We all remember what happened last year. We all remember the fall-out. A 2-0 loss at Evesham was followed by the transfer listing of 8 players. “One of the darkest” days in the club history, according to the official club report. Bad times.
Yet as our Fourth Qualifying Round draw at Workington approaches the difference between our club this year and our club last year is gloriously different. Only three of the starting line-up of that day featured in our win over Chester on Saturday and this cleansing (of our better players, perhaps) seems to have had a positive effect. Despite the thousands spent last season we are still one point and one position better off than last October. We’ve won 6-1, 5-4.
It’s becoming fun to watch Rushden again.
Our draw, while awkward for fans wanting to travel to the game, is good in footballing terms. Workington are hardly setting the BSN alight, sitting in 14th place, with the worst attack in both the BSN and the BSS. While they shouldn’t be underestimated (they scored three in the 3rd Qualifying Round and the long journey north is bound to have an effect) they act as an excellent chance to banish the demons of last season. The parallels
Elsewhere the draw has been fairly unromantic. Aylsebury FC, the lowest ranked team left, didn’t get a dream tie at Luton or Oxford, instead drawing fellow minnows Wealdstone. Kettering should have few problems with Redditch, while Mansfield vs. Altrincham is the biggest clash of the round (although I’m generally of the inclination that anything involving either Mansfield or Altrincham is limited in its glamour).
A draw in the first round (with Leeds, Southampton, Bradford, Northampton, Charlton and Norwich as potential opponents) awaits – but at the moment the magic is on hold while business is attended to.
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