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Gillded Lily

Dare we dream…?

While I’m acutely aware it could all come crashing down tomorrow, you’d be ultra-churlish to say this was anything other than a good week.

Following the Notts County win last weekend with a legitimately impressive victory against Gillingham, you can understand the excitedness right now.

It may simply be a reaction to the previous however-many-years of shit we’ve had to put up with.

And yes – beating Gills was a major statement of intent.

Indeed, of our recent wins last Tuesday might have been one of the most important of the lot. Simply because they are (were?) a fellow playoff rival.

If you are going to extend your season, they’re the kind of games you have to win.

It helped when we had a man advantage, and you have to wonder about the brainpower of a footballer who gets a second yellow about two minutes after his first.

And yes, I know I could have stopped after “who gets a…” in that last paragraph.

I didn’t see it, but apparently our players were applauding when he got sent off, which may offend the sensibilities of the moralists in our support.

Having seen it done to us over the years, I’m glad we’re finally learning to do the dark arts – and do it well.

The Miles Cholmondley-Warner days of corinthian fair play are long gone, if they ever existed to begin with.

Bugiel’s double was most welcome, although it seems like he’s been called up to Lebanon and will therefore be absent.

I don’t know whether than means he misses tomorrow, he certainly won’t be at Crewe, but JJ is bullish on signing him up longer.

More immediately, we’ll need Curtis and Kelly to start firing for a couple of games at least.

The former is able to start and finish games now, although Kelly must have shagged a witch in a Travelodge with his signing fee for us.

He came on, had a one-on-one, and to prove his current wretched luck just didn’t put enough on his finish.

It’s a difficult thing for a striker not to be able to score, especially as he was finding the net earlier in the season, and as said so many times – he needs his first goal.

Tomorrow wouldn’t be a bad time to get it. Or indeed, anyone else to find the net, because these type of fixtures define your season.

I’ll be honest here – I’m not sure about this game.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching us for more years than I care to remember, or maybe it’s because I’ll actually be in attendance as a fan, but these are the sort of ties where we come a cropper.

Three wins in the last four, the fourth one being a draw where we were knackered, and the giddyometer going through the roof since Tuesday.

One or two people even planning for the playoff final. And I don’t think they were joking either.

It’s only going to go one way against Newport, isn’t it?

Don’t get me wrong, it’ll be very nice to make amends for letting that two-goal lead slip when we went down there.

But as regular SW19 readers know, I’m not thinking about a legit playoff push until after Easter.

There’s eight games to go, and that’s a lot of football still to be played. Anything can still happen, and probably will.

That makes it sound like a negative, but it’s not. It’s nice not to be looking over our shoulder at this time of year for once.

It’s either needing points every game just to stay up, or just a post-January collapse that makes you want to play golf on weekends instead.

For some reason, I associate the shiteness of this time of year with games at Cheltenham. I’ve never worked out why.

This season feels different though, and not just because we don’t have to go to Whaddon Road.

It’s a helluva lot better, for a start. It’s already surpassed expectations.

We are as likely to finish in the bottom half as we are the playoffs, that’s how tight it is. But one wonders if the players themselves will be sensing something.

They should be proverbially buzzing in training this week, although hopefully without the giddyness that has affected some fans this past few days.

We no longer have the Sat-Tues-Sat-Tues grind to deal with now, so we should focus on that massive push.

And who knows – maybe we’ll get to play Franchise again this season after all…?

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