Views on all things connected with that little bit of heaven down in London S.E. 7 !
Tuesday 29 October 2013
More Is Less
A crowd of over 23k witnessed a goalless draw on Sunday. Not a great game but at least it wasn't the defeat that so often accompanies a club promotion.
It was good to see The Valley approaching capacity but I have to be honest and say it didn't enhance my matchday experience. Longer queues at turnstiles, toilets and refreshment areas added to lengthy delays getting out the ground and subsequently onto the train.
The atmosphere was not as good as usual, there was little singing and clapping from those around me. In addition, most were devoid of any passion. May be that's to be expected but it really pi**ed me off.
Don't get me wrong I appreciate that the club will have increased revenue and perhaps attract a few new and / or lapsed fans. Added to which I naturally want to see the club well supported. If we were to return to larger crowds on a regular basis then I hope the club and surrounding infrastructure is better able to cope with it.
There was a clear handball in the second half that denied a goal scoring opportunity and had most of the East Stand got on their feet to appeal / protest then it would have put some pressure on the ref. As it was the player concerned escaped without so much as a talking to !
Both sides had clear cut chances with Wigan marginally more guilty of missing the easier ones but it was to be one of those days. Incidentally one of those that I experienced that day before. I went to see Brackley Town v Barrow in the FA Cup and that too finished without a goal. The two teams try again tonight as Brackley make the long trek upto Barrow. The winners play Gillingham away in the first round proper.
Sir Chris opted to leave Skip on the bench and that surprised me albeit that I think it was right to do so. I was disappointed that neither Harriott or Evina got a start on the left. As a result Stewart had to play on the left side of midfield. I'm well aware of the arguments of cutting inside etc but we lost his ability to beat his man and deliver a decent cross from the right.
I'd also question why we didn't have Pigott on the bench. At home it's good to have two strikers amongst the subs and it might have served us well at the end although maybe not if we're going to go 4-5-1.
I do wonder how many more points we'd have if we had been more adventurous at home this campaign. I remain concerned that it will really cost us in the end.
On a more positive note it was another clean sheet and perhaps that's testament to the excellent Wood, he has been magnificent since coming into the side. His injury is a concern and with Yann again damaging his ankle we may need reinforcements in both areas if they are not fit for Saturday.
I'm not a big fan of Stephens but I'll happily admit that he has been good of late and had a great game on Sunday. He has been very creative and paying more attention to his defensive duties too, all good to see.
Post match on Sunday and I paid a visit to the Old Loyal Britons pub which has recently opened in Greenwich. It's just round the corner from the Cutty Sark station on the DLR. Richard the landlord is an excellent host and I can fully recommend a few pints of Morning Glory.
I saw my first game back in the sixties when my dad took me along on a very wet and windy day. I recall having to turn my back to the pitch because of it.....shame you can't do that sometimes now !
I sit in the East Stand with my lads who both keep the faith.
I live 75 miles from the Valley having moved away from the area in 1984 but my heart has never left !