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It's just that we've been losing so long

Don’t be sad that it happened. Be glad that it’s over.


Having fucked up any chance of making the play offs, but guaranteed that we’d finish above Rochdale at least, we had nothing but pride to play for last Saturday, and that went exactly how you’d expect it to. Green looked impressive – he’s better than a lot of people give him credit for, and we’ve missed him -  and it was good work from him to win the ball on the edge of the area and cross it in for Fondop to bundle the ball in for our opening goal, heading it in off the crossbar.


Wealdstone had several chances in the first half and Hudson had to make a few good saves, and unfortunately, we didn’t heed the warning. They equalised early in the second half from a free header in the 6 yard box, and it was even more sloppy defending for their 2nd goal. We looked half asleep, there was no urgency, we lacked sharpness. Maybe that was to be expected when we’d played on the Thursday and had nothing to play for; maybe we were entitled to expect more.


Fondop, who was clearly man of the match, scored a great goal to equalise, picking the ball up wide on the left and finishing beautifully from a tight angle. So, I guess it wasn’t a total waste of time going. I was gutted for him that he didn’t get his hat-trick, it would have been no more than he deserved.

His work rate stood out when a lot of players looked… I’m going to be charitable and say they looked very tired. He didn't get a third though, we were way too slow to clear the ball, and Wealdstone got their winner that banished any slim chance of them going down. I’m pleased for them. They outplayed us, they wanted it, we didn’t, their fans had to set off at 7am, they deserved it. Fair play to them, I begrudged leaving the house at midday.


Given that we’re trying to sell season tickets, the board must have been dismayed at Mellon’s post-match interview, which can be summarised as “this squad is crap and it’s probably not going to get much better”. On the one hand, “we looked knackered”; on the other hand, “we have a really, really big squad”. Use it, then! It was a dead rubber! What was there to lose by giving some of our more ‘rested’ players a chance? He again said that he always knew the job was going to be difficult and revealed that “there’s more going on that I’ve never spoke about”, which sent the hashtag rumour mill into overdrive. (Lads: this does not always mean that a player has shagged another player’s partner. Please stop doing this.)


Mellon was keen to praise the board (perhaps mindful of keeping his job) as “unbelievable people…absolutely terrific people”, but wasn’t as generous to our media guy, snapping at him “I think you’re being lazy with your journalism there if you think it’s fallen to pieces”. We haven’t won in 11 games, Micky. We took 7 points from our last 11 games. If that’s not a push for the play-offs falling apart, then what is? “We’ve played some top teams” – yeah and we lost to Kidderminster, who got relegated, and drew at bottom of the table Oxford. I get it, mate, I’m tetchy as well, it’s been shit, but don’t tell us it hasn’t been as bad as we think it is after you’ve basically said the squad’s crap and you were worried after the Fylde game that we might go down.

The retained list was announced in the week and raised more questions than it answered. According to Suzanne Geldard, of the out of contract players, we may be looking to keep Fondop, Gardner, McGahey and Green. I’d like to see Fondop and Green stay. Green can be the best winger in the division on his day, and Fondop is one of the few players who’s shown an ability and willingness to take a game by the scruff of the neck and try to create something when things aren’t going our way. Gardner’s a great player but keeping someone who we’ll be lucky to get a dozen games a season out of when we need to trim the squad seems odd. As for McGahey… you know what, he has the occasional brilliant game. But it IS occasional. And he’s not a fucking midfielder.


Suzanne also reports that a number of players have been advised to look for other clubs, including Liam Hogan. I was a little surprised at Hogan, but it’s been a shit show of a season and we need a massive clear out, and I’ve been unsure for a while whether he’s the captain to take us back into the Football league.


Last summer I was more excited about the coming season than I think I’ve ever been, and it’s been thoroughly disheartening to watch our hopes be so badly disappointed. On a personal level, I’m very glad to see the back of this season, having missed a big chunk of games for the worst possible reason, and my first game back, which I’d been so looking forward to, was arguably the worst result in a competitive game in our history. Some things are bigger than football, though, obviously. Huge thanks to Will Holdaway for looking after the blog; to Andy H, Matt and Dave for being so supportive; to the podcast lads and Darren Royle for putting wine with my name on it behind the Rocky bar; and to ‘the other Andy’, Husband Of Her Who Writes The Blog, for, among other things, carrying me home when I did the only sensible thing after the Hendon game and drank wine until I didn’t know where I was.


And having said all that, we have, of course, renewed our season tickets. £640. Christ. We could have had another weekend in Dublin for that.


Thanks for all your lovely comments over the season. The blog will be continuing over the summer and will hopefully be covering Prescot Cables’ victory in the Northern Premier League West play offs, England winning the men’s Euros and Katarina Johnson-Thompson getting a gold medal in Paris. We can but dream, can’t we. KTMFF.

Written by Arlene Finnigan. Photos by Phill Smith.

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