Is it just me or do we play either A.F.C. Wimbledon or M.K. Dons every other game? I was talking with my bubble about how in the absence of actually going to the games with their attendant visits to the pub before and after and all the chat that that brings, we’re finding it hard to remember who we played a couple of matches back let alone who scored and as for, “Was Gooch on the bench on Tuesday?” forget it. Anyway, we’ve got a double dose of the Dons this week and I’m hoping that our away form together with the introduction of the new lads will bring some joy in these grim times. Has Grigg actually gone yet? I liked the online picture of him missing the train but I fear that he’s going to stay. Danny Graham has definitely gone and I’m glad though I have to say it was good of him not to sit around till the end of the season and get paid for doing so. I suspect we’ll win the EFL Trophy and none of us will be able to go to Wembley to see it but I’ve heard they might well defer it till we’re back on our feet again. I don’t know any team-news yet but Wright is unlikely to make it and surely all the four new guys will feature at some point together with a smattering of youngsters. I’ll be watching he game as usual with my Sunderland bubble. I think we’ll win and my match prediction is 2-1.
I got the team news around 5.45 and was pleased to see O’Nien starting as well as new boy Jordan Jones. He was the only one of the newbies to be seen anywhere but our bench was looking strong… well, you know what I mean.
I got to the bubble-house and after a few computer problems got into the match. We started quite brightly with Jones nearly getting on the end of a low Diamond cross in the fifth minute. Seven minutes later we were ahead and it started with a speedy run by Gooch who fed Diamond on his right. I’m sure Diamond was putting in a low cross but it took a nifty deflection off Lewington and slipped into the right of the net. The game opened up and our next decent chance came in the twenty-fifth minute when a low MacFadzean cross from the left just failed to get to O’Brien as it was grabbed by goalie Nicholls. Next thing MacFadzean pulled up with what looked like a groin-strain and was replaced by Neil, whom I don’t remember seeing for a good while. It looked like O’Nien moved into the left-back position and Neil went into the centre. As usual we were going off the boil and started to live dangerously at the back allowing M.K. too much penetration down our right flank. It remained 1-0 to us at the break but we bubblers were frustrated that once again we’d started well, taken the lead and then allowed the opposition to get the upper hand. Still, we had Maguire and McGeady on the bench and hopefully they could inject some vim into proceedings.
We won our first corner in the first minute of the second-half and had a good chance when another deflection off Willis looked like it might sneak in. Five minutes later Matthews made a good diving save from Jerome when it looked like we were about to concede. Harvey was booked ten minutes in for a clear foul and then throwing a strop as if he’d been badly done to. History was made on the hour when we made four subs at the same time bringing on Younger, McGeady, Leadbitter and Wyke for Willis, O’Brien, Scowen and Jones. McGeady promptly won a corner from which we won a further corner but we couldn’t make anything from it. McGeady then jiggled and put a great pass into the box for the on running Neil but Nicholls in goal got to it first. This warmed the cockles a bit but then Matthews was called upon to make a really good save from Fraser. We went further ahead in the seventy-sixth minute following a cross from the right by Diamond that was headed out straight to McGeady who hit a low shot that Nicholls will have nightmares about as he really should have held it. Eight minutes from the end we made it 3-0 when a Leadbitter cross from our left was glanced into the net from Wyke’s head. McGeady had the ball in the net again after a wonderful pass from Diamond but he was clearly offside. Diamond was playing a stormer and he blasted in a shot in the dying moments that Nicholls managed to palm away. There were six minutes of stoppage-time and I fancied us to get another one but the ref surprisingly brought proceedings to a halt about two minutes early.
This was another patchy performance but after that mega-substitution we really started to look the business. If we start on Saturday with the team that finished today, I feel confident that we’ll get another three points.