Farewell unbeaten League run. It was nice knowing you…
If truth be told, Stanley Baxter 1 Mike Yarwood 2 managed to unsurprise me even more than my low expecations pre-game.
Those there at Newport last week will know how we laboured in the second half in south Wales, and it was no real shock we repeated likewise today.
Whether it was missing Reeves, Little, AAH and Lewis – almost half a decent starting XI – I don’t know, although it’s definitely a factor.
This has been coming though, even as far back as FGR. So you can’t say you weren’t warned.
We started off OK, as it goes, although there was still too much disjointed play. A mix-up at the back early on set the scene, and it mostly didn’t improve.
Which made it even more amazing that we took the lead. And boy, did Manbun need that – he’s almost as impotent as the Iraqi Scouser right now.
I blame his hairstyle. Especially as he’s one step away from having pigtails.
It did wake us up a bit, and it was by far and away the best bit of the match for us. Although no second goal though.
Which of course meant they were bound to equalise. I missed it, but I saw the horror of their winning effort. It was coming a mile off, yet managed to look worse when it happened.
To be fair to us, we did have a go at equalising. Certainly when Currie and Sasu and Bugiel came on we looked a bit more of a threat.
But when Tilley put his effort wide on 99 minutes…
There’s some kneejerksim after the game, and a few axes have been brought out again to be grinded.
It’s not been great the last couple of games, but blips are inevitable. It’s how you get out of them that matters.
Personally, I’m glad we haven’t got a game this week (and I think no more ex-JPT fixtures until November).
We need that week on the training ground , to reset ourselves again. Because we were doing perfectly all right even up until 15h44 last week.
JJ wants us to use this defeat to get a reaction for Crewe next Saturday. Time will tell on that score, but I think he can be pleased at how we’ve started this season.
It’s the first proper test of the new campaign, namely how we respond to this setback.
Having your best players returning will help, and even despite today I don’t think we’re near the horror shows that were our last two campaigns.
But we do need to start winning games again…
Plus points: Manbun scoring. Jack Currie returning.
Minus points: We lost. Poor defending. Letting a lead slip again. All round lethargic. Too much like last season in parts.
The referee’s a…: Hmm. Yes. Well.
Them: More energetic, moved the ball around better, and possibly deserved all three points.
Much lower down the table than I realised, although that doesn’t really say much at this stage of the season.
I missed how many they took, although it didn’t seem nearly so many as I would have thought. Maybe there’s a train strike again? I’ve lost track.
Yes, boom fucking tisch.
Vocal, though. And proof that if you end up in the regional Conference levels you can bounce back to the EFL…
Point to ponder: Will we be scouting for the Pearce and Brown replacements already?
The latter in particular summed up his performance when he failed to release Neufville in the first half, lost the ball and ended up getting booked for tripping up the player he gave it to.
But both of them in particular looked slow, even factoring in the heat.
It wasn’t a surprise both were hauled off, ditto Pell. He’s gone from being the Master of Shithousery to a master of shitness.
True, most of our players had a bad day. Tilley had his worst game for us, with his attempt to control the ball late on going out of play a lowlight.
But at least you know with our #7 and many of the twelve who arrived this summer, they can and will play better.
Can the three I mentioned just now do so?
Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) The heat. Seemed to play a part in everything, including the lack of energy in the crowd. 2) “Theme From A Summer Place” by Percy Faith over the PA at half time. Quite apt for the afternoon, in more ways than one.
Anything else? We need to talk about winning games at Plough Lane.
I’m not buying the current AFCW Doom Cult thing about letting slip leads again. We’re in a different place, and not having our first choice midfield right now makes a sizeable difference.
Once we get settled again, that will come.
We just can’t seem to get anything at home games again, and I just can’t fathom why. It’s as though we’ve brought over the mental roadblocks from KT1 and put them down in SW17.
It’s definitely not a new thing, this place was using Theme Park KM** long before we announced plans to return home.
** – for those who have forgotten, it refers to the place where all visitors go home happy.
So why do we continually fail at home? Is it the expectation that we constantly can’t cope with?
It shouldn’t be that, considering how many managers, coaches, players and whatever else we’ve had.
Dare I say it’s our own support that doesn’t quite get behind the players as other teams in their own venues?
At least one other person mentioned how flat it was off the field today, but it’s never been that good even after the move back.
I’m not suggesting for one second we should go down those cliched, wanky “Ultras” sections with drums and pre-determined chants.
Christ, I’d rather sit in silence than have a bunch of try-hards pretending they’re in La Boca.
And I fully accept that it’s a two-way street, with the product on the field needing to excite those standing watching it.
But remember we did beat Coventry at Plough Lane in the Carabao, and the atmosphere that evening turned into a memorable one.
If it’s motivation for the bread-and-butter games that is the problem, then it’s a big one and I don’t know how to remedy that.
I don’t think we lack that though, even today we gave it a go late on.
If the issue is JJ then it’s also been the same issue with Mark Robinson, Glyn Hodges, Wally Downes and even Neal Ardley.
And will be the same issue for the guy who takes over from our current manager, when that happens.
Whatever the answer is, I don’t know. If anyone does, put it in writing and send it to the club – just don’t address it to Danny Macklin any more.
One sort-of aside, which for some reason I thought of right in the middle of the second half.
You know the “[insert place name] a shithole, I want to go home” song? Does that ever get sung at PL games by the opposition fans?
It’s impossible for most of them to sing it about Wimbledon or Wimbledon Park without massive irony, and even Earlsfield is a lot better than most areas.
Good job we didn’t end up playing in Morden though…
So, was it worth it? No.
In a nutshell: The end of an era.