Where else to start this column, but by talking about the games against Forest Green on Boxing and New Year’s Day?! Starting with the Plainmoor cracker; it was actually quite a tight game in the first half, before it went absolutely wild in the second. The celebrating in Bristow’s at a three goal lead was followed by head in hands stuff at three all (why do they do this to us?!). However the lads were not done and dusted, and got a huge three points in front of a big and noisy crowd. Games surely don’t come much more exciting or stressful?!
Well actually they do! The crazy New Year’s Day return match had everything (apart from a winner). Every other shot seemed to find the net, and credit to Forest Green who would not be beaten; even at 5-3 down. It was unbelievable really, and apparently our first ever 5 all score-line. These matches instantly go down as ‘United classics’, and I hope the excitement will inspire a decent attendance today for the visit of Boreham Wood.
Two players get special mentions from me: Sparkes and Fitzpatrick. Both of these guys were exceptional, and gave Forest Green all sorts of problems with their skill and movement. Fitzy took a bit of time to settle at Plainmoor, but now he’s catching fire. Pace and width has given our attack a new lease of life; hopefully the confidence going forward can continue today (preferably without the goals conceded!).
I think both games showed our potential in this division, but also illustrated how the squad needs boosting in January. Fingers crossed Nico is backed with some extra budget to do just that. Personally I think some experienced guys could make all the difference – the kind of players who can keep their calm when the pressure is on (like when you are 3-0 or 5-3 up!).
My hopes for the year for us can be summed up in three words: STABILITY, IMPROVEMENT and INVESTMENT. We have been a club at a crosswords going the wrong way for far too long, and it would be lovely to get to the end of 2017 in a sound position; both financially and in the league. I’m sure there will be ups and downs, (with the odd crisis thrown in naturally) but let’s hope we can push on in the next 12 months.
Anyway I hope your new year’s resolutions include visiting Plainmoor and cheering on the boys; after all we proved over Xmas we are ‘Box Office’ didn’t we?!
Come on you yellows and Happy New Year to all!