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Ancient Mariners

Still unbeaten in 2023/24…

Well, a 0-0 draw first game of the season isn’t the end of days, especially away from the confines of SW17.

My reaction after Grimsby remains the same now as it did post-whistle : should have been better, could have been worse.

We possibly should have won, but clearly the Iraqi Scouser was playing in a true Corinthian spirit that is missing from the modern game.

Well, I assume that’s why he passed the ball back to their keeper from the penalty spot.

Though for those who watched how we got the spot-kick- how come the Grimsby defender didn’t see red for that tackle?

The highlights also showed Bass making saves after that, and judging by those there we needed to do some battling.

But you know what? I’ll take that.

I’ll certainly take not conceding in the 101st minute, like we would have done so many times this year.

It’s a bit more disappointing to hear that we struggled to create too much in the way of chances, bar Al-Hamadi’s power-puff effort from twelve yards out.

Indeed, could lack of goals – or lack of opportunities to score them- end up being our downfall this campaign?

That said, I forgot that Jack Currie was absent through injury (an actual one, not a euphemistic one). We forget what a difference he can make.

JJ seemed happy afterwards, though I would hope he’s making everyone take penalties in training on Monday.

I know that getting them is rarer than keeping a clean sheet, but we’re not that out of practice on them – surely?

Christ, the last decent spot-kick specialist we had was Aaron Pressley…

Aside from that, there’s not too much to make me feel worried about this season, even after just one game.

I don’t know how good or bad Grimsby are supposed to be, but it was the sort of game we could easily come a cropper in.

It was interesting to read a couple of Codmuncher places where they thought we were a big, strong side and their own team was similar to ours.

Even if one of them believed the Iraqi Scouser was on the bench because he wasn’t as good as the other strikers. No, I’m not making that up.

But it’s a good sign that opposition fans believe we’re difficult to play against. And nobody expects Grimsby to go down, so I’ll be content if we’re being compared to them.

I would have sacrificed somebody else’s right bollock to have heard that in the last couple of seasons.

And who knows what this season will bring after all? We’re due a good one, and it would be nice not to have to worry this time around.

Still, it’s a point in what might be considered a tough opening set of fixtures.

As funny as Wrecsam losing yesterday was, it’s still sticking in the throat that it was Franchise who dealt them the gubbing.

We have to be very mindful of a backlash next Saturday, especially as they have the funds to go out and buy half a new team if need be.

Before that, it’s Coventry on Wednesday, and wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually do something in the first round of the Carabao for once?

Yes, I know we managed to get through to play Arsenal under MR, but even in WFC days it always seemed beyond us.

Beating CCFC on Wednesday might be an excellent statement of intent that sets us up for the early part of the season.

Because we really do need a good win (and performance) from somewhere – just to say to ourselves we can produce one.

Will it be tough? Absolutely. But it might be achievable.

Finally, if there’s one thing obvious from this weekend, the amount of injury time in games is going to be enormous for now.

There were nine minutes of it at Blundell Park yesterday, and your editor experienced about seven minutes at the Valley yesterday.

Obviously it’s one of those diktats from the suits who decide these things, regardless of any real-world consequences.

And as we saw in the Qatar World Cup, teams will eventually twig even scratching their arse at a free kick will just add on more time.

Still, it was good to see us not let a goal like we usually do, and if we can keep that up it’s another bonus.

But one thing is clear – if you’re booking train tickets, don’t pick a return earlier than 6pm…

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