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In the (Amber and) Brown stuff

Right now, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry…

If we had won last night, I would have written how much of a strange game it was, but at least we rode it out and now get to face Lids.

But I can’t, because we lost.

It will surprise you (not) that much if most vitriol will be aimed at that guy in the middle in black. I can’t really call him a referee, because that would imply he had some sort of control on the game.

That tackle on Taylor? I heard it from my Chemflow vantage point. The way Parrett was targeted throughout with not a infringement awarded? You fill in your own conclusion.

Apparently, Chris Sarginson (for this retard has a name) was mentioned in seriously negative tones before the game even started. And if it’s true he’s going to take the Franchise game in March, I would suggest we refuse to play the fixture.

I’m not joking either. If we have the same “decisions” for that as we did last night, I think there might genuinely be a riot. Even the RyPiss stand suddenly became like Red Star Belgrade fans last night…

Yes, he was a cunt. Yes, we were lucky to get away with (hopefully) few injuries. But that’s only part of yet another sorry story in the FAC.

We’re out, we’re not going to get that mouthwatering tie against Lids. And in truth, it’s mostly our own fault.

I wasn’t at the GGL tie, but I note a couple are saying this morning that we could have won that if we hadn’t settled on taking them to a replay.

That I don’t know, but what I can say is that if we had got the second goal last night before they equalised, we’d be panicking about 4th round tickets right now.

Robbo’s sending off should not have made that much difference. We are a L1 side playing an outfit two divisions lower and you would expect – not hope – us to overcome that.

Speaking of our dismissed centre back, one has to wonder if that might be the first Gary Neville/retirement moment. Not that he’ll quit the game, as he’ll do a good job in L2/Conference for a couple of years, but plans for next season might have become a bit more focused.

Taking off Poleon was a mistake, because it looked like we were just going to settle winning 1-0. Which is all very well if you can do it, but as we prove so often, we can’t.

When they scored, which had been coming TBH, I think even the players knew what was about to happen after that. Odd thing is, when they went 2-1 up, it was almost like the crowd expected it – it wasn’t the mass groan you get when you concede on 89 minutes.

I suppose we knew the game was up (in both senses of the phrase), but that does not excuse the absolutely god-awful “tactic” we used for the five minutes of injury time.

Hoof to Barnett. Fail to collect. Back to Shea. Hoof to Barnett. Fail to collect. Lather, rinse, repeat. Actually, I correct myself – there was a bit of skill involved in those final minutes. Shame it was their third goal…

Not that I begrudge Sutton for their Lids fixture, nor do I begrudge them staying up until 1am at GGL getting pissed. Any AFCW fan who lives and/or works in Sutton today, my deepest sympathies.

And I don’t have any complaints because in truth, we shouldn’t have been playing them to begin with. I know we got to the third round, but when you analyse it properly, it’s yet another failure in a cup competition.

Lest we forget we were 2-0 down at Bury at half time in the first round. True, we were good in the replay, but we practically fluked our run after that.

We’ve been through the Curzon game so many times, and we had two opportunities to dispose of the Us when we only needed one. Last night, we seemed to calculate on them tiring again, then we acted all surprised when they didn’t.

Sutton are a part time team, by the way. Just to make your mood this morning even better.

So really, I guess you could say we got what we deserved after all. The money from Lids would have been wonderful (though I suspect those in SM1 need it even more than we do), but you have to earn these rewards.

This does beg the question, what now for the rest of the season? It’s practically over, we’re not good enough for the playoffs and I would expect – not hope – that we’ll get the points to be mathematically safe before Easter.

Maybe blood some youngsters properly? Maybe they were getting protected last night, but at some point we have to show some faith in them.

A dip into the transfer market? That might not happen now we’ve dipped out on about £250k (and boy, is Erik Samuelson wincing about that today), but it’s clear that we’ll need to rebuild for 2017/18.

You can endlessly discuss who should be on the “out” list, and you probably will, but it’s really hard to shake the feeling that this campaign is now finished.

True, I’d happily take that rather than a relegation dog fight which we should not be anywhere near. And in terms of pre-season expectation, that will be an unqualified success.

But we now have about three months of relatively nothing to deal with.  Maybe the FA Yoof Cup will give us joy, like it did last season? PNE v Everton is on tonight, and I think if you’ve got Dons Player you can watch a live stream on the PNE site.

We’ve got the LSC too, and it’s always nice to do well in that. Especially going (back) to places like Redbridge, in days when that really was our Saturday fixture.

And of course, there’ll be the final knockings of NPL to come. Never have so many people been so keen to hear the words “Section 106s finally signed”…