Perhaps just as momentous as 10 ex-Commie countries joining the EU gravy train, winning your first double in two years of existance is a pretty impressive feat. I always wondered what it was like when teams like Liverpool in 1986 won doubles, I seem to remember my old man reminiscing about Arsenil’s title/cup win in 1971 (I still have the Evening Substandard of that very achievement), and now I do. And it hasn’t really sunk in yet. Perhaps it never will, the shock of something positive happening might kill me.
I said yesterday that if we lost it wouldn’t have ruined our season. By that line of logic, winning last night shouldn’t have made that much difference either. But it did, if anything it’s become the icing on the cake of a season that promised so much and for once delivered as much (going unbeaten will be the cherry on top). The reaction afterwards, especially in the car park, said it all. I don’t think there’s been as much joy in a parking area since the last time Stan Collymore took the dog for a walk.
So anyway. Doubles 4 Singles 1. Can I say that I thought it wasn’t the best game this season? Oh please? Fair enough. It looked like nerves got hold of us for a long time, and when they went ahead (which I think everyone seemed to miss, including our defence by all accounts) I rolled my eyes and started composing a report that wouldn’t have looked out of place at a funeral. Finally, we got going a little bit, and when Bolger netted two minutes later, it seemed to settle us just a little. No question about it, we had to work hard, and it really did seem like extra time was coming for a while.
I think our fitness started to show, and in the second half we looked far more with it. It was a bit touch and go, but when a decent cross (for once) was whipped in and up popped Matt Everard with a trademark, there was only one winner. KC netting twice just finished it off, though the NGU player missing from one yard out at 3-1, complete with a sympathetic “one yard and you fucked it up” Go-West tune was pretty funny.
After piling on the pitch, the level of joy not only from the crowd but the players was immense. Even Lawrie Sanchez seemed to be pleased. You don’t get this in Milton Keynes.
Plus points: Well, does winning the cup count? Came back well. Kept going. Good goals by KC etc etc.
Minus points: Defence STILL shit. Far too many open spaces/NGU shots for my liking.
The referee’s a……: Didn’t he look like Jones B’s dad?
Them: Probably the best team we’ve played this season, they played as if it was a, er, cup final. Think this could be more de rigeur next season. Really only lost because they tired out towards the end if the truth was known. If they could play like that every week next season, they’ll finish above Wallingford (which will give the yokels something else to complain about), assuming the Hithercroft side actually finish second and are successful in their promotion application. Bet they end up in our division. NGU did a lap of honour at the end and were thoroughly applauded back.
Woking: No, not the Womble who got pissed on vodka at Gillingham (hello sir) but the place. If there was 3700 there I’m a Rangers fan. I overheard a steward at 7.30pm say that there was over 3000 in the ground, and it sure as hell was more than 700 coming in after that. They handled it well, even if their stewards are narky little jobsworths. Better than Bromley, though I think even the US army in Fallujah could handle it better than Bromley. Oh, and their stand is evil.
Spotted: One Terry Eames, along with Anne Eames. Glad to see that things have healed sufficiently for him to at least come back, I didn’t like the whole episode one bit, and lest we forget it was mostly his team that won last night. Though at least things have panned out that he hasn’t become the Bill Shankly to NE’s Bob Paisley.
Point to ponder: Again, as mentioned yesterday, I wonder if winning such a high pressure game is going to finally lay the ghosts of failures past? For a long while yesterday, I really did think we’d lose it, but maybe the reversal is going to happen? Christ, we’ve suffered enough within the past 10 years, and this goes towards it. Also, is it me or was the presence of one Lawrie Sanchez highly symbolic?
Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) That open top bus. Shame it didn’t rain (2) Why was there an EU flag on the TV gantry? At least I now have a good reason why I asked if the turnstile took Euros (one other person will get that). (3) In true cup final tradition, there was an AFCW rattle which actually worked. Amazingly, it was allowed into the ground… (4) The flags everywhere made it look like a GAA game. Some of the play in the first half was akin to hurling.
Franchise watch: Oh come on, their failure makes our success even more sweeter. Playing today at Cardiff, where there’s some sort of deal for the away fan. Something like if he can prove he lives in MK or South London, he can get in for nothing. Or reduced rate.
Rather more symbolic, especially considering our success, Cardiff appear to be in trouble financially. Close to avoiding administration, problems with funding a new stadium, saving on player wages Peter Hawkins style. Now, I wonder how the hell that could happen……………………..?
Hello mum: The following Wombles deserve a mention: firstly, a member of the Norwegian branch who claimed that his new AFCW tattoo was so appreciated by his wife that “I’ve never had so much good sex in my life”. Quite. The Womble who plunged head first into Westfield bar duties all too readily. The git who said that my chin looked like Michael Schumacher’s (and having been told once that my eyebrow line looks like Roy Keane I wonder what famous sporting star I’ll be likened to next. Red Rum?). And finally, for every Womble who got drunk/threw up/had sex with themselves, or somebody else, or a bollard – at least I haven’t woken up with a sore head this morning
Anything else? Not really. Pitch invasion was kewl though.
So, was it worth it? On reflection, I think it may well have been.
In a nutshell: Mine’s a double