Some initial thoughts from our first home game in 30 years…
It’s probably a good job I’m leaving the proper SW19 report until tomorrow, because I think it’ll take that long to come down off the ceiling.
Losing today wouldn’t have ruined the day as such, but it might have taken a bit off the shine.
But to go from 1-3 to 3-3 in the space of about 90 seconds gives Plough Lane the opening game it deserved.
The roar for Dapo’s equaliser will ring in my ears for a good long while to come.
Two of Bolton’s goals were a bit soft for my liking, and we needed the Bulgarian Kiwi to stop it becoming 4-1.
Our penalty changed things again, and Pressley will be very happy to get off the mark. His celebration suggested some relief, certainly.
I think we’ll be OK this season, though we’ll need to tighten up at the back a bit more than we showed today.
What impressed me was the tenacity and the never-give-up attitude (especially from Assal) – too often in recent years we’ve gone 3-1 down and everyone could have gone home to save the bother.
But I suspect you don’t want to read much more about the game itself, as good as it was…
Plough Lane is lovely. Seriously lovely. The views are good, it looks smart, most things seemed to work well** and you enjoyed being there.
** – the queuing for certain concession stands seemed to be a bit of a mess – perhaps some more formal organisation is needed.
This might sound odd to write, but it’s a bigger and better version of Kingsmeadow – and I mean that in a good way.
It’s roomy, but it’s also intimate and close to the pitch too.
The pop-up stalls are good, and hopefully they’ll be more permanent (and the kebab stall has made me want one for dinner now, the bastards).
I do wonder if the occasion being what it was, and with PL being far better for accoustics than KM was helped today.
Had it been played in KT1 the atmosphere would have been flat, and it would have been empty long before the final whistle.
Plough Lane v2.0 is going to be an intimidating little venue for away sides, especially big ones that might not like us taking the piss.
Bolton were the first team to find that out, and they won’t be the last.
Obviously, the ground has to be lived in, and one wonders what it will be like when we’re losing 3-0 to Burton on a cold November afternoon.
Our biggest challenge this season will be what happens when the euphoria of returning home wears off.
One final thought before I knock off for tonight – the little newsagents and food outlets were doing a roaring trade apparently.
Not just around Haydons Road, but Earlsfield too.
When you see the mass of people walking out afterwards, and you see the £££ we’re putting into the local economy, how can you say us being there is bad for the area?
After all, we’ve probably contributed more locally in one afternoon than the previous tenants did in about a month…