We did it. We won a game. And in many ways deserved to do so.
Saturday’s match at home to Enfield Town was a joy, not only because of the result, but because of how we played.
I mentioned it after the last two games, the togetherness and determination that Kim Harris and Frank Wilson have instilled into the team has made it very easy to get behind them and will them on. Against a good Enfield Town team, the guys worked for the whole game, backed each other up and did whatever was asked of them. It’s been a long time since this has happened, and it’s also proof that a new team can actually gel quickly if the situation and personnel is correct.
This season has been one of lots of players in on loan from Football League or Premier League clubs, most of them have been excellent for us (something that I didn’t think would be possible) – and we have two more, this time from AFC Wimbledon, and they were outstanding on Saturday. I enjoyed watching James O’Halloran and Alfie Egan immensely, their willingness to dig in and work hard was much appreciated.
We saw the Aaron Lamont on Saturday that we knew we had all season, and he was outstanding, not only for his goal, which was sheer magnificence, but again his work rate (a common theme here for all of the team) was superb to watch. Up front we had Mike Dixon forming an ever-improving understanding with Delano Sam-Yorke, whilst Delano got what eventually became the winner, both forwards were instrumental in the last quarter of the game when we were constantly under pressure as they both were excellent outlets for our clearances from defence, helped without any doubt by their willingness to run and run and run.
And finally at the back, they kept their nerve, especially when mine flew out of the window, and Rob Tolfrey was immense with several high class saves, back to the inspired and inspiring (as I said on the web news item with pride) Tolfs that I know we have (helps to have a defence in front of you giving it everything as well, by the way). Enfield Town probably did enough to win a point out of the game, but we just refused to lose this game. Not only had it been over three months since the last victory, for that amount of time we had never even competed properly for a victory, we tried to hang on for most of Dean Brennan’s debut game against Carshalton Athletic, all the other games were comfortable losses in the end. This time, however, was a stubborn and brave performance from a team some of whom had never won a game in Kingstonian colours, and were just as fed up with the idea as we all were.
When the final whistle arrived, no-one in my vicinity knew quite what to do, I certainly didn’t really know what to say on the microphone. A few tears ran down my cheeks as it dawned on me that we had won a game – I missed the win at Bishop’s Stortford, so this was my first league win of the calendar year, and it meant a lot. A weight flew off my shoulders (although it blinkin’ landed again whilst watching Liverpool last night), and the unusual feeling of Saturday night contentment came. Hmm, I wouldn’t mind some more of that.
One other thing I noticed that made for a good day was the ever increasing presence of Kingstonian Ted. Regular readers will know that I am a cuddly toy lover, we probably have well over a hundred animals in the flat, from aardvarks and zebras by way of daleks and unicorns. Kingstonian Ted is five foot tall, and very sweet. He is more than welcome to stay in our flat, but there is no room for him. Anyway, I think Taimour was carrying him all through the game behind the goal that we were attacking, and I noticed at half time more than one supporter wanting either a photo or a selfie, all of them walking away with a smile. And I’m not just talking about supporters with children either, plenty of takers from the adults.
There are one or two closed-minded (that’s the nicest term I can come up with) people who think Kingstonian Ted is embarrassing for the football club, but they’re simply wrong. Ted is a cute, smiling teddy bear who makes people smile, and will probably do more for Kingstonian marketing efforts than any human has over the years – he’s already got infinitely more talent in this sphere than I ever did. I think John Bangs has done a fine thing in inviting Ted into our club – if those people who dislike Ted want to see less of him, then these tremendously hard-hearted people are going to be very disappointed.
And so to Saturday and a visit to Haringey Borough, a new ground for me – Haringey were impressive when they clobbered us at King George’s Field in December and it’s no surprise that they are still challenging for promotion, though they will have to do through three rounds of play-offs if they are to succeed. Of course it’s going to be a very difficult game for us, but you never know, and anyway if we carry on with the work ethic and attitude that we’ve shown in our last three games then it’ll be ok.
Right, I’m going to watch the rest of this par-three tournament at Augusta, Georgia. I love the US Masters golf, Augusta is the loveliest golf course to look at – here, the course is the star and the players are the underlings. I don’t mind who wins, as long as it’s exciting. And at Augusta, it’s always exciting.
PS: As I’m writing this, I see that Enfield Town have won the League Cup, beating AFC Hornchurch 2-0. Football’s a funny old game, Saint.