I suspected as much. Top of the table after four games, now outside the play-offs after 13 games. When something amazing happens you hear commentators say that you couldn’t write the script. Well I’m the opposite of that analogy. Sadly – and I do mean sadly – my script was written before the season started, and we’re following it to the bloody letter.
Let’s get the whiny bit out of the way first – the bit that makes me sound like I’m blaming the run of results on stuff out of my control. We’ve had a few injuries.
Jack Mackreth, who admittedly isn’t an automatic first teamer, has missed the last few games.
Ryan Jarvis, my big striker signing of the summer, has only just come back into the reckoning after being injured since pre-season.
Will Atkinson, the player who was meant to set my midfield alight, is out for two to three months (and he didn’t bother to set anything alight before dislocating his shoulder).
Jeremy Balmy, the Frenchman from Notts County I brought in to replace Mackreth can’t play for two weeks because he’s got a poorly face. Soft bastard.
And Lenell John-Lewis, who’s scored 7 in 12, is out with a damaged heel.
Of the nine games I’ve played since the last update, we’ve won three, drawn four and lost two. Our first defeat of the season came at Alfreton, who were sat right behind us in second. I accepted it gracefully.
We then had a favourable run against teams that were doing shit all down near the bottom. We failed to punish Harrogate in a game where they failed to have a single shot on target, and then followed that up with a disgusting 1-1 draw at home to Nuneaton, in which Eoghan Stokes scored his debut goal.
There then followed two very winnable games at Blundell Park against Chester and Sutton. We dealt with Chester the way all promotion hunting teams should deal with painfully average sides, scoring well and not giving them a sniff. But then, inexplicably, the players found themselves 2-0 down at half time to newly promoted Sutton. John-Lewis and Aswad Thomas of all people got us level, but despite the opposition playing the last half an hour with 10 men we failed to get a winner.
Then we lost 3-0 at Barnet, who were insanely good. Keanu Marsh-Brown ripped us a new hole in the first half, scoring a hat-trick (although I was left more impressed with the way that our up-until-then tight defence were made to look like a bunch over overweight Sunday league cloggers).
All of which means we now find ourselves outside the play-offs (see below), with a tricky looking tie at Northampton to come.