So we win well at home at last, thought it would never come! Only the second home win since well before Christmas, let’s hope it’s the start of a rush of home points. And a good display it was as well, after the usual hiccup to start of course. A few changes and Mr Bogie took his chance didn't he? Two cracking goals and a hard working performance. But he was a long way from the only one. Lewis slammed a couple against the post, when he wasn't being flattened, and overall I thought there was a lot of good stuff played and a very good attitude on show. Let's keep it up.
View from the cemetery
So astonishingly it turns out that England's cricket team is in fact even worse than the football team! How unlikely was that?
Luckily, as most of the action has taken place deep in the night hours we have been largely spared the sad sight. If this applies to you let me bring you up to date. The one day game in cricket has moved on all over the world, with the style of play and levels of aggression a million miles from where they were a few years ago. All over the world that is except with England, who amazingly have managed to go backwards while everyone else went forwards. We persist with a "gameplan" based on a complete refusal to face up to reality, a belief in long outdated ideas and a love of a cute single rolled down to fine leg. "Keeping the scoreboard ticking over". Useless. Almost a textbook example of British management uselessness in fact. And all those opposition batsmen constantly wondering whether to hit it for four or six. Will anything change? Doubt it.
In my many years of peering through this fence, one thing has stayed remarkably similar, namely that we always seem to win more games away than we do at home. Never mind being very disappointing for those of us stuck in this post-life compound, just why is it I wonder? Is it the atmosphere that puts our lads off? Does the sight of the cemetery on two sides cause players to ponder on their mortality when they should be pondering on the opposition centre forward? It surely can't be the pressure of expectation. And, given the size of the usual gate it certainly can't be stagefright. But, whatever the reason, it does seem to be the case. Even our glorious run to fourth place a few years back was fuelled mainly by unlikely wins on our travels, with home games featuring an unfeasible number of draws. This year has not so far been the same of course, not least because we haven't had enough wins either home or away. But now I start to think the tide has turned, and that what is clearly going to be an epic run to escape from the bottom three in this last few weeks of the season is likely to feature a number of gritty wins on the road and somewhat less glorious results at home. I hope I'm wrong. Expectations were certainly running high after last week’s excellent win at Newton Aycliffe for the visit of Jarrow Roofing on Saturday, but we hoped in vain. Bad goals conceded, and despite lots of possession, not enough good attempts on goal. Never mind, lets go again...
So much to talk about. Ground problems but progress on the pitch, the fight against relegation looking very interesting, big boys across the river looking rocky and manager writing to the fans, tight championship race with Shildon slowly emerging as most people’s favourites, FIFA up to their usual shameless shenanigans; where do we start? At home obviously, although we don't often play there. All in all more good news than bad, the occasional disaster being interspersed with a good few fighting wins. Certainly managed to upset the Bishop faithful, quite distressed at the nerve of the likes of us beating the likes of them, and quite vocal about it as well. Seems we were very lucky, only a matter of them being bad, not us being good. All a matter of opinion of course, and my spies reckoned we could have had six in both games. Probably mistaken. Shame, but never mind old chaps, Bishops will return to their rightful glory one of these days I'm sure.
Back on Planet Earth lack of goals seems to be our biggest problem, solid in most parts otherwise, and to be fair the new combination of youth and Irish flair up front looks promising, with the occasional move forward of the Ginger E'to to spice things up. Yes, looks like a fascinating few weeks through to the end of the season. I am cautiously optimistic...
Very good win down at Bishops, and an encouraging display I hear. Overall one of our lucky opponents Bishops, get a fair number of results against them, much to the disgust of some of their loyal supporters it must be said. Great weeping and wailing through the match and afterwards from one or two local gentlemen, after some premature celebration when Bishops took the lead, and quite an amount of noise on the web. But it definitely shows they care, and there are plenty of them.
Not my business of course, but they always look to me like a steadily run club, not taking chances or spending money they haven't got. Much like our own little club indeed, though on a bigger scale. Makes you think about our place in things.