When I walked out after AFCW 1 Withdean 2000 1, three little words kept running through my mind. Three tiny, almost insignificant words that come together to make a bombshell of a sentence.
We’ve blown it.
When I stepped into the gents just in the main entrance afterwards, I have never experienced anything so quiet and still. It was as though somebody had died. And let’s be honest, this shouldn’t have happened. In two games where we should have got at least four points, we got one. I’ll repeat that again, just in case you didn’t take it in first time – in two games where we should have got at least four points, we got one. 1. Numero uno. Une. A single point. No matter what way you look at it, that is fucking shit.
Question is, why? Why have we thrown away two almost certain three-pointers in a week? Why have the games before that been drifting to this inevitable outcome? Why has our verve, our running, our all round threatening play evaporated? Why has the play that greeted Bromley, Chelmsford away (to name plenty of others) gone out of the window? Why have we regressed into painful early-season malaise? Or indeed, why are we watching the AFCW that was 11th in about September/October rather than the 2nd placed AFCW that should be doing a lot, lot better?
After RDS missed that penalty (well, it wasn’t so much a penalty, more of a backpass to the goalie) you just knew what was going to happen. Just like the game at their place, one goal was always going to be surrendered. That is not the sign of a side that is second place. It’s the sign of a side that is…. well, I dunno. Really, I dunno. We’re only second nominally, because the others are fucking up as much as us.
I mention it ever single week, and I’ll mention it again – are we waiting for the 26th March to come and go? Reality check time – lose 18 points and you can forget the playoffs full stop. But unless we somehow get it down to three points, you can certainly forget a late surge.
Yes, we all know the punishment is a crock of shite. Yes, we know that it’s showing up certain people in their true colours, and shows us exactly why this section of non-league football will always be a backwater. But it’s as though we’re just holding fire and waiting. It’s like we’re expecting a shot in the arm to get us motoring again. Sorry, it doesn’t work like that. You have to earn the points, and we’ve forgotten that. Yesterday, and at Hendon, we thought one goal would be enough. Goal scored, job done, let’s bugger off home and watch the cricket on Sky.
Maybe it’s because of our circumstances that things haven’t turned out nastier? Lest we forget that after THAT Billy Ricky game, DA apparently had five games to save his job. Chances are, he’ll be back next season, as we now have a new (justifiable) scapegoat in the authorities. But how long can we keep doing that? One thing for sure, repeat this against Slough and there will be more than a murmur.
Need I go on? Come on, do I need to annoy you further?
Plus points: We didn’t lose. Scored a goal.
Minus points: Sure you can fill this bit yourself.
The referee’s a……..: What a cock. About the size of a tiny penis and with the reffing abilities of one as well. Case in point : booked SF for kicking the ball away. OK, fair enough. Worthing player does exactly the same a couple of minute later and strangely enough the cards remain in his pocket. No more needs to be said. Oh yeah, and did the lino get a sexual thrill every time he lifted his flag up to offside us? He must have been spurting away for most of the second half.
Them: A big boys version of Withdean 2000, which is probably why losing drawing to them sucks so much. Wonder where the lovely Mr Pook is these days? They took a few fans down, and managed to come out with the stupidest chant at us : “You’re not famous anymore”. Course we aren’t. Our problems with the FA getting coverage in the Daily Mail. Our CEO getting on Radio Five Drivetime to talk about the West Ham situation. As much coverage on SSN in the past couple of years as most clubs outside the top two divisions, to name but a couple. How tragic that we’re not famous any more obviously. Incidentally, what is Worthing famous for? Apart from being the place where you send your elderly relatives to die?
Point to ponder: Is it me or does Steve Butler suck? Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks that when he returned from Australia we suddenly looked more vulnerable?
Truth is stranger than fiction: Frankie’s 100th start for us, apparently. Somehow, that just fails to register…
Anything else? Yeah. I read in somebody elses’ programme that Erik wasn’t too impressed with certain sections of support after Hendon. In fact, it was quite scathing, and not unlike something this very site would do (obviously nicer put and with a bit less swearing).
OK, frustration happens, and yes there’s a high level of expectation, but sometimes I think some of our support still think we’re in the professional leagues and/or the CCL. The likes of DA and the players aren’t tactical geniuses. If they were, they would be earning shitloads at Wolves or Palace or somewhere. That’s why I always give our players/management a lot of slack, a lot more than most people (Steve Butler excluded). If they were earning Â£40k a week and spending it on Bentleys, then they deserve all the abuse they get. But they’re not. Most of them have full time jobs, so obviously they’re not always going to put on 110%.
Yes, playing badly is shit. But that is nothing unique to AFCW in the entire history of football. Christ, cast your minds back to the last two seasons of our Premiership era. Now they were shit, a zillion times shittier than anything we put on the plate now. And as I just said, those players then were earning as much in a week as most of us in a year. These days, the slagger-offers probably earn more per annum than those on the field. There’s a level of leeway that needs to be employed these days, and it’s clear some fans haven’t grasped that.
While I’m happy to defend AFCW fans against the bullshit of so many other clubs, some of our fans really don’t do themselves any favours. Going ballistic for the sake of it just means that people stop listening very quickly. That’s why I get pissed off at those who scream “DA Out” after every non 4-0 performance. Perhaps instead of checking tickets to go in, we ought to put breathlysers in the turnstiles…..?
(and yes, I’ve probably contradicted myself from what I wrote first off. Or have I?)
So, was it worth it? Can you tell what I think?
In a nutshell: I’m not looking forward to next Saturday.