Let’s not sugar coat things, the weekend was rubbish. The weather was rubbish, my mood all weekend was rubbish, the football was rubbish, (the motorcycling and the end of the cricket were ok, but let’s not ruin the pattern here), Kingstonian were…you guessed it, rubbish.
Regular readers will know that I love hot weather as much as I love broccoli, cauliflower, water chestnuts and going to airports. I’d rather wear an Everton shirt all day than have to put up with this weather. I continue to not understand how people on television insist on telling us how wonderful hot weather is – if sweating buckets, having no energy, feeling slightly unwell all the bloody time, not being able to sleep at all and having to sit (and lie) on towels so as not to waterlog the armchair or bed is wonderful, then yes it’s been startlingly wonderful. Give me a break.
I can roll the Hornchurch and Bishop’s Stortford games up into the same piece of analysis – K’s players playing like total strangers, making elementary mistakes and being rolled over by oppositions of an unknown quality because you can’t tell how good they were because we were so bad. It’s as if last season called and demanded their Kingstonian back as it’s escaped into this season.
The second game, against Bishop’s Stortford, was far more disappointing that the Hornchurch game. After the poor outing on Saturday, a positive response was expected, some bouncebackability, so to speak. Apart from some flashes by the heroic Reece Hall, who still turned up to play on Monday despite having to go to hospital twice recently because of stomach ailments, there was very little to cheer. I felt a right prat because of my editor’s notes, which were written before the Hornchurch game, as in them I was extolling the virtues of our players, that we were playing some good stuff and weren’t far away from getting that elusive win. We’re still not that far away, though anyone can be forgiven for not believing that. We were playing some good stuff, I thought we should have won all three of our opening games, but we certainly imploded with a bit of panache in our fourth and fifth games.
Monday started badly for me even before kick-off – the two team line-ups were exchanged quite early so I had some time to get the team sheets done. Printers, however, always know when to intervene – it doesn’t matter which printer, whether it’s dot matrix, laser, extra virgin olive oil or what the heck else they could be these days, they will always find a way. This time it was the combination of pretend paper jams (I swear these machines have some sentience and lie through whatever the equivalent of their teeth are) and then pretending that there’s nothing in the queue. Printers are like cricket, they go out of their way to not work. They will stop for tea or bad light, they will want their helmet and gloves changed, they only work when they feel like it, and the more frantic the human gets, the more laid back the printer becomes…
And during all that, my little portable speaker decided to mostly run out of juice, and when this happens, it gets very vocal about it. So there I am, in the sauna of a boardroom at King George’s Field, trying to get the team sheets done and suddenly the music cuts out and a woman says “no battery” before the music temporarily cuts back in until the cycle decides to repeat. So this portable speaker is basically using its remaining battery to announce to everyone that it has no battery left instead of doing its actual job… One crazy dash out of the
sauna boardroom to turn the music off before returning to verbally abuse the printer once again, which always wins the argument. What else could possibly go wrong? Oh yes, the game itself.
Before the first game, Rosey and I decided to spend a few nights in the area, mostly to make sure we got to Hornchurch in good time and didn’t have to suffer too much traffic (seeing a lot of our supporters trundle into the ground when we were already 0-2 down after twenty minutes justified that tactic), but the idea was to find a couple of sights to see and go and see them. The hot weather ensured that I had absolutely no appetite for it and most of the “break” was spent inside the hotel room feeling absolutely bleurgh. Having said that, we did go and visit Tilbury Fort, which was definitely worth the money. The fort also doubled later in its career as a military barracks and the middle of it is one great big parade ground – all I can say is that military people must have very strong ankles, because I wouldn’t like to march up and down at any speed on those cobbles… Anyway, I do wish I had the energy to have looked more closely at it, historically it is a very important place (among other things it is apparently where (or near to where) Queen Elizabeth I did her “I know I have the body of a weak, feeble woman; but I have the heart and stomach of a king” speech) and it really is well worth a visit.
Thankfully, this spell of “wonderful” weather apparently ends tomorrow, so some semblance of normal life to recommence, whatever “normal” is, and then Saturday we have our visit to Merstham. For obvious reasons, there will be a lot of emotion flying about around this game, any protestations that it’s “just another game” will be waved away because it definitely is not that. We badly need a performance, and more than that, we badly need a win. On the basis of the last two games, I don’t know where that win will come from unless a number of our players man up and show what we thought they could do when we got them. Some players are doing that, others are not. Is it a case that there is some hoodoo-type thing that putting on a red and white hooped shirt with three fish on the badge automatically decreases a player’s talent level by an alarming number? It seems like that, sometimes, and it has seemed like that for a number of seasons regardless of manager, player or venue. It is very draining sometimes watching Kingstonian play, and it is quite wrong for a hobby to be this demoralising and at times this stressful – I know we’re supposed to be patient, being patient is the party line, but we’ve been mostly rubbish for a number of years now and I’m done being patient, so if you don’t mind, give me some wins now!!!!!!!