Braintree Preview

We’ve all had a rest from football, or at least the Dons (surely the only football worth bothering with…), for the best part of two weeks. This blog certainly went into slumberland, I did attempt to start writing a post I entitled Nothing Much Is Going On, but by the time I had commented on the weather and thrown in a few lame jokes, I realised there was genuinely nothing going on, and abandoned the project. Ironically I could have been working on my Xmas WUP article, but as I completely forgot it’ll have to wait until I’ve written this, and as I haven’t even got an angle on it yet I wouldn’t hold out too much hope for a quality effort…

Putting that minor insight into the writing of TAD and associated projects to one side for a moment, we finally have a game to get excited about. Braintree at home in the Trophy wouldn’t normally get the heart pumping, but they are after all top of the division below us in a competition that can provide us with our only hope of playing at Wembley this year. Plus you should all have got the Xmas shopping done last week, no excuses, I want to see at least 2,000 of you in TCRRFSKM come 3pm Saturday. Hopefully still remaining in the ground at 4.45…

In my Luton preview I mentioned how the game being postponed should be regarded as a Good Thing, yet the York postponement placed a slightly different angle on it. Having two games to catch up on might make you start to think that losing on Saturday will be no bad thing. I on the other hand disagree, in fact I disagree greatly. Theres no substitute in the game to winning football matches, and you have to ask the question that if the squad aren’t capable of playing an extra 6-8 games between now and May without dropping out of the promotion picture, then perhaps they don’t deserve to be in the race to start with. Maybe the young boys will get tired, maybe they’ll lose it mentally, but either way it’ll be experience earned. We’ll begin again next season and be stronger for it.

In the mean time, theres no value in wrapping the players in cotton wool. I hope, as he has suggested, Brown will put out a strong side for this, win it, and go on to have a solid run in the tournament, maybe even win the whole thing? Why not? Theres no-one in this division we should be afraid of in a one-off encounter, and our Cup no-shows against higher ranked teams won’t affect us as, well, for the time being there isn’t a club in the competition above us. Name your strongest side as promised, Terry, let’s have a decent performance and see us through to the next round (for which we already have a free weekend lined up), and we’ll see where we go from there. Cue TAD advising everyone ‘this is a blessing in disguise’ in my match report after we get turned over on Saturday.

Having said that, Braintree obviously aren’t going to stand to one side and say ‘There you go chaps. Easy passage to the next round this way…’. As our games against Ebbsfleet showed, the quality in the division is there, especially when they are right up for the game. And just as I write this – well, several hours earlier actually. I wrote the first few paragraphs at lunchtime and resumed this evening from ‘And just as I write this…’ (see if you can spot the join…). Anyway, as I wrote this, Terry Brown has popped up in the Surrey Herald warning us all not to underestimate Braintree. He also mentions on the O/S how the plan is to get to Wembley, as ‘the play-off final is in Manchester this year’… kind of giving away the belief I think we all share that Crawley or Luton or both will end up running away from us at some stage soon.

Anyway, in terms of a potential Dons lineup, its pretty much full strength with the exception of Ed Harris finally getting to serve his suspension, Brett Johnson still injured but looking, like Jesus, at a Christmas comeback. Oh fuck, hang on, Jesus was Easter, wasn’t he? Ok, Johnson is planning a Jesus like comeback, but at Christmas, not Easter. And to round-up more recent team news, Sammy Moore has twinged his groin, while Lee Minshull has recovered from his broken toe only to cry off with a note from his mom or something. His punishment is featuring in next weeks 0-1 reverse at Dulwich in the LSC. Punishment indeed, for I have every intention of being at Dulwich on Wednesday night. No excuses here. It is Wednesday, right???

TADs predicted lineup – Brown; Hatton, Blackman, Yakubu, Franks; Gregory, Yussuff, Moore (either, depending on who is fit); Jolley, Kedwell, Jackson

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