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Casting couch

Sorry for the Hollywood cliche. But then Tinseltown is one big parody these days…

If I had walked out of Plough Lane today having seen us lose, I would have been as pissed off as I have been for a very long time.

So I think we deserved Shepperton Studios 1 Culver City 1 – and it could have been better.

Maybe should have been better too, if Al-Hamadi had practiced his penalties this week. He’ll have nightmares tonight, as will we.

Perhaps we’re seeing the embryonic stages of the AFCW rebirth, as a squad? Not nearly there yet but there’s a clear shift.

We’ve certainly learned how to battle. And as both games in the space of four days prove, if you’re merely one goal behind you’ve got every chance.

After the shock of thinking the starting XI against Coventry was the same today (I have two witnesses to this), we looked solid enough.

Not spectacular, but I didn’t have that sense of foreboding weakness that I’ve experienced this last two seasons.

Which is why their goal felt like a kick in the Golden Globes (sorry).

I haven’t seen the replay, so I’ve no idea how many deflections it took, but you know when you sense the luck is against you? That.

What annoyed me is that Wrexham weren’t that good, although it didn’t stop their scorer giving it the big one in front of our own supporters.

Let’s see how he would react when there’s no barrier or stewards there. Like most professional footballers, he’d shit himself.

My one takeaway from the game up to that point was we battled well, but lacked the quality just when it really mattered.

A second goal for them would have killed it. But in the second half, we got a penalty…

I hereby ban the Iraqi Scouser from taking a spot kick ever again. Even in a post-training session kickabout.

It was as bad as his one up at Grimsby, and despite the very vocal support afterwards – he looked distraught.

You would have expected Wrexham to up their game and finish us off. For some reason they didn’t, and we reacted.

And that’s what’s already apparent this campaign – we go a goal down and it’s not the end of the contest after all.

I forget how the second penalty was won (reading the opposition forum for research, they thought both were soft – I’m not so sure), but all I remember was Lee Brown taking the ball and making sure somebody else took it this time.

Cometh the hour, cometh the Tilley. It’s a good job there was a net there.

I’d like to say that it galvanised us towards victory. In truth, and maybe because of the subs, we sat back.

How their player missed from about three yards out I’ll never know, although I’m grateful he did.

It also took a wonder save from Bass deep into injury time to get the point, but as said above – we deserved both the point and the right not to have our weekend ruined.

So, what? Well, we know how to fight back which is always a good trait to have.

While I don’t think our subs worked as well today as they did last Wednesday, at least we’re able to put on some more senior players.

What you lack in quality you have to make up for in endeavour, and we’ve certainly got that.

AAH needs a goal, especially from open play, although there’s a part of me which thinks one game this season will see us give somebody a gubbing.

And no, I haven’t been drinking.

Bass gives me more confidence than the Bulgarian Kiwi, I think we realise just how much we missed Reeves until his return, and to be fair the rest of the defence looks solid.

I’ve just quickly looked at JJ’s post match comments, and I can’t really disagree with too much he said.

Though I notice he brushed over the first penalty…

Plus points: We didn’t lose. Decent performance. Looking much more solid. Battling back. Tilley’s penalty.

Minus points: We didn’t win. Their goal. AAH’s spot kick. Still lacking up front.

The referee’s a…: Hmm, yes, well. Managed to miss an off-the-ball on Bugiel before booking him for something far less later on.

Surprised he gave the spot kicks, come to think of it. Or blow the whistle for full time.

Them: Considering they’re supposed to be skyrocketing through League Two, I didn’t think they were much cop at all.

I suspect better sides than us will give them a hiding some weekends, and one wonders if they might have underestimated this division.

Though I’m in no doubt they’ll splash out again in January, but maybe they’ll find that harder in the EFL?

Speaking of mid-season transfers, Ollie Palmer didn’t get much of a reception, and what he did receive was largely negative – “Stayed at a big club”, and “Went for the money” was the cries.

While I don’t automatically buy us still being a L1 side if he stayed, him going there still leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

But that’s as much against the bungling amateurs running things at that time. And no, I still won’t forgive. Or forget.

I appreciate this may lose me Top Don points, but I don’t begrudge them being taken over by two Hollywood stars who fancy something different.

It might prove to be a vanity project after all, and I don’t doubt Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney will bail once it looks like it will fade.

But I suppose if you’re a Wrexham fan who saw his side almost going out of business at least once in the past two decades**, you don’t care.

** – I genuinely can’t remember the exact details, but a Wrexham top bod once told your editor the circumstances why they went into admin and therefore out of the EFL.

Put it this way – somebody was smiling on them that very day they lost enough points to go into non-league.

That said, the sooner some of the Disney+ brigade move onto their next hobby, the better…

Point to ponder: Am I alone in getting a tinsy winsy bit fed up of Harry Pell?

He was lucky not to be red carded two minutes after coming on, and his Dark Arts (TM) approach already seem to be sussed out.

I don’t find it a coincidence that he’s seeing the bench a bit more these days, and I wasn’t massively impressed when he did come on.

Maybe we’ll see his worth when we go to somewhere like Barrow or Morecambe, where we need somebody to wind the opposition up (in a good way).

But with the squad generally looking more and more like it can handle itself, could he find himself increasingly a bit-part player this campaign?

Elsewhere, isn’t it nice that we’re playing well without Currie and Biler?

I won’t be surprised to see the former depart, if somebody comes in with the money. And there’s always the likelyhood of him being “injured” as opposed to on the treatment table.

Granted, I’d like a couple more players in, and I accept they’ll probably be Premier League loanees.

The thing is, would they be any better than our youngsters…?

Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) Seeing a Boca Juniors shirt. It really does look like our home kit. 2) PA distorted, it sounded like it was from the original Plough Lane. 3) “You’re shit – AAAAAAHH” by the young kid behind me. Start them young.

Anything else? After some complaints about the stewards on Wednesday, they seemed better prepared this time.

Certainly more polite than earlier in the week, and the only issue I saw involving them wasn’t their doing one bit.

Stewards don’t help themselves sometimes, but they really don’t have an easy job with some individuals.

One thing that was a bit strange today though – the police seemed to be looking for certain people.

I didn’t see it, but somebody got lifted while walking down Greyhound Parade to the away end an hour before kickoff.

Afterwards, around the block 129 entrance, there were about eight coppers (no exaggeration) nicking two of our own support.

There wasn’t any obvious resisting of arrest, and it was quite peaceful considering.

Apparently both were “known”, whatever that means, and while you can do your own joke about police intelligence – I don’t think it was entirely unplanned.

For some reason, we often seem to get stewarding (and sometimes police) issues at the beginning of a season.

It happened at KM with persistent standing, and there’s obviously some issues this time around.

That said, it’s not unfair to say that some people can easily make a skyscraper out of a molehill…

So, was it worth it? It wasn’t too shabby at all.

In a nutshell: Let’s see Hollywood try and script that

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