He was everywhere. Even Karleigh Osborne missing the ball Robbo dealt with (also I felt apart from the miskick Osborne was also immense today).
Pretty much the performance was through the spine of the team. Kennedy and Fuller were average as were Barchy and Riggy. However those 6 playing through the middle need to take a bow. They battered County today.
Lyle was at his usual arsehole best producing a stunning chip over Carroll after being given offside. Elliot was like Beast was last year, just better. He could move for one and he could jump higher. Although he still gave away as many fouls.
Overall, best performance I’ve seen since along time ago. And 4 wins on the bounce for the first time in the FL. Cue AFCW 0- Yeovil 5 next Saturday!
And the second one comes from STTA:
Last week we finally put a bunch of dirty cloggers away at Kingsmeadow but heading up the M1 expecting to win is a situation that – in recent history – has always ended in tears.
But it didn’t. We won again and comfortably. If truth be told we should have buried them by 5 or 6 nil.
It took a few minutes to realise Callum had started, and that Bully was missing. That’s not a problem for the new Wimbledon, we have options and if anything Meades in midfield makes us a tougher proposition.
We survived an early scare when County hit the post but were soon into our passing game, our front two looking a real handful. 10 minutes in and a long ball from Bazzer was headed down by Elliot, flicked back in to his path by Taylor and Tom buried it in the top corner. Cue delirious scenes amongst the 683 travelling Dons.
Earlier this season you could have counted the minutes until we conceded the equalizer – often from an unnecessary free-kick – but we’ve changed, I fancied new Wimbledon to win the game from that point on.
Lyle and Tom both had good chances to put us further ahead. County were restricted to half chances and a free kick that Jimmy saved well. We went in at half-time deservedly ahead.
Second half County had a brief spell of pressure, a couple of decent diagonal balls troubled our defence, McLeod missed a sitter to equalize (stop laughing) and Jimmy was alert to see off any threats from them running in behind.
We continued to create good chances, Lyle’s excellent play giving us one opportunity after another to put County out of their misery.
Neal changed it up bringing on Fitz, Bayo and Azeez. Fitz looked lively and on 83 minutes it was his cross that Andy Barcham stuck in the bottom corner to finally seal the 3 points.
If Azeez had a left foot he could have bagged himself a couple of goals and Lyle will still be wondering now how he didn’t get on the score sheet.
Plus points: The defence looking just as solid with Kennedy in for Meades. Our team of strikers. Our passing and movement. Looking like we’re going to score a hatful.
Minus points: Can’t think of any.
The referee’s a…: very average but that’s not bad for this league. Let the game flow and didn’t have his cards out every 5 minutes. Couple of decisions went against County but if any Magpies are blaming the ref they’re missing the point.
Them: seem like a reasonable size club that have lost their way. They’ll stay up easily enough but something’s not right off the field. Until that changes they could be in for a decent stay in Division 4.
New Wimbledon are different. Whatever has finally clicked we are organized, physical, hard-working, tough to score against and creating oodles at the other end.
Most importantly we don’t look likely to produce one of our periodic shit-shows. We won’t win every game between here and May but we’ve finally grasped the basics and we’re a game for anyone in this division.
I haven’t heard many “we’re going to piss this tinpot league” type comments in recent years, but if we beat Yeovil…
You can, and probably will, continue to disect why we’ve suddenly hit terrific form. But the last sentence of the second report might say it all.
Or more accurately, the bit about grasping the basics.
The confidence has sky-rocketed, hasn’t it? Even better, it doesn’t feel like we’re getting lucky either, which has been the case with previous good runs.
True, you have to beat who is in front of you, and there are teams more likely to succeed than Notts County or Mansfield. But considering how shit we’ve played in the past in these sort of fixtures, I much prefer the current approach.
And it’s things like looking at the league table right now that makes it pleasant. We’re in the playoffs, at least until Wycombe and Carlisle win their game(s) in hand.
Yes, it’s January, and the giddyometer is getting a bit warmed up right now. I hope those predicting how many we’ll take to Wembley are merely taking the piss.
But the current glow of satisfaction partly boils down to us actually doing what we’re supposed to be doing.
See, we’re not a bad side. We’ve never been a bad side, just one that has in the past – and if we’re being honest, will occasionally be in the future as well – been forced to play as a square peg in a round hole.
The fact that we’re now using tactics the players a) like, and b) get on best with is a QEfuckingD moment and then some. Take Tom Elliott – we’re finally figuring out how to use him properly and all of a sudden he’s getting the goals.
And yes, what a goal on Saturday.
It’s taken about 3.5 years of the NA regime to finally get to this stage, unless you count his first season when he simply had to play pragmatically.
But whether he figured it out by himself, or (more likely) had the more realistic approach thrust upon him, perhaps from external factors, it’s better late than never.
A couple of people mentioned the Stevenage debacle post-game as being the catalyst for this current run, although the rumour mill is suggesting even last week at half time featured yet another “exchange of opinions” at half time.
Perhaps some of the reason for our form is that players especially aren’t nearly so scared to speak up now? While a couple of wins can help to paper over cracks, it feels now like we’ve got some Polycell and liberally applied it where needed.
I don’t doubt the faultlines which were apparent even up to half time at Newport remain, and it will be interesting what happens if/when our current good form ends.
But when you think back to how things feel now compared to more or less six weeks ago, it’s almost like a completely different season.
If we do go up this season – and that is very strange to write that with genuine sincerity – then we’ll obviously look back at this month and pre-Xmas as the turning points.
Yet it’s only now where we can fully appreciate just how much things came to a head that particular week. There was a very real undercurrent of little grievances, mental blocks, sniping and griping, and it finally morphed into one massive ball of pus and exploded right on us.
That’s a horrible image for your Monday morning, admittedly, but it was equally as horrible to go through that. The air wasn’t so much cleared as obliterated, and things have felt a lot more relaxed and “freer” since.
Because of that, today we’re in a happier place. A much happier place. Saturday against Yeovil can’t come soon enough for many now, and how many times has there been genuine enthusiasm recently?
Not the happy-clappy-lick-the-arse-of-AFCW-at-all-times enthusiasm that is a bit disturbing, but an actual spring in the step when it comes to on-field matters.
OK, I took the piss a bit earlier about those already planning their Wembley playoff final tickets. But it’s nice that it’s almost February and you can begin to even entertain those thoughts.
I still think we’ll fade, but for the first time since the Conference days I’m actually not so sure we will. Especially as the players seem to be able to direct things a bit more now.
They’re probably going into training today and the rest of the week and thinking like many fans are, that Yeovil is a game we are legitimately expected to win.
Not hoping to, expecting to.
They’ll be looking at the L2 table, realising that they have a good chance of being in and around the playoff positions come May if they remain sufficiently consistent.
And it’s been said on here too many times, the division is pretty much of a muchness – which is why the spiel about budgets is a red herring in this division. Hell, t’Stanley aren’t doing badly despite surviving on 50p a week.
So we’re in an interesting time, and in a good way for once. It’s been about five seasons since we last looked like we could progress, and we’re starting to feel the togetherness of the squad that got us into the FL to begin with.
Now watch us sell Lyle Taylor and lose the next five games…