The next step on the road to Cardiff. Well, unlikely that this cup run will end next May in the final but hey we all have dreams don't we?
Stevenage arrive at the Vetch today no doubt fired up as they look to add another name to their list of league scalps in the FA Cup. I was mystified by the comments of their manager earlier in the week - he seemed to imply that we had dismissed them as serious opponents. I certainly haven't read anything of the sort. We got what we wanted - a home draw. Whoever it was we would have thought that gave us our best chance of progression. Stevenage will not be beaten easily this afternoon but I certainly hope that it will be our name that enters the hat with the Arsenals and Chelseas of this world tomorrow and not theirs.
Last Saturday of course saw us gain a credible 0-0 draw at York. In a game perhaps somewhat hindered by the two sendings off so early on in the game, it is always pleasing to take a point away from home. Daps will of course now be suspended for three games (extra chance to do you Christmas Shopping Lee?) and I am sure will be looking to sign off today with a goal (or two?) This of course will give James Thomas the chance to win back his place in the starting line-up. Strikers are traditionally hungry when they have sat out a run of games and I am sure that Thommo must be chomping at the bit to get back into action - watch out Southend next week?
Of course, with Christmas approaching then we see the halfway mark of the season being reached and after the visit to Torquay on Boxing Day we will have played each side once. From games that I have seen (and others I have heard about) I think we have a division that is littered with sides that could win automatic promotion. The performances of both Oxford and Mansfield (even with 10 men) impressed me and they won't be far off the mark come the end of the season. Yeovil are another one that could see promotion come May but from those three down there isn't much to play with. I think we will be in the mix from now on in and a few wins could see us move into the top three comfortably. There is certainly space there for a team to make a move (not dis-similar to the one that Wrexham made last season) let's just hope it's us. That £10 I had on us to win the championship at 33/1 in the summer needs turning into something bigger!
And my final word this week brings mention of a friend of mine Roger Freestone. Even at the ripe old age of 35, Roger is still making the saves we have taken for granted in the past ten years or so. The saves towards the end of the last two league games have proved to me his worth to this particular side and despite competition from younger men in Brian Murphy and Anthony Williams he is certainly going strong. And remember Dave Beasant is still playing and he is in his 60s I believe! Seriously though he is proving he can still do a job for us and who is to say that he won't keep goal for the Swans in the first game at White Rock?
C'MON THE JACKS!
Phil Sumbler (email@example.com)
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