Tag Archives: Salisbury City

Salisbury at St(e)ake

Yesterday there were a few unofficial murmurs that something big was going on at Salisbury, and an announcement was going to be made today. Now I didn’t think much of it at the time as the ‘confirmation’ seemed to come from that most reliable of sources, a players Facebook status. Yet this morning, the news was out – Salisbury will play no part in the Conference next season.

Despite their financial problems last season, Salisbury would have finished above the Dons had they not been deducted ten points for entering administration – and their failure to fully satisfy their debtors by the leagues deadline has done for them. It’s hard to have too much sympathy for them in that respect – as far as I remember there was more than one ‘We Need £100K by Thursday or We’re F***ed’ style appeal that took place on their behalf last term.

Now I have no idea how much the debt was that took Salisbury down – if it was in the hundreds of thousands and they were waiting on a knight in shining armour to ride along and save them, but if it was touch and go its strange they didn’t do more to cut their wage bill beforehand… they could have cashed in on Matt Tubbs, who went on to become the leagues joint top scorer, back in January. Plus Danny Webb’s head is useable as a 50 pence piece in every vending machine in the UK…

To be honest I have a great deal more sympathy for Grays plight at the moment. Grays ‘voluntary relegation’ seems to have taken them down to the Essex Senior League thanks to the Ryman League deciding they just didn’t like the look of them… perhaps they had their top button open, shirt tales showing, or even (shock) they weren’t wearing a tie… Either way, that’s not the point. As a part of the pyramid, they are there to take teams whether they like them or not… and I bet they wouldn’t be falling back on obscure rules relating to application dates had it been a tea like Woking in the same position…

Back to the Ryman Premier, we are now a club short, and it seems certain that Forest Green Rovers will be invited back into the division to make the numbers up. Relegation on the last day of the season hurt FGR, although a reprieve will certainly make potential owners sit up and take notice after the “Numerous revenue streams with high growth potential, including conferencing, weddings, a gym and leisure centre and public house… oh, and a Football Club” was recently hawked in the FT.

All of this will certainly make followers of Ebbsfleet sit up and take notice, as although there is only a short time until the AGM, which will effectively lock everyone into position for another year, that’s a long time in football – and especially this particular level of football. Even though most clubs are looking pretty solid at the moment, like Salisbury we c ould be hit by a bombshell at any moment…

NB – Apologies for the title. My wife made me do it…

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400 Minutes

Sorry for the delay in writing. The Anonymous Don is technically closed for Christmas, yet as I forgot to post a message advising that plenty of you have been returning waiting for an update, perhaps visualising me dead in a ditch somewhere…

The Christmas close down has come early as I am off to the States for two weeks two days before the Crawley game, and I have to get quite a lot of things done in the meantime. So the blog will return, relaunched in the New Year, in the mean time I will endeavour to keep as up to date as possible with intermediate updates such as this.

Last time I wrote, if you can remember back that far, was a 0-1 home defeat to playoff rivals York, and since Michael Rankine’s sixty-third minute strike in that game young Sebastian Brown has gone approximately four hundred minutes without picking the ball out of his net (including various time added on at half/full-time, for those of you who came up with 387 minutes…).

After York I really felt we had run into just the right opponents at the right time. Ebbsfleet had shown some resilience against us earlier in the season, but any fears Dons fans might have had of an embarrassing home defeat would have been put aside after only minutes. We were never going to have trouble against a side that gifted us possession so freely, even at our worst we don’t give the ball away so easily from start to finish!

Despite this I feel we made the trip to Kidderminster more in hope than expectation, but our hosts seemed to have the sort of bad day we had for their visit a month previously. With Moore and Taylor buzzing around Kedwell, the trio of Hendry, Wellard and Gregory took hold of the midfield and ran the game. Hendry has been an inspired signing, the missing piece of the jigsaw almost, and any possibility of turning this arrangement into something more permanent will only have a positive effect on Wimbledon’s playoff chances.

Although Danny Kedwells expertly taken goal was enough to settle the game, the Dons missed further chances that could have ended the match as a contest much earlier than the final whistle. How Jon Main failed to head home from yards out I don’t know, especially with hundreds of Wimbledon supporters behind the goal trying to suck it in. Either way, Wimbledon played some good football, and it was a real pleasure to make the journey to watch such a performance.

With two wins under our belts, my football (or more accurately Wimbledon) head told me the trick to Salisbury would be a lot harder than the League table suggested. I couldn’t make the game due to work commitments but it seems in tough conditions this really could have been a banana skin. Congratulations to the boys for coming home with the points, and even bigger congratulations to the hundreds of Dons fans who made the trip, despite not being too far away it was just long enough a journey for me to be unable to juggle my own commitments, so well done those of you who did.

Which brings us to Gateshead. This was a side in form against a relatively unknown quantity, and Wimbledon put them away with minimal fuss. Steven Gregory looked as though the last thing he wanted to do was strike left footed as he skipped past two defenders, if anything this probably made him think a little more about how he hit the ball. If it was on his right foot we may have seen it fly over the bar but instead his effort dipped over the keeper, finding the net via the underside of the bar.

Still it wasn’t the most watchable of games, mainly down to the referees ability to blow his whistle whenever there was any danger of some football breaking out. He cancelled out Kedwells strike early in the second half after Kedwell had brushed off an attempted rugby tackle by the last man. Fortunately even he couldn’t miss the challenge that scythed down Elliott Godfrey on the hour, allowing Ricky Wellard to stroke a free kick around the wall into the corner.

An other good day at the office for Wimbledon, but where does this leave us? We have gone from mid-table to just two points off the playoffs and above contenders such as Luton and Kidderminster in little over a week. In these circumstances it’s a shame we have to break for cup games, but thats football I suppose. If we were facing Crawley in Tuesday instead of Ash, I would have felt we would have gone with confidence and taken home the points.

Instead we have a two-week wait, and will perhaps have to regain momentum depending on what sort of side is named for the Boreham Wood game next week. Crawley is a tricky place to go as we found out when we visited for our cup game, yet I think after our ten man victory in the replay we might just have sussed them out. Another clean sheet should mean another victory, as I listen in from afar…

After the York game I think I wasn’t the only one to believe we really needed a Chris Hussey replacement but the back four seems to have gelled. We now have four defenders who could play centre half if required, meaning our full backs aren’t exposed to high balls over the top. Even when Hatton fills in at right back we look solid against an aerial bombardment. Yet this hasn’t had an effect on how we pass the ball around, perhaps fortunate that we have players such as Judge and Johnson who are as comfortable with the ball at their feet as they are attacking it in the air. Sure if a Hussey-clone becomes available in January I say we sign him, but if the right player isn’t available we should stick with what we have – and that includes making more use of Derek Duncan in this position.

It seems like Terry Browns plan is coming together. At the beginning of the season we anticipated encounters with our opponents by highlighting their dangermen, so it is good to know that sides who play us are now looking beyond Kedwell and Main (brilliant though they are!) and highlighting the likes of Gregory, Moore, even Wellard as stand out performers.

Yes, despite our recent run of form we probably won’t have the consistency this year to make the playoffs. If we do we will come unstuck against the experience of a York or Stevenage over two legs, but even missing out completely will be ok so long as the progression and momentum that has been built up continues throughout the campaign.

I remember a few scoffers writing off the likes of Wellard, Gregory and of course Hatton at the start of the season. All of those players have shown a huge improvement. In fact even the more ‘mature’ players have improved their game. Plus as a unit they are coming together all the time, as the side start to exceed the value of its parts as even the best sides should.

Moving onto the two cup games, its good to hear that Terry Brown will be taking a strong side down to Ash on Tuesday. Despite no longer technically being a first team competition, the county cups will be more than useful for giving our fringe players a run-out. With the size of our squad and the poor quality of opposition our reserves face, going all the way in both of these competitions would see two of these fixtures a month until the end of the season.

Plus the Ash assistant manager is Matt Everard. Reason if any to get yourself down there on Tuesday night!

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Second Thoughts… Salisbury Ratings…

I’m playing catch up right now…

Pullen    7

Garrard    6

Hussey    7

Gregory    7

Lorraine    7

Johnson    7

Hatton    6

Wellard    6

Kedwell    8

Main    5

Moore    9

SUBS

Judge    6

Taylor    7

Duncan    6

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AFC Wimbledon 4 Salisbury City 0 – A Match Report

Strange as it may sound, I left the stadium ever so slightly disappointed this evening… I wanted to hear Hawaii 5-0 over the tannoy! Although the habit of playing music after goals shouldn’t be encouraged I suppose… Not when we now seem to have kicked that one… 

5-0 would have been hugely unfair on a spirited Salisbury team who made life difficult for Wimbledon despite the disadvantage of being down to ten men, and were only killed off by a couple of Dons goals in a mad final minute of normal time, when tiredness lead to a couple of individual errors.

On a lovely evening for watching football, Dons fans turned up in their droves for our first night game, and return after two tough games on the road. Again I missed kickoff, this time standing in a vast queue for season ticket holders, before realising that one of our group needed to pay cash and heading for the much shorter normal turnstiles. I only missed a couple of minutes and to be fair the game was just bedding in (so there are no excuses for a poor report today!).

And some people were still entering the stadium eleven minutes in, thankfully not missing a moment of brilliance by Luke Moore. He picked up the ball just inside the Salisbury half, ran towards goal, and as the Salisbury defence backed off let fly with a right foot shot from fully thirty yards out that curled away from the keeper and into the top right hand corner of the goal.

Now Luke Moore has been threatening to do something like that since he first pulled on a Wimbledon shirt, but this superb strike was just the beginning of as fine an individual performance as I can remember seeing over the past few years. Going forward, especially on the break, everything seemed to go through Moore. Moore however, was simply the cherry on the cake of a magnificent team performance.

Salisbury didn’t manage an effort on target all evening, their first chance falling on the quarter hour was blazed well over. The ball was immediately sent down field and some poor defensive positioning led to Jon Main finding the ball at his feet running through the left channel and into the box. Unfortunately Main hesitated when he could have shot immediately, and the chance was spurned.

Salisbury may have had problems at the back, but they still caused the Dons some problems going forwards, Matt Tubbs failing to finish a well worked move on the right with a clean strike, instead screwing wide of the near post from the edge of the penalty are on twenty minutes. This was the last shaky moment the Dons defence had in the first half, the remainder belonging almost completely to Wimbledon.

Luke Moore showed how he can create a chance from nearly nothing midway through the half, taking a ball out of the sky onto his chest before whipping a lovely ball across the face of the Salisbury goal. I can only imagine neither Main or Kedwell really expected to see such a quality ball arrive as neither of them were in a position to attack the ball. Once again it shouldn’t take long for either of them to click on to the way Moore plays, and sensing a low ball rather than hanging back to attack a high cross would have resulted in a tap in for either frontmen.

Ricky Wellard had been given the chance of a first start, and played well enough. The game seemed to pass him by at some points, yet he worked hard, once he gets up to speed in this division he could prove a great signing. On one occasion he did chose the wrong option, on 27 minutes when he found the ball at his feet thirty yards out and tried a Luke Moore type effort of his own. This sadly flew high and wide, when he could have taken an easier option by playing in Hussey down the left, who had been beating his man for fun. I don’t begrudge him choosing to strike at goal, the fact he felt the confidence to do so will benefit him the day he hits one and it does fly in.

In fact the only real weak link (and its arguable that we even had one) was turning out to be Jon Main. He doesn’t seem to be working on instincts at the moment. Whether it is the higher standard of defending, or he is just getting use to new team mates, I don’t know. But he seems to be short of confidence right now, shown earlier in the half and on the half hour mark when he was sent clear by a flick down the left. Held up by his man, he delayed playing the obvious ball to Moore, who was free inside him. This threw Moore slightly, to the point that when the ball arrived to him he seemed to have got there before it, causing him to stumble on striking and seeing the ball bobble wide of the left post.

Main was to curse his ponderous nature in the penalty area once more five minutes before half time. Moore slipped him in and clear on goal, yet once more he failed to pull the trigger early and found himself robbed of the ball by a fantastic last ditch challenge. Fortunately for the Dons, Sam Hatton was on hand to pick up the pieces, but he too elected not to hit it first time. Instead he cut back inside, taking the last defender out of play completely but also knocking the ball away from goal slightly, meaning when he reached the ball and shot with his left foot, keeper Bittner had closed him down, getting enough on the shot for it to loop up and bounce just wide of the left post.

If the Dons fans thought they saw entertainment in the first half, well they were in for a treat during the second… although not always for the purest of football reasons… The fun began in the 47th minute, well the fun began for everyone except Sean Clohessy – he had to be substituted with a rather nasty head injury. His replacement was every-ones favourite former Dons target man Danny Webb, now reborn as a defender at Salisbury (mind you, Danny did do a fantastic job of keeping the ball out of the net during his Wimbledon days….).

No sooner had Webb made his entrance than Jon Main almost made his exit prematurely. Picking the ball up on the half way line, perhaps a bit of his frustration came to a head as he overhit the ball and flew in over the top with both feet raised. Perhaps realising Main, as a forward, has absolutely no idea how to tackle, the referee showed leniency and only showed a yellow card. If the official had seen any kind of malice in the frontmans challenge however, the second half could have turned out a whole lot differently for Wimbledon.

One thing I have said recently about Main is at least he is finding himself on the end of goalscoring opportunities. A player who is perhaps unfairly cited as doing nothing for 89 minutes then scoring will find himself criticised for not hitting the back of the net. Yet if you watch him closely he does buzz around the oppositions back four, perhaps not winning possession himself too often but certainly pressuring defenders enough to hustle them into allowing our midfield to pick the ball up easier.

The only photo I took that cameout...

The only photo I took that came out...

Yet like Kedwell, this is just the bare minimum we should expect from Main. Unlike Kedwell he doesn’t bring other players into the game and create chances almost out of nothing by sheer willpower alone. He showed these qualities to create Mains last contribution to the evening, picking up the ball wide right before beating his man, using his strength to hold him off before whipping in a decent cross. Main, just inside the area, could only direct it wide of the near post having throwing himself at the ball and perhaps getting a little too much on it.

As soon as was practically possible after the hour mark, Terry Brown made his usual change. Main found himself hauled off once more, and it is perhaps telling that the only time a substitution has worked in his favour was when he was brought on to change the game against Luton. Ricky Wellard was also sacrificed after an important hour of experience gained, replaced by Derek Duncan and Lewis Taylor to exploit the wide areas.

The changes seemed to spark Salisbury into life, and they spurned their best effort of the night. A free kick given following an immaculate Sam Hatton challenge was drilled just wide of the top right corner by an unidentified Salisbury man (hey… at least I’m honest about it…). Then came, from another freekick – this time from deep, a chance for Danny Webb, attacking the ball from the left side of the area and knocking a looping header just wide of the right post.

Just as it seemed Salisbury were about to gain a foothold on the game, they fell apart in the 70th minute. As their defence pushed forward, a Derek Duncan through ball saw Luke Moore rush clear, round Bittnerbefore being cut down by the goalkeeper. A penalty, but maybe worse for the visitors was the referee chose not to ignore this particular red card offence. Salisbury are running with a very small squad at the moment, so a substitute goalkeeper wasn’t an option.

Instead, to the delight of the vast midweek crowd, Danny Webb took the gloves and jersey (slightly too small jersey) and stood up to Danny Kedwell. The Dons hitman hit a penalty way too good for Webb, who perhaps found himself a little dazzled by the situation, watching the ball fly low and hard to his right. 2-0 Wimbledon, and at that stage it seemed as though a Luke Moore driven Dons could get any number of goals in the last twenty minutes.

Instead Salisbury regrouped, and were professional about the task in hand. In fact they looked the better side for periods in the last twenty. Wimbledon grew frustrated, chasing shadows, Lewis Taylor needlessly booked for a late challenge, and Derek Duncan was penalised for a strong challenge with his elbow raised to the opponents head – once more if the referee had seen this from a different angle he may have chosen to punish Duncan slightly more than just issuing a free kick against him.

Webb’s big moment came on 82 minutes. Another Kedwell run down the right lead to him knocking a tantalising cross low across the six yard box. Taylor missed it at the near, but it looked odds on Hatton would slam it home at the far a la his Wycombe Cup goal last season. However Webb got over brilliantly to keep out his left foot effort, as Wimbledon fans started to feel perhaps they wouldn’t be seeing any more goals on this occasion.

After a period of further frustration, which saw Ben Judge flash an effort from 30 yards low across the face of goal and just wide of the left post, Wimbledon added to their tally in the last minute of normal time. A hopeful Duncan ball over the top found Kedwell, who spun past his man perhaps a little too easily. Against a regular goalkeeper his heavy second touch would have been picked up, but Webb looked like a small animal caught in the headlights of a juggernaut, too late moving forward and allowing Kedwell to stab across him into the far corner for his fourth of the season.

Almost from the restart, and as the fourth official was preparing to show stoppage time on the board, Moore robbed a Salisbury man, ran on and tucked the ball seemingly through Webb and into the back of the net. Finally Wimbledon had made the most of their man advantage, and lack of experience between the sticks.

There was time for another scare to the Salisbury goal as a Ben Judge up and under spilled out of Webb’s hands and onto his head, somehow remaining there for what seemed like several seconds as he spun on the spot trying to locate it. He finished this circus trick by recovering and gratefully clutching the ball. It almost finished on a huge downer for the Dons, as Kedwell pulled up in the corner as if he had strained something – he managed to walk off albeit gingerly, raising hopes that perhaps all was not as bad as Wimbledon heads may fear.

Positive thinking may be what is required from Dons fans – 24 hours later there is no news on the injury (although I have heard that’s supposed to be good news…). Yet losing Kedwell will be like playing with ten men at the moment. While Moore and Taylor are equally strong at holding the ball up and bringing others into play, neither has the extra dimension of being an aerial outlet. Plus with or without Kedwell, Saturdays trip to Altrincham will be tough. We must see three points from places like this as a bonus rather than an expectation, which brings home the importance of decent home form.

Wimbledon added to their tally tonight, and did so in style. If clubs like Salisbury can be dispatched with such minimal fuss, we aren’t going to have any worries. In fact, some people have already started to talk of the playoffs – a little too early perhaps, but as I have said previously, we do not need to fear failure… or ambition. In fact, a little bit of expectation may not be a bad thing for our young side to experience right now…

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Conference Score! Tuesday 18th August ’09

AFC Wimbledon    (1) 4    Moore (12, 90), Kedwell (71,89)

Salisbury City    (0) 0

A hugely enjoyable night to be a Dons fan! The impeccable Luke Moore grabbed two goals and pulled all the strings, earning the penalty that lead to Salisbury keeper Bittner receiving a red card. Ex-Dons striker turned centre half Danny Webb took over goalkeeping duties, conceding three, in front of a bumper midweek crowd of 3,591.

Wimbledon move up to 6th in the early season table. Report to follow…

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AFC Wimbledon v Salisbury City – A Match Preview

salisburyDanny Webb. Performing brilliantly for Salisbury as a centre half. I SHIT YOU NOT. I thought someone was having a windup on the Old Centrals when I was doing a bit of research (read – hoping someone had posted a couple of links therefore doing my research for me…). So I immediately rushed to the first Salisbury forum I could find.

And there they were. Comments with no hint of irony, such as…

My MOM Danny Webb controlled performance at the back…

Super Danny Webb! Webby’s a legend!!!!!

And strangely…

He’s big he’s white Pays Women to Strip at night Danny Webb Danny Webb

I don’t know why, but this makes me feel strangely superior to Salisbury and their supporters. Surely this is not the same Webb that lumbered about making Ryman League defenders look impressive? How bad must the rest of their team be?! Of course, this is probably some plan to lull us all into a false sense of security, as we roll into TCRRFSKM expecting to see Main and Kedwell absolutely fill their boots, perhaps with young Rapson making his debut towards the end – when what will actually happen will be a nasty surprise to us all?

We all remember when Webb made his cameo in last seasons demolition of Havant – we cheered his every touch, he was that useless. He was held up by many a commentator as an example of how far we had progressed last season. I can only imagine what kind of spiritual encounter he must of had to turn his career around in the manner these Salisbury fans are suggesting. Forget Jesus… this must have had something to do with aliens…

Salisbury themselves were regarded by us as a model club only a year or so ago when Erik went to visit them to pick up some pointers as to some of the problems clubs at higher levels face. Unfortunately after that the economic downturn hit them hard, forcing them to slash their budget in mid-season after losing a number of backers. Good management (in both financial and football terms) plus the implosion of a number of clubs below them meant Salisbury avoided the drop, and they have had a decent start this year… with Chesters 25 point deduction effectively turning the relegation race into a worst-of-three Salisbury will be confident they will have too much for the likes of Hayes, Gateshead and the like. A decent prediction for them this season would be lower-midtable, but a possible takeover and financial fun and games elsewhere could see them finish comfortably above relegation drama.

The thing that is bothering me most about the Salisbury game (apart from Danny Webb…) is the amount of room Salisbury have been allocated just for 100 or so travelling fans… I thought when small visiting support was expected the segregation could be moved to allow Dons fans to stand on the KRE? Plus I’m not sure how many tickets have been sold, or what sort of walk up they are expecting, but this means the total capacity for Dons fans is 4000. Two sections of the ground are completely sold out, with remaining tickets on sale for the John Smith.

I would imagine we would get an impressive crowd tomorrow night. Bear in mind all of those who missed out on Luton, for whatever reason, will be wanting to come tonight, and the fact that the kids are still on holiday, meaning there will be no problem with late nights, and we should be looking at 3500 minimum. Which should set a benchmark for midweek games.

It would have been an idea to allow the Dons fans to spread round a bit, and allow us to benefit from the improved atmosphere which we missed out on against Luton, and will against Oxford, Wrexham and Cambridge. I understand most of the changes that have been made this season. I even understand why, when the new turnstiles are eventually built, visiting supporters will be housed at the Tempest End end of the John Smiths. But this I cannot understand. We were told we would get the opportunity to stand on the KRE when low numbers of visitors were expected… perhaps Erik will explain why in the programme tomorrow?

Oh, and people say I’m fixated on our crowds… that poll is still running by the way…

On to the Dons, more importantly how we will line up. So according to Terry, we will make one or two changes against Salisbury. Trying to guess who these changes will be is difficult but not impossible. For example we may see Ben Judge get a start, and Ricky Wellard come in for his debut (the mindless minority in the JSS are just going to love him, I can tell…). The lineup I have gone for is as follows;

Pullen

Conroy

Hussey

Lorraine

Johnson

Gregory

Duncan

Taylor

Wellard

Kedwell

Moore

Perhaps this is more in hope than expectation, but I would like to see Luke Moore given a runout up front. Terry has used him predominately on the left so far, but he impressed up front during pre-season, so maybe, just maybe, we might see him start there tonight

 A win would be a great springboard to push on in this division. Despite the strength of opposition we face at home over the next month or so, it would be great to come through that with a reputation of being hard to beat at home. A victory tonight would set this up nicely, and with points available on our trips away from Kingsmeadow there is everything to play for before the end of September.

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The General Specific (Wednesday 8th July ’09)

Its just a matter of days now until we see our lads step out onto the pitch (for a maximum of 45 minutes each, of course), as Wycombe areset to visit TCRRFSKM come Saturday. The first of four (four?!) home pre-season games kicks off at 3pm, and you can expect full match coverage from myself (well, unless my lack of internet gets in the way…) starting with a match preview on Friday (or perhaps tomorrow???).

I think we will see a fair attendance of around 1200 as inquisitive Dons fans gather for a first glimpse of our new heroes. On paper the gap between ourselves and Wycombe is still the same as it was when we met back in November, however the difference between a BSS club and a League 2 club against the difference between a BSP and a League 1 club is probably a bit smaller, so we should be seeing a decent game… Awww, who am I trying to kid? It’ll be played at half pace, our players will be able to pass the ball around a bit, we may even score. But anything else that happens is irrelevant… unless one of our lads suffers from a case of the Lewis Taylor’s…

In other news Terry Brown seems to be acting as Brett Johnson’s agent, so keen is he to let everyone know that while Johnson is training with us, he is yet to sign a contract. Brett is currently the property of the PFA (as it is they who are paying his July wages), and will only sign a contract with us in August. If of course no potential suitor notices the press he has been receiving and decides to step in with a better offer. To be honest, Johnson is unlikely to sign for a BSP rival unless one of ‘your Lutons or your Oxfords’ weigh in with a bid. Everyone else would probably have to offer serious cash to part him from Terry Brown once more.

The SLP came up with the non-story of the week advising we will not be signing Brighton striker Jonny Dixon. It was all a bit tame really, Brown spoke to him but we already have ‘that type of striker’. The SLP could have sexed it up a little more if they had thought of it, for example ‘DONS SNUB LEAGUE ONE HITMAN’ would have been closer to the mark – essentially that’s what happened. Brown spoke to him, he didn’t want to sign him, therefore he snubbed him. That’s how football works kids… at least as far as tabloid journalism is concerned.

Finally, our beloved gaffer has revealed to the press that ‘Luton… are red-hot title favourites’, something most of us believe anyway (although I will consistently argue the opposite, if only to play devils advocate… don’t get me wrong they’ll be up there, I just think its going to be a lot harder than they think…). If this was an effort to drum up interest in our opening day fixture I don’t think its required. Remember less than 5000 can fit in the ground, it would have sold out whoever we played and with it being Luton… I think we need to tone down the hyperbole and perhaps start concentrating our efforts on encouraging those who are unlucky enough not to get tickets for the Luton game to turn up for our midweek clash on the 18th August. After all our three home games after this are going to be pretty big draws too, especially if we have anything like a good start.

Ill start to ball rolling…. I think, despite their problems last season, Salisbury are going to crap all over this division… it’s going to be a real clash of the titans on the 18th August, so make sure you get yourself down there… Actually I’m probably approaching it from the wrong angle. How about… Look, our first five home games are going to be really hard, best to turn up on the 18th August as its probably our best chance of a home win…

Finally, breaking news has reached me that our beloved mascot Haydon (the Trumpton Batterer) has been selected to stand on the Trafalgar Square plinth on Friday from 6pm. Lets all go down there and give him a cheer… well not me, obviously I’ll be in the pubstill sorting out my new flat. This is seriously good publicity for us, unless Haydon disgraces us by becoming the first plinther to fall off…

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