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Yeo-Yeo Club


Earth, meet AFC Wimbledon. AFC Wimbledon, meet earth…

I guess that’s why we probably won’t reach the playoffs then, if West London 2 West Country 3 is anything to go by. At least the giddyometer will get a chance to cool down after recent over-use.

There was a distinct feel of deja vu all over again about this one, as though we transported ourselves back to about September/October time.

Or even Daggers at home.

Many after the game were using the phrase “missed opportunity”. I think it was more to do with complacency – the last four games were all victories, the vibe was good and there was a sense that we just had to turn up to win.

When Fitzpatrick scored that absolute peach of an effort, you thought that this was the new normality – a game we were winning, in a game we should be winning…

Sadly, the traditional normality came with us parting like the Red Sea and letting them back in it. Something that wasn’t supposed to happen in the newly installed lean, mean, fighting machine we call AFCW.

To be fair, it was more annoyance than the usual rolling of eyes. Which we saw glimpses of again with Elliott** getting a tad lucky but still firing us in front.

** – brief interview with him in today’s Sun, saying how we’re getting the Crazy Gang mentality back. We need that ability to bounce back like they did in the 80s.

Which is why their flukey second goal (helped by Shea flapping a la Wilson) seemed to deflate us a bit, because despite us hitting the post in first half injury time – what did we do to win the game?

I know what we did to lose it. Or at least Callum Kennedy did. That was a stupid thing to do for their penalty, and in truth we never really looked like getting that equaliser.

As a quick aside, there was a good bit of gamesmanship by Robbo just before the spotkick was taken, pointing out something to delay it being taken. A clear example of somebody who has the experience of these sort of things.

Shame it didn’t work.

Sure, we had plenty of corners, but no real peppering of the goal, nothing to make you think we were pushing for it.  We just seemed to fade…

Our good run had to come to an end, but it should have gone on just a little bit longer. As it is, it feels a bit of a meek surrender, especially as it’s yet another poor result against a struggling outfit.

Considering recent fixtures, it’s no reason to slit ones wrists. But it was pretty flat throughout, even when we were ahead – not to mention when we were behind.

And worse, this was a game we were expected to get three points. At least, if we were genuinely pushing to extend our season beyond May 7th.

We could have gone sixth or even fifth today. Instead, we’re tenth. True, there’s only a matter of two points between us and getting back into the playoffs, but mentally it’s a blow this evening.

And no, I won’t mention that 10th is where I expect us to finish this season…

So, what? At least it will stop people getting carried away, and reminds us how important it is to keep working. It won’t harm us to lick our wounds this week.

What will harm us is if we start reverting to pre-Stevenage type. A series of draws, one or two poor losses, and very quickly this recent run feels like it’s as good as it will get this season.

That might sound a bit premature, but remember this same bunch of players went eight games without a win before we started to realise where the goal was.

So yes, we have been good recently. But now is the time to make sure today really is a blip…

Plus points: Fitzpatrick scoring. Ditto Elliott.

Minus points: We lost. Same old, same old. Poor first goal. Even poorer second goal. Lack of faith in making it 3-3.

The referee’s a…: His first decision was described by an SW19 reader as “another refereeing triumph”, and it didn’t really get much better from there.

Apparently, it was something like eighteen fouls to their four, although he wasn’t the reason we lost. And it wasn’t his fault that he had to give the penalty.

Them: Usual strugglers that do a number on us. Although I don’t think they were quite as bad as their league position suggests.

Can’t begrudge them their victory, anyway, and I expect they’ll have a few more days like that to be a League Two side next season.

It is amazing how two seasons ago they were in the Championship – your editor covered their game at Reading back then, and they were a limited-but-honest side who did well to be in the second tier to begin with.

But then, their fall from grace is proof that momentum can work downwards as well as up. Look at Tranmere.

Point to ponder: Whither George Francomb? He was notably getting singled out by many today, and by all accounts it’s not a new thing.

Even an American car takes a corner better than he does, and the mistakes from him seemed more pronounced than most. Is he the new scapegoat?

Mind you, the midfield generally looked pretty piss poor anyway. It does feel like the whole team has to play well for it to function, because otherwise it becomes a load of nothing.

Did we miss a trick during this transfer window after all? Connor Smith is our only one in (and out, come to think of it), and I doubt if there’ll be too much happening between now and Monday…

Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) The big “Learning Bus” parked up. You can do your own joke. 2) The realisation that we’re still very much in playoff contention. For the moment, it’s genuine.

Anything else? Yet another reason why we need NPL sooner rather than later – it was definitely packed out today, especially between the bit between the hAE/Tempest/Chemflow/whateveritiscalledthisseason.

I’m talking Liverpool levels of packed out, and that was seriously uncomfortable. So much so I had to stand in the disabled section for that one.

Insert quip here.

I know that KM isn’t fit for anything above 4000, although it’s 3000 if you want anything like a decent view in the terrace (or just 50 if you’re trying to see in the Piss Stained Old Men stand).

But when we’re expecting a big gate, perhaps making it all ticket should be a priority. Or at the very least, make people select if they want to go in the ex-JS, or whether they want to see the game properly.

At least then – in theory – people can be directed towards where they’ve bought tickets for, rather than the free-for-all it now is.

Of course, stewards actually checking whether you should be standing in the Chemflow or not might help. Admittedly I’m only a semi-regular at KM these days, but I’ve always just waltzed into it without anyone asking for my ticket beyond the turnstiles.

Yes, it’s not easy to figure out the best way with a venue we’ll (hopefully) be leaving in about three years time. But maybe even reducing the number of tickets sold and enforcing segregation properly could be a way around it.

That will mean a loss of revenue, especially for a legitimate big game, but we’ll lose out anyway if it’s too shit an experience. There were certainly some “discussions” between stewards and fans in that bit between the Chemflow and the JS, and many irregular punters might have simply decided to wait for their next visit.

We have our own section of support that comes out of the woodwork whenever we get this sort of run, and I shudder to think what KM will be like if we did get in the playoffs.

I would mention groundsharing here, and why it’s something I don’t think we should totally dismiss out of hand if we get a definite date for NPL’s completion and a decent league position. But we lost, and I won’t…

So, was it worth it? Piss off.

In a nutshell: Here we go again.