Congratulations to Bury Town, who for the second time this season, managed to comfortably win a game of football against Kingstonian without breaking a sweat – and without needing to play any good football at all. Bury are well-organised, well-drilled and committed. In short, they are absolutely everything that this K’s side is not. Yet at Bognor away, just six weeks ago, it really seemed as if this team had come together. The players fought for one another, flew into tackles, and covered every blade of grass between them – it was a real team performance, and it gave the travelling fans enormous heart. Here, we all thought, is the team we’ve been waiting for. They care. They get it. They really want to get promoted, and they’ll do anything to achieve it.
How wrong we all were. As the outfield players trudged half-heartedly around the pitch during the opening 45 minutes – with, it has to be said, the notable exception of Andre McCollin, who gave everything – they gave the crowd the distinct impression that they’d rather be doing something else. Watching the rugby perhaps, shopping with the missus, or just snoozing on the sofa. Certainly, anything but trying to win an absolutely vital football game for Kingstonian FC. Let’s name names: neither Nathan Koranteng nor Matt Pattison could be bothered to track back; Lewis Taylor and Matt ‘Chasing Shadows’ Somner barely touched the ball, and more annoyingly barely ran a yard trying to stop Bury passing the ball around at will; both Ian Gayle and Kieran Murphy seemed to be asleep, with Gayle in particular making basic error after error; neither full-back put in a challenge all half; and Wade Small chose to react to the situation by getting himself sent off for dissent. Well played, boys. Take a fucking bow.
It is so very, very easy to look brilliant during a 9-3 win, when the opposition are demoralised and can be toyed with. But when the going gets tough – in other words, when the opposition is motivated, determined and organised – then more often and not this team crumble. We’ve seen it time and time again. Grow some bollocks gents, and toughen up.
Clearly, words were had at half-time. The second half performance was much better, and some fight was shown – but why should words have had to be exchanged to extract even the semblance of effort from a group of players who get paid to do what anyone in the crowd would love to be paid for? Why did the players think the season was already over before kick off, when actually it wasn’t? And why should I pay the ridiculous entry price of ten pounds to watch a group of people who don’t seem to give a shit?
If I seem furious, I am: at the very least, supporters expect some passion, some effort, some commitment. Sort it out.