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7/12/2021 – 2/7/2022

And 207 (or is it 208?) days later… we finally, finally – finally – win a game.

I really don’t care if it was a quickly arranged pre-season friendly against a side much lower than ourselves.

For the last 29 weeks and 4 days (or is it 5 days?) we would have killed for any kind of win, let alone one with a clean sheet.

So for that reason alone, I’m going to enjoy the aftermath of Bedford Trucks 0 Ford Transit 2.

This was a clear workout, the two halves of two teams approach should tell you that, and obviously there’s going to be ring rust.

But these are the kind of games you not only expect us to do well in, but to look semi-competent in them at the same time.

Which, to be fair to us, we were.

You can look at the starting XIs for each half yourself, and I though the one in the first half looked more the business than the one in the second.

I can’t be arsed to wait around for the full interview, but JJ on Twatter afterwards seemed quite happy.

Obviously, it’s the usual stuff about sharpness and things they’ve been working on, but it was interesting he wants us to be more ruthless.

I’m sure I’ve seen him wear the same shirt whenever I’ve been in Charlton press conferences with him.

We played two triallists – one was Josh Parker, who is currently a free agent, and the other is somebody we don’t yet know but supplied one of the goals.

Oh, and A Trialist came on again in the second half for somebody who went off injured.

Parker himself hasn’t played for a year, and probably needs to gain a bit more match sharpness.

I don’t know whether we’ll see him too many more times, though his goalscoring stats aren’t too promising since he left Gillingham.

He did appear to know where the goal roughly was though, which is more than can be said for certain former strikers…

Other than that, there’s not really much to say. McCormick played well, though he took a knock just before the break.

Pearce started the first half and we didn’t really see him get tested. Zach Robinson may not have re-signed yet but he was there.

Though it was interesting who wasn’t, which we’ll come onto later.

We won a game though, and that’s all that matters. And it’s even worth a “proper” SW19 report…

Plus points: We won. Clean sheet. Mostly comfortable throughout. McCormick. Some nice movement and passing.

Minus points: Little bit nervy at the back after the restart.

The referee’s a…: Oh come on, even I can’t slag officials off when it’s their pre-season too.

Them: Big, strong, physical, yet we were able to stand up to them, which may be a promising sign next season.

I don’t think we’ll be signing any of their players, but apparently six of their regulars weren’t playing because they couldn’t get the time off work.

It’s a different world. And one we were in between 2002 and 2009.

Welcoming club, and overall I get the feeling they’re not too fond of the chavvy lot down the A421.

You saw that when you drove in, when the fixture advert board on entry said “Wimbledon FC”.

Even better – before the game, one of their players came up to a group of us, announced he supported Luton and said “I fucking hate Milton Keynes…”

Point to ponder: Whither Jack Rudoni?

He wasn’t there at the Eyrie, apparently he’s training by himself, and it now seems a case of when, not if he goes.

As far as we’re concerned, it’s a case of getting as much as we can. I understand the club not wanting to be considered pushovers in this.

At the same time, we’ll probably need some extra cash up front to entice a couple more signings, and we can easily make it worse by keeping an unhappy player.

Today was quite interesting to see who else wasn’t there. Hartigan and Osew were absent, and they’ll probably be on somebody else’s squad list next season.

Czoka and Nightingale weren’t seen either, although they’re likely more innocent explanations.

One player who was at the game, but didn’t come on, was Assal. JJ said he got a knock in the warm-up, and was held back.

Or was it because we saw Barry Fry was in the crowd, and he’s the sort of player Peterborough sign…?

Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) First win since the beginning of the first Omicron wave. And most weren’t there to see it. Your loss 😉 2) Scoring more goals in one half than in the entire pre-season campaign last season. Just saying, like. 3) Enjoying a game for the first time in a long while.

Anything else? Many today were pleased that we’ve got somebody like Terry Skiverton alongside JJ, as that experienced toughnut we’ve lacked.

And it appears that we’re apparently seeing the new Director of Football position (or whatever it’s called) taking the reins on Monday.

I’m told it’s nobody you’ve heard of though, so don’t get excited about Steve “Don’t call me Charles” Coppell.

With an incoming position, it’s no surprise that we’ve shunted a lot out, even down to the scouts.

But the intriguing one is from Ian Hazel, who was on the notorious Transfer Committee, after he posted this on Twatter on Friday:

I have left AFC but they will always be my club. Let’s just say my experience (38yrs player, manager, coach, scout)was very much under used! No ego intended !Won’t comment further as I hold the club in high regard.

Hmm. And hmm again.

He says later on that it’s his decision to go, and he’s more than likely trying to distance himself from last year’s clusterfuck.

How much part he ended up playing we’ll never properly know – I’m not even sure what his main position was.

But then, I don’t think anyone knew who did what on the Transfer Committee. And I include those actually on it.

If he got over-ruled by others, then that sums up how AFCW was run a mere few months ago – “one of our own” taking priority over everything including winning games.

At the same time, I seem to remember him first getting involved with us under Walter, and our transfers in haven’t been the best since then.

Plus, if you’re Head Scout or whatever, in a setup that has produced some of the worst signings in years – you’re going to fall on your sword in any shakeup.

What’s clear is that there’s no sentimentality any more, at least when it comes to on-field matters.

If you were to start going through who’s gone, there’s a lot of people who have left SW17.

And as so many have said since after Xmas – isn’t that what we’ve needed?

So, was it worth it? We’ve won a game. It’s time to get rat-arsed.

In a nutshell: 100% winning record under Johnnie Jackson.

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