It’s the hope that kills you isn’t it? United travelled North and played their socks off, matching an expensively-assembled Peterb*ro side, but losing to an unfortunate own goal.
Where do you start to dissect what happened on Saturday then? The defeat wrapped up a horrendous October for United, which saw us pick up three points from seven league games – whatever way you look at it a dreadful return. But let’s look at the bigger picture. Four of those six defeats came to arguably four of the strongest (and certainly the four richest) teams in the Division in Derby, Ipswich, Sheff Weds and that lot. We took three points with a great performance away at Wycombe, one of the toughest away games any team has to play. We’ve suffered a number of injuries, and a loss of form from two of our main goalscoring threats.
I’m not sure how useful it’s going to be to point out individual errors – we’re aware we’re making them, and Bonner’s said himself it needs to stop. It’s a sign of the strength of this league that errors will be punished nine times out of ten in this league, in League Two you might get away with them more often. Are we making any more errors than any other team, or are we just unfortunate that we’ve made them against top sides?
Anyway, to Saturday. We kept faith with the same side that played the bulk of the game against Wycombe. We made things difficult for them, Brophy and Knibbs in particular having chances they should have done better with. We were undone by a Lloyd Jones own goal from a corner, him and Digby jumping to clear a ball with no B*ro attacker challenging. Some players had a tough afternoon, some played out of their skin. Everyone gave 110% and we left nothing out there on the field. Everyone in the away end, all two thousand of us, applauded the boys from the pitch, and rightly so. We could see what that defeat meant to them. They looked gutted. They knew.
Games like these always attract their fair share of dickheads, from both sides, and this was no different. Luckily there wasn’t any serious trouble before the game, but during the match the P*sh stewards and police did nothing to stop a number of blue smoke bombs being thrown into the away end, and U’s fans had to endure sickening chants about Simon Dobbin from the stand to our right. There’s a reason they’re called scum by fans of a number of teams, not just us. After the game, despite Cambs police attempts to funnel United supporters into the crowd of P*sh fans nothing major kicked off, the odd bit of handbags and posturing aside. B*ro fans have claimed that United fans smashed up a toilet, which sounds like a pretty stupid thing to do, but ultimately they can afford to fix it and in the great scheme of things it’s pretty low down the list of Derby day misdeeds.
October’s behind us now, and November’s a new month. We’ve only got two league games after our FA Cup trip to Curzon Ashton, both at home. Bolton will prove a tough test, but Accrington will give us a better picture of if we’ve turned the corner after this run of defeats. The last two games have proved beyond all reason Bonner is the man for the job, so let’s regroup and move on from this. Despite this result there’s only one team in Cambridgeshire, and it’s the boys in Amber and Black.
Man of the Match: Everyone put in a shift so it feels unfair to single any one player out. Not for the first time the award goes to the Amber Army who out-sang 10,000 B*ro fans for the entire match, even in the face of disgusting provocation.
Soundtrack of the Match: The Animals – We Gotta Get Out Of This Place