CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by GhostoftheBok » Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:50 pm

Bad result, all things considered; but given our away record probably more than we could expect. Eventful game and gutting to drop the points the way we did. McBurnie has been a phenomenal loan signing for them and might keep them up on his own.

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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by Peter Thompson » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:10 am

Absolutely awful 1st half / excellent 2nd half playing some half decent football.

It was gut wrenching to concede in stoppage time (our defensive marking is shocking) - but most would have taken a point before and especially losing with 10 mins to go.

Message to Parkinson, the 2nd half showed that this team when allowed & set up to do so can actually play decent football & attack - if we play like we did in the 2nd half giving the opposition something to think about, instead of just sitting back and waiting for them to score we will have a decent chance of staying up - 3 or 4 points will be enough IMO and if we play like we did 2nd half we can do this.

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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by TANGODANCER » Sun Apr 15, 2018 12:50 pm

Barnsley manager claims "This is a game we could have won"...Be grateful mate, but for added time and a defensive slip up by us it was a game you'd already lost. McBurnie should have got a card for trying to put Alf off taking the penalty (what caused Prats to try to assassinate him and great credit to Alf for keeping his concentration during the shenanigins.) and the ref let off a handball that had 3000 folk and the players claiming for.
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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by Lost Leopard Spot » Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:41 pm

TANGODANCER wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 6:40 pm
Lost Leopard Spot wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 4:11 pm
Jack, my workmate has a text saying his missus is reacting badly to her chemotherapy and is vomiting profusely. He's left to go and hold her hand. I'm sitting in her seat in the home stand. Non of this is good for the soul... I wish I'd taken my dog out for a long lonely walk instead.
Hope your mate's wife is okay Spots. At least we had an interesting second half. How may goals does that make scored against us in the last five minute? I reckon it's quite a few.
Cheers Tango, I'll find out Monday, although to be honest I've never met her and I've only known Jack for about six months. That was one of the reasons that put the kybosh on the afternoon. It's hard to articulate, but yea, thanks anyway.
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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:50 pm

Well now. That was a day.

The Legendary Flanners was making his own way there and back so I sat on my Jack in the car for seven or eight hours wondering if this was the worst decision I’d made since I last bleached my hair. When Mrs Barnet asked why in God’s name I was spending 12 hours and a hundred quid driving on my own to a shitpit, I had no real answer. Just a hope.

I’ve not been to Barnsley since the mid-90s. Two very Barnsley things on the way to the ground. Firstly, a full-kit young teen talking to his parents on the way to Oakwell said, in the (as noted) surprisingly strong accent that makes Mick McCarthy sound like Alan Bennett: “Ah’m doing alreet, ah’m on fer a C at PE an Ds at evryfin else”. And the woman alongside me in traffic driving a car-parts van, spraying deodorant up each sleeve of her work-branded T-shirt, pausing for a moment’s consideration then giving another good squirt straight at her privates.

Into Oakwell for the first time since the mid-90s, when what is now the away stand was an open bank. Bolton fans in good voice, taking advantage of the tunnel being by them to whole-heartedly implore the traveling players to give their all.

And in the first half, their all isn’t enough. In fact it’s awful. The manager of a struggling team will always have his selections questioned: if he sticks, he’s got no Plan B, but if he twists, he’s using a bingo machine. For this occasion, Phil Parkinson and his adjutants reverted to the back three, with a frontline slightly tweaked to accommodate Sammy Ameobi and the returning Fil Morais.

It’s the system which won Chelsea the league last season, but Antonio Conte had players in every position who were good on the ball, whereas Parky’s central midfield consisted of Darren Pratley and Karl Henry – fine hard-working defensive midfielders who’ll run till they puke, but hardly creative individuals who can launch attacks with Pirlo’s precision or Xavi’s savvy. All too often, the old fellas didn’t want the ball; even if they did, they clearly didn’t know what to do with it.

What happens when your central midfielders abdicate responsibility is that your centre-backs become your distribution centre, with all the beauty of a motorway-junction warehouse and none of the efficiency. In this instance, Mark Beevers and Reece Burke belted balls forward in the general direction of the eternally pogoing but rarely connecting Adam Le Fondre, the five-foot target man.

It was far from surprising that Barnsley took the lead after an attack Bolton seemed particularly determined to see succeed, as eventually Gary Gardner did by walloping high into the corner. And although Bolton fans immediately responded with vocal support, soon the mood turned angrier. Boos and cries of “On the floor, on the floor, on the floor” were interspersed with the usual questioning of the manager’s knowledge and parentage.

For the rest of the half Bolton were astonishingly bad. I’ve rarely seen a player have as bad a half as Burke, the poor bastard. Nor was he alone, but it was no surprise to see him substituted at half-time for a much-needed change of system.

And the switch worked. With Parky unable to execute a Plan C (animating a voodoo doll of Gary Madine and shoving it on the pitch in Andy Taylor’s shirt) or Plan D (injecting Pratley and Henry with creative ability and the desire to show it), he reverted to Plan A: a 4-2-3-1, except instead of recent back-four wide-boys Taylor and Flanagan he had Little and Robinson able, willing and ordered to overlap as the customary caution was abandoned. Buckley replaced Burke and had the best game of his Bolton career – a low bar but he played with relish and carried genuine threat down the left, even popping up on the right in the second minute to deliver a decent cross. The right was the domain of Morais, with Ameobi playing just off Alf and intent on causing havoc.

Immediately Barnsley looked confused and soon they looked worried. Instead of being the target of hopeful hoofs, Ameobi was connecting with Alf, Fil, Buckley and the full-backs, belting on with determination. And suddenly, purposefully, Bolton were passing the ball on the floor, Alnwick rolling it out short, each pass met with only half-sarcastic away-end olés. The fast full-backs’ overlaps caused overloads, the creative players created, and chances came – the referee ignored what looked very much like a handball from Andy Yiadom, who from the resulting corner nodded Wheater’s goal-bound header off the line. Then Beevers nodded another set-piece back for Wheater to have an effort just wide.

It wasn’t all one-way and Barnsley certainly looked like they could nick another, particularly through McBurnie – the paper-white, bandy-legged Leeds-born Scot whose seven goals in 11 league starts on loan from Swansea had done more than anyone else to give the Tykes a prayer. But McBurnie’s will to win showed its nastier side when Bolton were awarded a penalty with eight minutes to go. Deliberately scuffing up the penalty spot was his first tactic; next he leant into Le Fondre’s ear with some words presumably not intended to wish him good luck. When Pratley pulled him away by his neck, McBurnie fronted up the Bolton captain then collapsed to the ground.

Le Fondre, cool as a penguin’s cock, scored and sprinted to the Bolton fans with genuine glee, before collecting the ball and running back for the restart, pausing only to catch McBurnie’s eye and enact the “shush” gesture. Momentum was with Bolton, who now had no fewer than four wingers on the pitch: Noone had replaced Little with Morais dropping back all of five yards to “right-back” and chief set-piece creator. Noone, too, had his best game ion the shirt, linking with Ameobi to twist the Barnsley defenders hither and thither.

And Noone it was who put Bolton in front, following up to finish off what even the BBC live ticker might have been surprised to describe as “a fast break” by lashing home from about six yards out. And the away end went berserk, drunk on life, hammered on hormones, the ecstasy of elation. That’s why you spend 12 hours and £100, that’s why you sit in a car all day by yourself, that’s why you scream yourself hoarse. There is no other dopamine high like that, one you can’t buy at the chemist or on the street corner, one you long for, one you spend decades of your life obsessing over nonsenses and wondering maybe if…

Like all highs, it couldn’t last. On 27 April 1991, Bolton came to South Yorkshire needing a win – on this occasion at Rotherham, to stay in the awfully claustrophobic hunt for automatic promotion alongside Southend, Grimsby and Cambridge. A Tony Cunningham double appeared to have done the trick until the Millers equalised in injury time with a left-wing corner at the home end. But as time folded back on itself and I watched something from more than half my life ago reoccur in front of me, the oddest thing happened: I wasn’t nearly as low about the equaliser as I had been high about us going in front, or even equalising.

I don’t know how this relegation battle will pan out, but I know that if we play as we did in the second half, with genuine belief and ability, full-backs adding to the threat, we won’t be far wrong. We won’t beat Wolves - I’m not a dreamer – but we could well win our other two games, taking us to 46 points which might just be enough. And if it’s not enough, we can at least give it a proper balls-out go. Life is for living, and we find joy where we can. I even found some in Barnsley. There might be more yet.

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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by Jim_McDonuts » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:19 pm

Nice

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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by Harry Genshaw » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:21 pm

Another weekend gone and we're still not in the bottom 3. I'd have taken that in August and thought it impossible by the end of September. More twists and turns to come yet.

Great read ^ DSB
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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by irie Cee Bee » Sun Apr 15, 2018 10:10 pm

Harry Genshaw wrote:
Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:21 pm

Great read ^ DSB
Ditto

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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by TANGODANCER » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:17 am

Cheers for the match report D.S.B. Good read spoiled only by the last two mins. :wink:
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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:50 am

Ta. Another thing: watch Le Fondre's reaction when Noone scores. Normally I like to see players celebrating together, and they all sure did, collapsing in a heap on the touchline with a writhing Scouser somewhere on the bottom. But Alf's first thought when the ball goes in is not to turn 90 degrees right and grab his fellow goalscorer, but to turn 90 degrees left and scream in exultation at the massed ranks of away fans. Watch it at 1:41 on the YouTube below, or see it in the four or five pictures from here onwards in the BN's gallery:

http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/sport/wa ... #gallery66



I wrote above about the dopamine high of celebrating a vital goal. Imagine scoring it, or being part of the team that's worked so hard towards it. Now imagine turning to see thousands and thousands of people experiencing almost insane levels of joy because of it. There can't be many professions that afford that sort of feedback: screen actors never get it; stage actors are hardly likely to incite such emotion. Even musicians at the top of their game and their business can only expect to make people happy rather than delirious: whether it's Ed Sheeran or Swedish House Mafia, it's rarely a huge surprise when the big tune drops. The glorious thing about football is that you're never sure how and when success might come – ask Man City about their last fortnight. And if I were Parky, I'd be showing the players a montage of the fans celebrating at Barnsley, at Port Vale, at the Macron against Peterborough. You want some more of this? You know what to do. Make every sprint, cover every team-mate, fight for every ball, make the right decisions. You can write your own history.

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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by BWFC_Insane » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:31 am

Entirely echo DSB's view of the game. First half was a disaster and being asked to play a very tricky system was never a good idea. 3 at the back needs to not appear again this season. And at half time we all feared the worst. A 5th straight defeat and no goal was very likely.

Second half a sea change. The new system breathed life into us and the attacking full backs offered the width so often lacking. Must be noted that a better team than Barnsley would likely have exploited some gaps left in behind and killed the game off. Even Barnsley threatened to once or twice and then the complexion of the events would be very different.

Whilst throwing the win away was awful, truly awful. The Barnsley fans coming out were down (considering their last minute equaliser) - they clearly felt they needed to win it. Their players looked dejected at the end too.

Put it this way for most of the game they were out of the bottom 3 then suddenly they weren't. At 4.40 we looked doomed, domed and doomed again.

I also disagree with DSB's points analysis. 46 WILL keep us up. I suspect 44 will very likely do so too...but you know at this stage nowt is certain.

If we go down now and its right in the balance and we're probably just about favourites to drop still, it will be the painful start to the season. Even just 6 points from those opening 11 (a very meagre return still) would see us now, on 44 and very comfortable indeed.

The second half brought hope that was severely lacking before that. I have a feeling that hope will be more important than the last minute equaliser, come the final reckoning. But as they famously say, its the hope that kills you.

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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:49 am

It's a rare day when BWFCi's more optimistic than I... You may well be right, 44pts might do it (luckily for Reading, who continue to be dogshit). I hope so (if we get to 44!) but 46 would seem likelier. For 44pts to suffice, you're either asking:
• Barnsley (38pts but a much better GD than us) to get ≤5pts from Leeds A, Forest A, Brentford H and Derby A –  possible, but I wouldn't bet the house on it
• or Brum to get ≤4pts from Blades H, QPR A and Fulham H. And they have very very similar GD to us – scored 4 fewer, conceded 3 fewer - so that could lead to a very very nervy last few minutes of the season
• or, technically, Reading to get zero points from SheffWed A, Ipswich H, Cardiff A – they'll get something from those

I agree that a better team might have exploited the gaps behind the overlapping full-backs but that's why the system worked. If you get an overload somewhere - as we so, so, frequently did down the wings - then your opponents have an overload somewhere else; however, the situation demanded risk, and the opponents simply weren't good enough to capitalise. It would be suicide to play the same way against Wolves, but the stats suggest that Burton and Forest are well worth taking the risk against, and I'd hope Parky agrees.

As you say the hope we got from that second half may be enough to invigorate us: I can certainly see our chances of winning at Burton being much higher now than they were. Parky spoke after the game about having got the good feeling back, and in that second half I saw not just creativity but confidence. With Fil finding Wheavers (and Barnsley being gormless enough to give away free-kicks and corners), it also felt more like we were going to score off a set-piece than at most points this season. One or two of those wouldn't hurt.

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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by BWFC_Insane » Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:58 am

Dave Sutton's barnet wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:49 am
It's a rare day when BWFCi's more optimistic than I... You may well be right, 44pts might do it (luckily for Reading, who continue to be dogshit). I hope so (if we get to 44!) but 46 would seem likelier. For 44pts to suffice, you're either asking:
• Barnsley (38pts but a much better GD than us) to get ≤5pts from Leeds A, Forest A, Brentford H and Derby A –  possible, but I wouldn't bet the house on it
• or Brum to get ≤4pts from Blades H, QPR A and Fulham H. And they have very very similar GD to us – scored 4 fewer, conceded 3 fewer - so that could lead to a very very nervy last few minutes of the season
• or, technically, Reading to get zero points from SheffWed A, Ipswich H, Cardiff A – they'll get something from those

I agree that a better team might have exploited the gaps behind the overlapping full-backs but that's why the system worked. If you get an overload somewhere - as we so, so, frequently did down the wings - then your opponents have an overload somewhere else; however, the situation demanded risk, and the opponents simply weren't good enough to capitalise. It would be suicide to play the same way against Wolves, but the stats suggest that Burton and Forest are well worth taking the risk against, and I'd hope Parky agrees.

As you say the hope we got from that second half may be enough to invigorate us: I can certainly see our chances of winning at Burton being much higher now than they were. Parky spoke after the game about having got the good feeling back, and in that second half I saw not just creativity but confidence. With Fil finding Wheavers (and Barnsley being gormless enough to give away free-kicks and corners), it also felt more like we were going to score off a set-piece than at most points this season. One or two of those wouldn't hurt.
Birmingham have a key game this weekend. If they fail to beat Sheffield United then suddenly a lot of pressure goes onto their game at QPR with Fulham potentially still in the race for second to come. However, by then Fulham might be resigned to a play off place and resting players.

Its so hard to predict the end of the season. I agree on paper we look most likely to drop. Its possible to me though that if Barnsley lose at Leeds and say win at Forest that their last two games yield only a draw or two....who knows?

We have far more chance of survival than we did at 4.40 on Saturday and Barnsley far less. Equally a few minutes later that reversed again but still, we'd have surely all taken a point from Barnsley before the game kicked off.

Wolves is a foregone conclusion almost certainly - though I note they only need a point to win the league...perhaps they'll be happy with that...and everyone can enjoy next Saturday - not holding out any hope though.

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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by TANGODANCER » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:33 am

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:58 am


Wolves is a foregone conclusion almost certainly - though I note they only need a point to win the league...perhaps they'll be happy with that...and everyone can enjoy next Saturday - not holding out any hope though.
We'll beat Wolves and put the brakes on their early celebration whilst saving our own skins. Just watch.. :wink:
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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by BWFC_Insane » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:38 am

TANGODANCER wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:33 am
BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:58 am


Wolves is a foregone conclusion almost certainly - though I note they only need a point to win the league...perhaps they'll be happy with that...and everyone can enjoy next Saturday - not holding out any hope though.
We'll beat Wolves and put the brakes on their early celebration whilst saving our own skins. Just watch.. :wink:
Think they're just a bit too good for us. We'd need them to not turn up like Villa...and Wolves have shown far more consistency.

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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by Dave Sutton's barnet » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:00 am

BWFC_Insane wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:58 am
Birmingham have a key game this weekend. If they fail to beat Sheffield United then suddenly a lot of pressure goes onto their game at QPR with Fulham potentially still in the race for second to come. However, by then Fulham might be resigned to a play off place and resting players.

Its so hard to predict the end of the season. I agree on paper we look most likely to drop. Its possible to me though that if Barnsley lose at Leeds and say win at Forest that their last two games yield only a draw or two....who knows?

We have far more chance of survival than we did at 4.40 on Saturday and Barnsley far less. Equally a few minutes later that reversed again but still, we'd have surely all taken a point from Barnsley before the game kicked off.

Wolves is a foregone conclusion almost certainly - though I note they only need a point to win the league...perhaps they'll be happy with that...and everyone can enjoy next Saturday - not holding out any hope though.
Agreed with much of that. As I said before the game, I would have taken a point at kick-off because I was already confident we could beat Burton and Forest. I'm more confident now, which didn't seem at all the case at half-time. As you say, things change a lot at this time of season. I just hope Heckingbottom has enough about him to beat his old team.

One note on Barnsley's Jose Morais: I don't know whether it's a translation problem but all his public quotes seem to be "we will win", absolute positivity. I can see the method in this but it reminds me of the point someone made when the title race was Fergie v Keegan: the problem with being massively bubbly is that when you lose, the players can be utterly cast adrift - so Newcastle suddenly plummeted in confidence, whereas Fergie's men almost got stronger in defeat. There have been stories of Barnsley players having meetings away from the gaffer, they don't seem utterly bought-in. Truly, without that stickman swine McBurnie they'd have been down by now: his goals have turned four losses into draws (4pts) and two draws into wins (4pts), which would put them on 30pts. And yes, someone else would've played instead, but I didn't see anybody else decent in what was a struggling, awful team.

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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by knobpolisher » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:04 am

If wolves had an ounce of decency they would want to win the title at home in front of their own fans. So they should let us win.
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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by Lost Leopard Spot » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:11 pm

H
knobpolisher wrote:
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:04 am
If wolves had an ounce of decency they would want to win the title at home in front of their own fans. So they should let us win.
Ha! Impeccable Logic.
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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by Lost Leopard Spot » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:14 pm

Lost Leopard Spot wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:27 pm
HMX wrote:
Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:18 pm
Alnwick, Robinson, Beevers, Wheater, Burke, Little, Pratley, Henry, Morais, Ameobi, Le Fondre.

Subs: Howard, A Taylor, Dervite, Vela, Buckley, Noone, Wilbraham.

Hall and Clough not on the bench.
Neither here nor there. In my opinion it shouda been ALF and Wheater up front, or Ameobi and Clough.
At least he's got all three of Robinson, Little and Morais in there, which was a minimal requirement for me to stop moaning... So I will... stop moaning. (Until Barnsley score in ten minutes).

Anyway, making my way groundsward now...fingers knotted.
Robinson, Little, Morais, ALF, Ameobi, ALF and Clough... that's the way forward, literally.
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Re: CRUNCH TIME. Away at Baaaarnsley. Saturday Apr14th 3pm

Post by palindromeofbolton » Mon Apr 16, 2018 6:37 pm

Just reading Kenny's latest missive:
I have to comment on the wonderful support the 2,500 Wanderers fans gave to the team at Oakwell - it was simply awesome.

I have no doubt that the levels of passionate noise you generated inspired the team to bounce back after going a goal down.

That you still carried on despite that late leveller was inspirational and I think it sends a message to the players, not that they need reminding of course, that you believe in them.
I just want to say, as someone who lives 200 miles away and got to a whopping two games this season (both at home), a huge thank you to the folk who go here, there and everywhere in support of the team.

I can get a bit disconsolate when I'm following matches as best I can and look at at something like twitter and see the negative reaction to the team line, or us going a goal down, or conceding a goal in the 90th.

Sure social media is a different beast - and I'm not saying criticism is never justified - but it makes me incredibly proud, and brings a little lump to the throat actually, to think of those folk (including you guys on here) supporting through and through. Thank you. :pray:

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