A week is a long time in football by Nathan Bees
We’re just a short way in to the new season and already we’ve been involved in a controversy after our disappointing abandonment at Wycombe Wanderers last Saturday.
To have a 3-1 lead after 66 minutes snatched away due to circumstances beyond your control is unbelievably cruel. We were undeserving of such bad luck. You can understand a lead being lost when it’s the fault of the team or certain individuals but when there is absolutely nothing that could have been done to prevent it it’s horrible.
For the management, players, directors and supporters of the club it was an incredibly frustrating afternoon.
As one of the Gasheads at the game I can only really describe the experience using an old football cliche; it was a tale of two halves. In the opening period I thoroughly enjoyed the football Rovers were serving up and I’d witnessed 3 excellent goals.
For the first time in a long while I went in to half-time feeling confident that we’d win the game. My optimism, however, was washed away in the second half and was replaced with bewilderment as the heavens opened and a storm hit Buckinghamshire.
Playing conditions were difficult and eventually the game was abandoned, for reasons that are now being investigated, and Rovers left Adams Park empty handed.
Aside from my obvious disappointment for the team for being denied their first 3 points of the season, I felt particularly gutted for Eliot Richards who scored two stunning goals in 2 first half minutes.
Mark McGhee threw down the gauntlet to Eliot encouraging him to take his chance in the first team and to prove he can be a regular goalscorer. He’d done his chances no harm and his scintillating display would have accentuated the faith his manager has in his ability.
Unfortunately it all counted for nothing and technically he is yet to score his first goals of the season. The hope will be that he is now more determined to correct that stat by netting a goal or two against Morecambe at the Mem on Saturday.
The one thing we can take from the game that never was against Wycombe is the performance. We were superb. We outplayed a team away from home and could quite feasibly have scored more in the second half had the game been allowed to continue.
Such a commanding display can only boost confidence levels and heading in to a triple header of home games in the next week that can only be a good thing. If we can earn back-to-back league wins on consecutive Saturday afternoons and book ourselves a spot in the second round of the JPT next Tuesday, we can feel as though our season has finally kicked-off.
I saw enough in our hour of football last weekend to suggest that when on form our starting eleven can cause any team we face plenty of problems.
Having said that we’ll get punished if we allow ourselves to believe we’re better than any opponents without proving it on the pitch first - something McGhee is making clear to the players. Complacency will not be accepted anywhere within the club this season which is a refreshing change as we may have been guilty of it at times last season.
Morecambe will get the respect they deserve on Saturday as they’re a decent side but we should fear no-one and our intention has to be to come out as victors.
Get behind the team and we’ll see the rewards.
Up the Gas!