And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we love football.
I’m not quite sure if the Guardian’s “shock defeat” description of Four Stands 3 Three Stands 1 is quite the right way to describe it.
But again – again – we pull it out of the bag.
It has to be said, the first half was, well, ordinary. Too many sloppy passes, too many times we dared them to give them a goal.
And just before the break, Hartigan dithered and Oxford didn’t…
I suppose it was coming though, we started off OK then got progessively worse as the half went on.
I’ll be honest – just before the goal, I was mentally screaming at the players just to see it through to the break. I’ll keep the voices in my head quiet next time.
Thing was, we didn’t come out too well after the interval either. At least, they had a corner when I returned back to my seat.
But one feature of AFCW since Robbo took charge came to the fore again – we rarely give up these days.
And not for the first time this campaign, we equalised.
You’ll have to watch the goal yourself, because I can’t remember what Rudi did. However it was scored, it didn’t half lift the crowd.
Unfortunately, it seemed to lift Oxford too. We should be thankful for the Bulgarian Kiwi as much as we were for Heneghan’s 75th minute tackle we all remember.
Indeed, if you were to pick out a moment where we won the game, it was that lunge that saved a certain goal.
Though let’s face it – you half-expected the referee to give a penalty and a red card too.
But keeping them out when we did contributed as much to our victory as Nightingale putting us ahead.
And when Rudoni slid in beautifully for our third, even your editor almost thought the game was won.
I said “almost”.
It did feel a little bit nervy when Oxford pressed with five minutes of normal time left. Although it’s a good trait to (mostly) see games out when we do.
And yes, I’m still pissed off at the Gillingham game. I’ll get over it by about the year 2046.
Unlike that kick in the bollocks a couple of weeks ago, leaving PL this time was a much happier occasion.
And it’s not just because we won. It wasn’t a flukey win, so much as a hard fought one where we came good just at the right time.
We did need to find a victory from somewhere though, because one solitary win all season (against the side currently bottom) could have become an albatross around our neck.
This upcoming week becomes a lot nicer too. Hell, I bet you’re already opening a beer and having a wry smile to yourself this evening.
Come to think of it, it won’t even be a wry one.
He definitely seemed knocked out at the atmosphere in the second half though. But then, I hope they all were.
Anyway, shall we…?
Plus points: We won. Jack Rudoni (twice). Heneghan’s tackle. Tzanev. Never giving up.
Minus points: Hartigan’s brain fart.
The referee’s a…: “You’re too fat to referee” summed him up quite well. It was almost like a CCL official had turned up at the wrong stadium.
Apparently the same official who gave Southend an injury time at KM on NYD (?) a couple of seasons ago. Given half the chance, he would have done it again.
Them: Not a bad side at all, but like most teams in this division – they’re still not all that.
Not sure why Seddon got a little bit of a negative reception. I know he wasn’t great the second time round, but I don’t ever recall him slagging us off.
It was strange that they didn’t sell out their entire allocation, like Gills there were some empty seats by the east stand.
Perhaps a few of them did get in the home end? Your editor saw three shirted away fans walking down Greyhound Parade beforehand.
Oxford are one of those teams I always enjoy beating. I don’t hate them, but I can’t really warm to them for some reason.
This isn’t just because of their manager, because I’ve felt the same since 1986.
It helps the sweetness of the win when they gave it the big one when they scored. Players aren’t bright enough to know it can bite them on the arse.
Have to say, I wasn’t upset when their goalscorer went off, but then that’s the genius of their manager at work.
I haven’t heard his post match interview yet, and according to the Oxford Mail he was braced for our reaction.
But if they’re anything like some your editor has been in, today might see him finally self-combust.
One final thing – I wonder what he was thinking when he heard “Robinson’s yellow/blue army”?
He probably thought it was for him. After all, he’s got the ego for it…
Point to ponder: Why do we keep having to go a goal down?
Today, last week at Portman Road, and against Bolton and Donny too. It’s a good habit to have, but it’s equally a poor one too.
We’re lucky that Oxford finished as well as we do, because this would have been an unpleasant afternoon.
True, they went ahead because we were a bit avant-garde in our defending, and somebody will absolutely gub us this season because of it.
Somebody suggested after the game that Robbo is still on a learning curve as a senior manager, and hasn’t yet quite figured out how to stop us going behind in the first place.
There’s probably some element of truth to that, but as said before on SW19 – it’s not a new thing.
I’m certainly not going to complain about the victory, but one day I’d like a win to be just a tad more straightforward.
Or in other words – there are male porn stars who come from behind less than we do…
Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) Seeing somebody at half time who stopped going a decade ago, saw his vaccine appointment was at PL and got a season ticket on the back of that. There’s more like him about. 2) Our first competitive win at home since Nottingham Forest on 30th March 1991. Anyone who argues against that stat isn’t a Wimbledon fan. 3) The new Kids Zone. Lots of activities including penalties, drawing tables, and for the under-5s a chance to design the club’s ticketing system.
Anything else? This might sound a little bit odd to say, but I think today felt more like “home” than the other two PL games.
Obviously winning helps, and I’m sure many will be testing the club pub’s licencing laws to the full.
But it felt more settled, a bit like a new pair of shoes that you suddenly forget you’re wearing.
Bolton and Gillingham, as great as they were, still had that air of surrealness about it, and perhaps almost a bit too overwhelming to take in.
Today seemed more matter-of-fact, as though you’ve been doing the journey for thirty three years, rather than three games.
Probably because now, you know what to expect, and you’re already sussing out your little routines that makes it easier.
Even if it’s just getting the bus at Wimbledon, or buying a bottle of water at Yalini by the Jehovah Witness church.
The quote about those who know don’t need an explanation** springs to mind here, and I think many will understand what I mean by the first sentence of this section.
** – the quote is, “For those who know, no explanation is needed. For those who don’t, no explanation is possible”.
A quote that should be our new motto.
But as somebody pointed out this summer – you know when we’re finally back home when you attend and you don’t think about it…
So, was it worth it? Oh, absolutely.
In a nutshell: What a nice weekend ahead…