Second Thoughts… Kettering Town 15.8.09

The shambolic nature of my match report last night kind of summed up the first part of my day on Saturday. The coach journey I am prepared to put down to incredible bad luck, for example when was the last time an official coach failed to make kick off? Yet there were errors made, by both Wimbledon and Kettering, that could have prevented the delays we experienced both on the journey and on arrival at the ground.

It was well publicised that the departure time had been moved forward by half an hour, but it didn’t seem enough as the coach also ran into traffic between Kingston and Hampton Court. The two traffic delays were not helped by the coach getting stuck behind a Combine Harvester for a good few miles, and you can only imagine our frustration at being forced to drive around the ground the long way due to a low bridge. On arrival there was nobody on hand to guide the coach to the away turnstiles, consequently Dons fans went on a wild goose-chase looking for the away section.

As well as this, the reaction of the Kettering stewards was absolutely awful. Upon noticing a frantic group of Dons fans waving tickets and asking to be let in they… did absolutely nothing for a good five minutes. Then a fat steward came down to the gates promising to ‘let us in in a minute’, before moaning that ‘it wasn’t my fault you were late’… like it had anything to do with us!

Eventually we were allowed through the gates, although the steward made out he was doing us some kind of massive favour. The whole thing could have been sorted out a lot quicker for my liking by simply coming down, opening the gates, and letting us in. Kettering and the police would have been aware that two coaches had travelled, and I cannot believe someone miscounted when the first one arrived (apparently only twenty minutes late).

Kettering seem to be the sort of club who are aiming for the League, but will find themselves lacking if they continue with this typical Non-League attitude towards organisation which, as we have seen on many occasions, tends more often than not to be best described as ‘shambolic’.

The Kettering philosophy of overcharging has been covered in great detail elsewhere, and I only want to add… originally I thought 80p was quite good value for a bottle of coke. Until the guy in the refreshments took the cap off and poured it into a tiny cup! A bottle of coke at Kingsmeadow is (I believe) £1.20… three servings from one bottle at Kettering adds up to £2.40…

Anyway… enough about Kettering. More about the Dons. Now I suppose you’ll be thinking as I didn’t see half the game, it would be unfair for me to mark the players… and you’ll be right. But I’m going to do it anyway…

Pullen    6

Conroy    7

Hussey    6

Gregory    7

Lorraine    7

Johnson    7

Hatton    6

Taylor    6

Kedwell    8

Main    5

Moore    6

SUBS

Judge    6

Duncan    6

As you can see the marks have risen due to the improved performance away from home. Jon Main seemed to be having a tough time of it, but worked hard at the start of the second half, so I thought it best not to mark him down too much. Kedwell had an immense performance, holding the ball up, bringing the midfield into play, and therefore earns the highest individual mark I have given so far.

While we seem to be having a few difficulties taking a firm grip on games, we are proving to have a defence that is hard to break down, and seem very dangerous on the counter. Yet to take some pressure off ourselves we really need to start stamping our authority on games, especially at home.

While a poor start doesn’t make a season, stringing a few results together now will take the pressure off us later in the year. I’m sure we are all hoping for a couple of decent cup runs (and not just in the Surrey Senior…), and not having to worry about league form will certainly help in this aspect. Unless of course we overdo it, and end up challenging for a playoff place or something stupid…

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