Those of us with a fully functioning brain have an inbuilt reality filter so strong that no matter how lucid a dream we have had the night before, we can make the distinction between that and reality within a fraction of a second of waking up. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who woke this morning and thought of the night before ‘hang on, something here doesn’t add up…’.
Last night was slightly surreal… while all those goals were flying in I was of course loving every moment, but there was a little voice in the back of my head screaming ‘This isn’t right! This shouldn’t be happening in a play off semi-final!’. Ok, not quite everything about the performance was perfect – Seb Brown was called on far too often for my liking, and despite their abject showing 6-1 was a little rough on Fleetwood – but the result was, and the confidence it will bring not just the playing staff, but us supporters, could be invaluable come 21st May.
I just wish I had a bit more of that confidence before the game kicked off. Things weren’t quite as bad as Friday night, the two goal advantage was defintely a huge comfort, but I still had a few nerves in the build up. Not that I didn’t have faith in our boys to finish the job off, but one of the first rules you learn in football is if something can go wrong, it invariably will (as you have no doubt experienced yourself, this rule is normally learned the hard way at a young age…).
Twenty-seven seconds was all it took for the butterflies to evaporate. A high ball over the top into the right corner, you just knew Mo would nick it off Gregan even given a five year head start. The portly stopper knew the gig was up despite a half hearted attempt to get a handful of Mohamed’s shirt, and as Mohamed finished and headed off to celebrate, the KRE gave Gregan the full on Royston Brown entrance treatment… memories of his Friday night challenge on Gwillim still fresh in the memory.
When I said ‘butterflies to evaporate’ I naturally meant ‘jump on the person next to you’… I’m fairly certain this was the point my match programme and copy of the WUP vacated my back pocket, never to return. Still, maybe if I mention it on my blog someone at the WUP will email me a copy (HINT). From this point on we were treated to the most enjoyable football experience I can remember for quite some time.
Fleetwood played their part, and deserve credit for pushing forward and trying to take something from the tie, even if it was just a consolation tapped in when five goals down. To be fair, they might have stood a chance had Micky Mellon not skipped over the chapter marked ‘Game Plans and Why Its Important To Have One’ in his copy of the Big Book of Soccer Coaching. I’m all for sides playing their own game, but Fleetwood seemed to go out of their way to allow Wimbledon to play to their strengths, and the Dons took full advantage.
That last paragraph wasn’t intended to devalue the Dons performance. If the lads can replicate that sort of form against Luton we stand a fantastic chance of playing League football next season. In the past, Dons sides have frozen on the big occasion, but in the biggest two games of the AFC era our side have played without fear. If we can take that attitude with us to Eastlands… well, we stand a chance.