Saturday, 30 March 2019

Just a few tickets left apparently....

...if one of the last tickets somehow
falls into the hands of a disturbed
individual with a penchant for
extreme violence and homemade
explosive devices, we would
be devastated.

If they sell out the tickets.

Friday, 29 March 2019

Exactly how many appearances earns you a Winner's medal?

Congratulations Adam for reboarding the gravy train at Billericay Town.  It's a shame your 70% effort and constant bellyaching didn't work this time around at the Poppies.

And if you need a reference, PATGOD witnessed both your attempts on goal in the months you were here and will happily tell anyone about your AMAZING glancing header against ROCK-BOTTOM Bedworth United.

Saturday, 23 March 2019

Cautiously Pessimistic

Well, the game away to Biggleswade certainly showed us a few things.  The first of which was Biggleswade itself.  I don't think I've ever seen Poppies play there on anything but a Tuesday night.  It's fair to say that daylight is not as flattering as floodlight. 

Secondly, Holman's seeming disinterest at being played as an outright centre forward continues.  One would have thought that in O'Connor's absence Dan would have grasped his chance at being the main cutting edge of the team and run riot.  No riot.  Very little running.  Disappointing.

Biggleswade offered next to nothing, but for all of our possession and huff & puff I don't recall their goalie doing anything special to repel us.

Even being 8-points clear, nothing is certain.  With typical Poppies-pessimism you can look over the remaining fixtures and other than today's game with a deflated St Neots*, you can see each of the teams we are to face putting up very stern tests, whilst Stourbridge's run-in, from a NN16 postcode looks like a succession of gimme's.

Look who's lining up to thrash our stuttering heroes!

St Neots (H) - fighting to beat us to try to stay up
Leiston (A) - fighting to complete a double over us
Alvechurch (H) - fighting to be in play-offs
Halesowen (A) - fighting to stay up in front of a large home support
Barwell (H) - fighting to stay up and put one over our large group of  Barwell rejects
AFC Scum-lite (A) - fighting for play-offs and to justify their existence by beating us
Stratford (H) - fighting for play-offs and defending Shakespeare's honour after my not studying him well at school.

And now, it has been proved via Facebook that even though we have the highest average attendance in this division, and, at time of writing, the 49th highest average attendance outside of the Football League, our gates as a percentage of our population are very small.  6th bottom of our division in fact.  More cause for pessimism, were it not for the fact that this table had pinned our town's population as 93,000.  Wow, that's big.  Some 30,000+ more than the actual population in fact.  Has our population been added to that of Kettering, Ohio?

A quick trip to Wikipedia later and it seems that every other team in this survey has their population based on the town in question, while ours seems to include the entire Borough.  Seems a smidgen unfair, and not a level playing field, surely.  Speaking of which, off to Latimer Park....!

* entirely my fault if I jinx this one....

Thursday, 14 March 2019

Cautiously optimistic

Towards half time last Saturday, with us 3-0 to the good against ten men, looking well set to extend our lead to 11 points with 8 games to play, erstwhile contributor JC wandered past with the aside “Even we can’t stuff this one up”.

He didn’t actually say stuff but it had a couple of letters in common.

Anyone who lived through the years of table topping positions being frittered away would know exactly where JC was coming from.  When you’ve seen a double digit lead overhauled in the run-in it stays with you, like a childhood trauma (that might explain the bed wetting).

But it’s gone. It’s over. It’s ok. Relax. We don’t do that any more.

Assuming we close down this division in the next few weeks, that will be four titles in 17 years. Not a bad average. In fact pretty good.  A hypothetical fan born in roughly 1990 has mostly only known a KTFC who given a sniff of promotion snuff out all competition and close it down.

True, it isn’t quite what we once aspired to, when the Football League beckoned, gave us a wink and all but promised tonight was the night. If you had told us then that we could look forward to 4 promotions, imaginations would have run away. Surely we’d be just below the top flight at least?
Yes, possibly, but for the 5 relegations.

But despite the drop in status, each division is tough in its own right. We compete with the players we can afford and are willing to play at this level. So any promotion is a big deal, relatively speaking, and in a way is pay back for all those years of disappointment.
Because even we can't stuff this one up.
Erm, hopefully.  

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Don't make us angry. You won't like us when we're angry!

Another away day.  Another away win.  Another set of home fans take to social media to bemoan the angry behaviour of the travelling fans.

And you know something?  They're absolutely right.  We can be a bunch of headcases.

Take a step back and have a good look at how we react during away games.  There is little more than a constant barrage of abuse from some quarters of Poppies support.  And it's not always from those you would expect to angrily abuse opponents, home fans, officials, own team, passing gulls etc. either.

Passion is one thing.  We all want the Poppies to win.  Demonstrating this with blind, spitting fury is another thing.  Once you've worked yourself up into a right sweaty-tizzy five minutes in, where do you have left to go for the rest of the game?  Just ranting every time a decision goes the other way.  A case in point was the ridiculous abuse heaped on a linesman for daring to give an offside against us in the second half by a bunch of Poppies fans who had absolutely no view of the incident.  This rolling thunder of fury carried on for ages, even though I, who was directly in line, was trying to mime to them that our guy was a good 2-yards offside.

Whatever happened to terrace wit?  Or amusing abuse?  Or honest to goodness sarcasm?  When was the last time you found yourself laughing out loud at something shouted from the terraces, rather than wince?

Surely mockery and comedy, spiked with an occasional barbed comment are far better at highlighting perceived shortcomings of the officials than straight way shouting, "C*nt!" at them for 90 minutes.  Anger is  invariably destructive.  Put yourself in the ref's shoes.  Isn't it human nature to take against the team who's fans are throwing nothing but vitriol at you all match long?  And, what happens when we stop winning every game?  What happens to the barely bottled anger then?  With nowhere else to direct it our own players might find themselves in the firing line.  Or each other? 

"Think of you heart - be more Eric Plant" 

"Don't be THAT fan - be more Stalwart Stan"