If the experience of being dumped out of the FA Cup live on telly hadn’t been as chastening, as painful and as humiliating as last night proved to be, you could have almost passed it off as a sitcom written by David Croft and Jimmy Perry. Y’know – a group of men being given the runaround in the south of England, putting up a questionable defence and getting into all manner of hilarious scrapes along the way.
Like the one where Darius ballsed up a headed clearance and then appeared to lambast Jerome Okimo for being caught unaware by the mishap. The only thing that was missing, however, was the sight of Dino scrambling around in the 92nd minute screaming “Don’t panic! Don’t panic!”. Shame.
But, in the end, it wasn’t funny – unless you follow Barnet, Woking or pretty much anyone else. It was a performance to which no known swear word does justice to. Maybe some of the Stevenage lads were so inspired by the recent success of Philae; the wave after wave of long balls pumped into the Kent air probably had more chance of landing on that comet than finding a teammate on Maidstone’s 3G pitch.
We’ve now spent 180 minutes trying – and failing – to impose ourselves against a team who sit three divisions below us. It’s hard to believe that we’d turn up and expect our mere presence to be enough, but we were out-thought and outperformed by a gutsy Stones outfit. And now we are left to mull over one of the worst – if not the worst – result in the club’s 38-year history.
That wonderful website, Boro’ Brain, pointed out on the Twittersphere that we haven’t gone a campaign without winning at least one game in a (first team) cup competition since 1982-3. At least when we were losing 3-1 to Ware in the hallowed East Anglian Cup, we had The Jam’s “Beat Surrender” at Number One in the charts. Not whatever the current musical crime is these days…
Oh well, least we have some time to recover… except we don’t.
Northampton Town lie in wait and we’ll be back in action just 40 hours after sloping away from the Gallagher Stadium. And there’s little we can give you to soften the blow. Our record at Sixfields is full on Woking – two games against the Cobblers and one against Coventry have yielded zero points and zero goals. We’ve had more red cards (Darius, Moose and Luke Foster) against Northampton than we have goals scored (Boydie and Eldinho). It really doesn’t do anything to lift the spirits.
If we fail to score this weekend, we’ll have only scored fewer against two other teams that we’ve played at least five times.
The wisest folk in modern society are the bookies, so let’s tap into their wisdom to see what the craic is. A home win is best priced at 11/10 with Will Hill, which strikes us as being rather good value. For us to win, it’s 3/1 in a number of places and the draw is 27/10 at Bet365. Betfair stick their head above the parapet and offer 11/10 on Over 2.5 Goals at the moment. No matter what you choose, please do give generously as Christmas Party season is just around the corner and Ladbrokes wants a fancy one this year…
Going to Northampton Town this weekend? Check out our handy guide to all the sights and sounds…