The day the wheels came off………

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10th September 2011

I thought long and hard about whether to write this blog at all. My mother once told me that if I couldn’t say anything nice I should keep quiet. On that basis, this would almost be the literary equivalent of 4.33 by John Cage- a blank page. Atkinsons of Morecambe serve great fish and chips. The natives we met on the promenade were friendly. The people on the Alliance coach are a great bunch. That, I believe, is it.

At three o clock a team ran onto the pitch wearing a Crawley Town kit. I’ve no idea who they were. Admittedly, they looked familiar, but I believe that the Invasion of the Body Snatchers has now become real. The aliens had got it slightly wrong, however; Dean Howell had suddenly grown and was playing for Morecambe. Injured? A likely story.

We played some nice football in the first half. There was no penetration whatsoever, but it was pretty if we ignore the two unnecessary goals we conceded. Admittedly we had a left back who had never played with his team mates before and a right back playing at centre half, but we should have been better than that. We ARE better than that. And I can’t really fault Griffiths or Wilson, it would be unfair, they were no better or worse than the rest.

Second half, if we’d started off by turning possession into goals, we’d have been ok. But once the third Morecambe goal went in, it was a question of how many. Heads went down, workrate dropped, and it became embarrassing. Mind you, we seemed unable to get behind the team- we had descended into stunned silence. Some Morecambe supporters in our – in my opinion, poorly stewarded and entirely unsegregated-stand decided to use this as a reason to become aggressive, threatening and abusive. They seemed, in the main, a good bunch, but there were a sizeable number near us who had left their brains in the pub. There was then an incident in which a Crawley fan who – at the fifth goal- kicked an advertising hoarding in frustration and was pounced upon with such ferocity you’d have thought he was a criminal mastermind. I can’t give my views in full here, as I’d only have to delete them later. But I would say that I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen worse stewarding.

So, we’re now on the M40 and will soon be home. Tired, a bit miserable, but glad of one thing. We only have to wait until Tuesday night to prove that today was a one off. We know the team is good enough. When we applauded them off today, a chap next to me called out, “what a load of rubbish”. Well, it was a fair description. But as I pointed out to him, they are our team and this was probably only the second dreadful performance in a year and a half. We’ve been spoilt a little, perhaps. Keep the faith.

And I’ve just thought of a positive. Thank God we didn’t decide to make a weekend of it!


Ian Townsend

Ian Townsend