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Stan and Deliver

We’ll just take the three points…

Those in deepest, darkest Lancashire this week can be justified in remaining just a tad elated this Friday morning.

Your editor was one of the 189 or so in, to be blunt, shite conditions, although time and other non-football related issues prevents me from writing another “proper” report.

Shit happens.

That isn’t how one would describe the game at the Crown Ground, which I think might have seen the first proper signs of a side starting to mature.

Thinking about it – it was a game that in the past we could have easily become a cropper.

Tough conditions, even tougher opponents, and a bunch of young southern softies sucking their thumb.

True, we got a little bit lucky that one of their players finished as well as Michael Folivi, but sometimes you need that bit of luck.

And when McCormick scored on the hour mark, you just sensed the evening would end well after all.

Granted, you always want a second goal in these situations, and to be fair Assal deserved to get it.

And yes, we did rely on the Bulgarian Kiwi in the latter stages to keep a clean sheet.

That’s why it wasn’t the perfect away performance, because there’s still some weaknesses a better side than t’Stanley might have exploited.

But it’s a good win on the road, the sort you get a couple of times a season.

Robbo was understandably pleased, though whether it was the best ever display under him I’m not sure.

Yet given the post-game reaction by all those on the field, and those in the crowd, we knew we did something good.

It was one of those games, that those there will remember for a good while. Even from those who had a few ales beforehand 😉

The version of “Rocking All Over The World” still needs to properly get going. Mind you, “It’s Tuesday night, the Dons are on the piss” to Do The Conga will gain some traction…

I wasn’t at Lincoln but I believe it was a similar type performance. On the field, even if not necessarily off it.

And after the slump we had, we’re now three games unbeaten. Which would have been four if we could have just concentrated a bit more at Fratton Park.

Your editor is at Peterborough tomorrow, so I will miss the game at Wycombe. A clash that becomes the proverbial free hit.

We’ll probably lose, but perhaps we shouldn’t think like that?

It’s easy to forget how comfortable we looked for most of the FA Cup game** against Cheltenham.

** – your editor was covering Boreham Wood v St Albans on Monday. Suffice to say, we’ll need to sharpen up if we’re to reach the fourth round.

And one wonders if the confidence is starting to grow again. Accrington was certainly no fluke, put it that way.

We’ll find out even more about ourselves tomorrow at Adams Park. A point there might be as big as the three last Tuesday.

Finally, I notice the Phoenix is about to be taken over, with By The Horns turning it into their new (and presumably improved) taproom.

I guess a chain or a sport-bar type venue was considered too high-risk, or at the very least not as viable as previously thought.

Your editor isn’t exactly a craft beer enthusiast, but it seems like BTH has a good reputation with the professional suppers.

Whether they’ll end up permanently closing their current bar in the industrial estate next to PL I don’t know, maybe they’ll keep it open on matchdays only.

I’ve never been in it, but every time I’ve driven past it in the evening, it does look quite inviting.

That it takes table bookings before games too hints how popular it is with our own supporters.

And with an existing weekday clientele anyway, at least there should be some guaranteed custom.

Two thoughts spring to mind. One, the Phoenix always has this air of being not so much sterile** but unfinished.

Which it probably is.

** – I don’t really buy the “sterile” argument, as I would describe the bar at Doncaster’s ground that way instead.

If you have never been inside it, it is like walking into an Ibis Budget.

Secondly, I assume that the standard fayre currently sold is on its way out? That will push some punters towards external watering holes, as much as it will entice new ones in.

Does that mean Wimbledon Brewery products are to go? Again, not a craft beer drinker etc etc, but those into this stuff never seem massive fans of theirs.

On matchdays, it will be popular regardless of whoever runs it, unless it’s total shite. Christ, even the KM bars did roaring matchday trade.

But the Phoenix is one of those things that needs to work, because it’s a use-it-or-lose-it type venture.

As said previously, one wonders why a chain or “normal” pub wasn’t an option, but in one way it makes sense.

A local company looking to expand, and finding that there was somewhere under-used that badly needed it there.

Or in other words, a bit like AFCW and Wimbledon greyhound stadium…

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