Is it me or do we hardly get games in the Capital these days?
I have to admit, I’m struggling to get motivated over writing East London 1 South London 0 this morning, for reasons I’m not sure.
Us losing isn’t usually a barrier to that, neither does knowing if we were still playing right now we still wouldn’t find the net.
I can’t think of reasons why we were diddled out of yet another good point, although anyone there will pinpoint the moment we lost the match.
And it wasn’t them scoring.
Whether this has had a reality check on our playoff push, maybe. But then again, maybe not. Until we’re as good as mathematically out of them, we’ll keep pushing.
I can’t even say that we reverted back to how we were at the beginning of the season, because even considering yesterday we’re a lot stronger than we were.
That said, I’m not totally sold on JJ’s post-game comments where he thought we didn’t get what we deserve.
A lot of the game, we tried things that didn’t come off. Ditto us failing to control the ball at the right time.
Not to mention having a chance and two of our players getting in the way of each other…
This report almost never happened, as I didn’t have a ticket until 4pm Friday (thanks Ed for the brief, and no doubt the cash was used in a boozer afterwards).
To be fair to us, we started OK and perhaps arguably were on top in the first twenty or so minutes.
They came back at us, without really threatening too much, and even then we had the odd chance.
Remember that incident I mentioned just now about two of our team getting in the way? Yes, it happened then.
What also happened in the first half was Biler limping off, to be replaced by the lesser-spotted Chris “World Cup” Gunter.
One does wonder if our progress this season will be tempered not just by those players no longer with us, but by ones getting crocked at the wrong time.
I can’t really remember too much of the first half, except for the breakdown in health and safety in our stand, but less said about that the better.
OK, it was people standing in the yellow-painted aisles, and the failure of the stewards to be able to do anything about it.
One of our fans was, ahem, asked to leave at half time. I’m not sure what happened, although I’m not convinced those who threw him out did either.
As for the second half, it continued much like the first half, with my memory blanking out most of it.
Unfortunately, I remember the moment that turned the game. Chislett managed to get through on goal and, well, he thought he was playing in the Six Nations instead.
I bet he’s still having nightmares about that. We certainly are.
And of course, one of the unwritten rules of football was invoked, which meant it was no surprised they ended up scoring.
I’m not sure how George Moncur managed to squeeze it in past at least two defenders and Tzanev, but he did.
For some reason, this knocked the stuffing out of us. It was almost as if we knew one goal would end up deciding the game, and we didn’t score it.
Manbun and Jaiyesimi had chances, the latter coming on and forcing a defender to clear off the line, but you sensed the game was gone by then.
You can tell that when six minutes of injury time gets announced yet you feel you’d need 6666 minutes instead…
So, what? I guess it suggests why the playoffs remain a possibility rather than a likelyhood.
Your editor still believes we can make them, and I expect the players and staff do too, but we’re going to have to learn how to score first.
Admittedly, that’s a problem we’ve had when Ollie Palmer was with us, and that doesn’t change overnight.
As many people were reminding us beforehand, yesterday was the 39th anniversary of WFC going to Brisbane Road and winning 6-2.
Imagine us scoring six goals in a game these days? Hell, imagine us scoring six goals in a calendar month…
Plus points: Being equal to the top team for most of the game.
Minus points: We lost. Our finishing. Their goal. Kalambayi having a stinker. Not responding at 1-0 down.
The referee’s a…: Started off OK, then decided to give fouls where perhaps he shouldn’t have done.
Can’t blame him for the loss, though, and tellingly nobody is.
Them: They went top again after the win, and really it proves that the only real difference in this division is goalscoring.
I don’t think they were significantly better than us, in fact they looked pretty ordinary for most of it.
And I know they were on a lousy run of form beforehand, it’s just typical teams always seem to end it against us.
Orient is a strange club, and always have been. They’ve long been considered an afterthought, especially with them being in West Ham’s shadow.
People only really remember them for a) Barry Hearn being in charge for a while, and b) John Sitton’s notorious meltdown.
As you can see in the picture above, their main stand is like our main stand, though they’re actually capable of opening the third tier for revenue.
The stand we were in was from Mitcham Stadium (not from Wimbledon Stadium as I’ve believed for many years), and really it was a bit “interesting” in the concourse at half time.
We’re a well-behaved bunch too, so imagine what it’s like when less cultured types are down there in such a tight space.
As for their (advanced in years) fans, they didn’t seem to like us saying they’re too poor to watch West Ham. Or the Champagne Song.
And they certainly don’t like our “rough” tactics. Which is odd, as 95% of East Londoners still claim close personal ties with the Krays…
Point to ponder: Is February likely to be the crunch month for us?
We’ve already lost to the Os, and we still have to face Carlisle (third), Northampton (fourth), Hartlepool (22nd) and Gillingham (23rd).
And at the beginning of March, Rochdale (rock bottom). We’re playing them in April, not March.
Playing teams at the top is one thing, but those down the bottom tend to be just as tricky. They’re fighting for their EFL lives, and they need points on the board.
Yesterday showed what happens when you’re not on it up front, and we’ve got to continue grinding out good performances and – yes – victories.
I don’t think that’s beyond us – I doubt if Carlisle and Northampton are much better than Orient are.
We’ll certainly be hurting from our trip to East London, and these days we have more of an ability to put it right.
Get past Rochdale without too many losses to our name, and we have an interesting run in.
And maybe by then, we might have learned to find where the net is…
Truth is stranger than fiction: 1) Statue of Laurie Cunningham in the park outside. Also, a bandstand. 2) First League defeat since 8th October to a team not called Sutton.
Anything else? It was a bit of a busy transfer window for us, wasn’t it?
Belated welcomes to Diallang Jaiyesimi, Kasey McAteer and Adam Pierre, the first one of those already making a cameo in East London.
Farewells to Paul Osew and Courtney Senior, neither of whom will be missed if we’re being honest.
Perhaps the most important story was the player who didn’t leave SW17.
I’ve no idea whether Jack Currie will have his head turned since we rebuffed Brizzle City four times this week.
He was sub again yesterday, but came on anyway when we needed to change things, and didn’t look worse for wear.
Chances are, he’s been advised to knuckle down for the rest of this season, then he can follow Rudoni and Assal out the door for a large fee.
He can do better than go to Ashton Gate, and he probably will. Especially as apparently he’s quite clued up.
It sounds like we dipped out on Freddie Sears, but we do now have bodies on the bench.
Whether you consider who we’ve got in good enough is up for debate, but lack of depth was an issue for a lot of this season, and we’ve at least remedied that.
Leaving aside how strikers are well overpriced at this time of year, it seems like our newbies are there for an attempt at getting into the playoffs, rather than a full bloodied assault on them.
One has to wonder though if the club didn’t give JJ the funds he fully wanted, but they had to give him enough.
Missing out on extending the season doesn’t quite matter so much this campaign, but we do need to be seen to have a go at it.
After all, that’s what the club was implying at the beginning of the season. And it’s not like we over-promise and under-deliver, eh…?
So, was it worth it? Nope.
In a nutshell: Jellied eels are horrid.