I am writing this article after our hugely disappointing loss at the hands of Maidstone last weekend. Of course it is massively disappointing to exit another major trophy, but ultimately we have to take stock of the situation as a whole. We are still a good team, we still have good players and we still completely believe we have the attributes to achieve the ultimate goal and gain promotion into the Conference South.

The two games against Maidstone perhaps epitomised our season to date so far. Some excellent attacking play, with Scott McGleish’s goal the highlight, yet missed chances and sloppy defending costing us in the end. It is very easy to point fingers at individual players or different units, but football is a team game and blaming specific players will not help anybody. Again, I genuinely believe we have a reason to be aggrieved with the manor of the equalising goal last Saturday, but blaming the referee is an easy way out. Anyway, as the old saying goes, these decisions even themselves out throughout the season so a shed load of luck is waiting just around the corner! Hopefully…

After every defeat, it is easy to over analyse what went wrong and jump to wrong conclusions. I know for a fact that players, management and fans were hurting after Tuesday night, but there are always positives and I still think there were plenty to be taken away from both games. I think everybody who watched the two games would agree that on the balance of play we really should have beaten Maidstone, and they are top of the League! We know we are capable of beating every single team we play against, and if they are the best we will come up against, then promotion has to be achievable! We as players believe it, and I hope you fans do as well!

On the player front, our two new friends from up North have also settled in nicely now and will certainly be a big help as the season progresses. Tom Hamblin has slotted in superbly at the back, and it certainly gives Gordon a selection headache with Sean coming back this week and Wes waiting in the (hospital) wings. I do have to admit though, what with Sean and Wes both out and the captain’s armband up for grabs, I was gutted to miss out as skipper to a player who has only been here for 5 minutes!

I must also add a little about Maidstone’s 3G/4G/5G or whatever they call it pitch, and I have to admit I really, really like it! I know a lot of players out there will disagree with me (Wes) moaning about their poor muscles and bones etc but I think they are the future. It was such a carpet, that it reminded me of playing football as a youngster in my front room. As well as this, Fingers wouldn’t have to spend his Sunday afternoons relaying all the divots from Hammonds shanked clearances and Seth wouldn’t have to spend all week worrying about the grass stains on our lovely white shorts. So let’s not worry about wasting any more money on new players, an astro turf pitch is the real investment!

On a final note, after Micky decided to give us players a mark out of 8 (I still don’t know why he choose 8 instead of a normal number like 5 or 10) in last week’s programme, I thought I would return the favour but this time with the coaches. So here is my analysis on their performances so far this campaign, and this time out of 5!

Gordon – 4 – I wouldn’t dare say anything to risky, but still smarting after being over looked for the captaincy so deducted 1 point. Perhaps needs to employ the Christmas tree formation to take us to the next level.

Gilly – 3 – I still finish every game with a near on migraine, and it’s not from the noise in the crowd, rather Gillys unrelenting screaming. Still unsure exactly who listens to him, but he seems intent on deafening the whole bench every game.

Micky – 2 – Only gave me a 7 last week so an automatic fail. Still turns up to the occasional game smelling of Jack Daniels and seems incapable of controlling the volume of DVD’s on the coach to away games. Room for improvement.

Leo – 5 – Obviously. LFM.

Seth – 3 – Doesn’t escape my analysis. Has improved lately after discovering the iron. Will be awarded an extra point if I’m wearing the Orange kit today…

Fingers – 4 – Started the season slowly and made us play in a near jungle at some stages in the early season. 6G pitch imminent…

Jason – 5 – Top man. Owe everything that I am today to him.

Enjoy the game today, and as I said earlier, relax and #BELIEVE!


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