Where the hell did THAT come from?
As every football fan knows – especially those of teams that struggle too often – there is occasionally a result that just manages to blindside you.
In a good way, that is.
And it’s hard to think in an eight day period that saw us lose twice, and stare down the L1 abyss, we ended it on the highest of highs.
No, your eyes are not deceiving you. We really did go to Accrington Stanley and won 5-1.
Deservedly so, by all accounts. Maybe not one of those “result that has been coming” type games, but this wasn’t a fluke.
Before we get too excited, the contractual obligation negative comments first – this is only one game, and we can’t bask in the glow for too long.
It was the same old, same old as we went 1-0 down, and there’s a realisation that this game on its own won’t keep us up.
Not to mention Ben Heneghan getting sent off and missing Ipswich on Tuesday.
But from now until Tuesday, let’s enjoy it. We’ve had enough shitty weekends for one lifetime.
Your editor has finally let it sink in and watched the goals before typing this. And perhaps the thing that struck me most was how they got better the more we scored them.
No scrambles off somebody’s arse that you could dismiss as a fluke. No last-gasp efforts that mask the previous 89 minutes of shite.
All points count, but this one feels like we’re on the right path.
Special mention goes to Ollie Palmer and Ayoub Assal here, the former starting to justify why we went for him in the summer.
His two goals were classic striker ones, not particularly spectacular but the ones that keep you up.
As for Maidstone’s finest Moroccan, what a find and a half he’s been. And they weren’t scabby goals either.
Obviously, with him being nineteen he’s bound to have some periods where he burns out (a bit like Rudoni right now), but he’s another youngster I hope is on a contract.
Players like him are why I wouldn’t be too concerned with our squad depth if we go down to L2 after all. At least he’s getting a chance…
But while all focus must now be on our next Most Important Game Of The Season (TM), I think there’s a few who must feel a tad vindicated right now.
Did Robbo change his tactics (Pig and Palmer up front) because of pressure? Although some pointed out last night the inconvenient truth that we did likewise against Wigan…
I think yesterday was more to do with everyone – players and coaching staff – reflecting on Easter and realising they had to get their finger out.
Maybe Fleetwood was the fuckup too far?
Even if it wasn’t, the most pleasing thing of all is how we reacted. Winning away from home is always good. Scoring five in the process is beyond majestic.
And this proves that we can do it.
Whether we’ll see this particular approach from now until Lincoln remains to be seen. I expect our tactics will “evolve”, as they say.
Our Head Coach was getting increasingly slagged off because of the style he was trying to employ, and chances are he’ll use it differently from now on.
There will be plenty of times when we need to go all possession based, but results will be what define us.
That’s why I think the most telling comment in MR’s post game interview was this:
I am not getting carried away by the performance, but one of the players stood up there and said, ‘that’s us, and it has to be us’. He is right.
Was yesterday “us”? You would hope so, and since our Head Coach took charge it has felt a little bit more like what we should be.
I think the players themselves know they’re capable in getting out of this, and survival is genuinely in their hands.
I don’t want to dump on GH’s tenure too much, but while our players aren’t that good – they were let down by him a fair bit towards the end.
Robbo isn’t perfect, but he is trying to get blood out of a stone at times. With Hodges, our players were mentally shot but he never seemed to do much about it.
Yesterday should boost our players collective morale considerably though, and it’s not a bad way to go into the Ipswich game.
The next month is going to be a slog, with seven games in four weeks, but it could turn out to be a great month after all.
If you’re going to have a purple patch, now is the time to do it. Timing is everything, especially this season.
Finally, it’s games like these where not having any fans really sucks. Imagine being on their terrace yesterday.
Imagine that buzz driving back down south, and getting used to a weekend that wasn’t going to suck after all.
Those times will return, hopefully next season – if the scientists let anyone have any life ever again of course.
When they do, I think we’ll learn to appreciate them again, certainly a lot more than ever.
Just think of the carnage that the return train journey would have been. Plenty of singing, plenty of drinking, and at least one incident involving a tub of lard and an aubergine.
And that’s just the boardroom members…