Do Not Adjust Your Sets…


By Pete H

Now then, what’s this strange tingly feeling we have with the Boro’ at the moment. We’re sure it’s not a totally new sensation. But we sure as Woking don’t remember feeling this way for a good ol’ while. It’s not that we’ve raced out of the traps in this new season. A draw at Walsall means we’re not on a full quota of points. And that’s fine. If nothing else, Dickie Hill is probably moping in the darkened corner of some quiet whiskey bar telling his pourer how “he’d won six out of six” back in the day. Yet, a 13-point haul from a possible 15 is a decent haul in anyone’s book. 

It’s all the more sweeter, maybe, because the best betting sites and from-a-distance pundits had us down to struggle this term. Perhaps we still will? A lot has to go wrong, however, for any team who gets off to this sort of start to then turn in a relegation-winning campaign. One question you may well have on your mind after the promising few weeks we’ve had at the top of the season is how well can we do this season? Some optimistic folk may believe our start is reason enough to believe that a promotion charge is on the cards.

Is it though?

And is it a problem if it’s not?

Who have we come up against?

It’s probably worth a look at who we’ve come up against to fully evaluate how good a start it has been to the 2022-3 campaign.

  • First, we had Tranmere Rovers away. Historically, Prenton Park is an unhappy hunting ground and you’d imagine they’ll be there or thereabouts come the final shake-up. So, for us to grab a victory there on the first day of term is no mean feat. Not that it’ll define our season, obviously. But what a big ol’ shot of confidence that would’ve been to the collective veins.
  • Stockport indoors was a banger. For some reason, the Hatters are hotly tipped for promotion this year. Maybe it’s momentum after coming up, or perhaps it’s their bigger budgets. For much of the game, we cancelled each other out. With them a goal to the good going into the final stages, it did look like our card was marked. But a fine resurgence swept us to the win in dramatic style.
  • Reading away stands out as the result that says a lot about this side. Regardless of who played or didn’t for the Royals, you can only beat what’s in front of you. And it was still a Championship side on their own turf. To come away with a win, for us, was both surprising and elating.
  • Walsall’s start to the season wasn’t a poor one by any stretch. And you’d be hard pushed to say we were either the poorer of the two sides or deserving of being a goal down. The ref wasn’t much cop either (but the standard has long been on the slide). Still, a 100th-minute equaliser is a thing of joy and maintained our unbeaten record with yet another late goal.
  • Back indoors against Rochdale, we walloped them 1-0. Boro’ resisted any urge to reawaken old habits and concede late on; something that would have been a sickener after dominating the first 45. On another day, we may well have come away with a five-goal thumping and a much better goal difference. But it’s still only three points and that’s what we got; hitting double figures with the points tally.
  • A back-to-back home fixture treat saw us welcome Carlisle United down most recently. The Cumbrians were yet another side who had still to taste defeat at 3pm on 20 August. Goals from Kane Smith and Max Clark seemingly put us in control. Our visitors hit back right on the stroke of half time. And we again held firm with another resolute defensive display. And it leaves us as one of a select few in League Two still to be on the wrong side of a result yet this season.

Should we get used to this?

The trick, we suppose, is to not to get ahead of ourselves. For Boro’, our next task is Peterborough United in the League Cup. The odds are again not in our favour here. But don’t let that get you down. After all, we weren’t fancied much at Reading. And it’s not even a match that many are going to judge us on. The League Cup is not the be-all and end-all of our season. Instead, judge us on how we fare at Salford City next weekend. After all, our win against the Ammies on the last day of last season was the first time we did a number on them.

Going up to theirs is the next step in cleansing that particular spirit. We’d happily trade defeat to Posh for three points at the Peninsula Stadium. Does that apply to you too?

To be at the right end of the table at this stage of the season is triffic. It may last. It may not. We’re cool with that. The most important thing is that, based on early evidence, the ‘boing boing’ is back in the Boro’ Boro’. Long may it continue. Even if we finish 14th, making the journey there will be an enjoyable one. Mind you, we know full well this squad won’t settle for that. Nor will the gaffer.

And it’s great.

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