Thank goodness for that! Football is back and it is back with a vengeance. What a great day Saturday was even though we did not get the result we had hoped for. I thought we were much improved in the second half and there was a lot to build on. It was not a bad way for 20 – year – old Harry Cornick to make his debut! It was a great finish for his first goal for the club and showed huge composure with it being his first touch.
It was a scorching hot day at St James’s Park and the whole day was a fitting tribute to Adam Stansfield who we all remember so fondly!
The Exeter fans and Yeovil fans were both brilliant and I even got some banter as I walked back to the car. A group of lads started chanting “Shez Shez what’s the score?!” I guess I asked for that one having my nickname on the back of my shirt!
As for last night, QPR looked like a very good side, as you would expect, and I think we just made a few too many mistakes against them. We just have to draw a line under that match and go again against opposition closer to our standard.
The opening weekend was as brilliant as anticipated and was not without the shocks we know and love in each of the four divisions. Here are what I think were the biggest shocks from each league:
Arsenal 0 West Ham 2
Arsenal have been hotly tipped to finally mount a realistic title challenge this year after two consecutive FA Cups and the signing of Petr Cech. So, it was somewhat ironic that the two goals that West Ham scored were the result of poor defending and poor goalkeeping. The Hammers put on an impressive performance and really showed their London rivals how to defend. It was also a first Premier League start for 16 – year – old Reece Oxford. The young prospect boasted a 95% pass accuracy and Mezut Ozil struggled to break free from him. What a day for the teenager – but Arsenal need to address their defensive issues if they are to challenge this year.
Rotherham 1 MK Dons 4
Fresh from automatic promotion on the last day of last season, MK Dons got their Championship campaign off to a flying start with an emphatic win at the New York Stadium. Former Glover, Dean Bowditch, was in on the scoring action but Rotherham’s defending left a lot to be desired. They will need to improve quickly if they are to escape the dreaded “second season syndrome.” Both sides are expected to be battling at the bottom of the table but for now they sit at completely opposite ends. Of course, this is likely to all change next week.
Gillingham 4 Sheffield United 0
After their capitulation in the play – offs last season, the appointment of Nigel Adkins was one with the hopes of promotion as they prepare for their fifth consecutive season in the third tier. There is no doubt they are under achieving but the new campaign got off to a disastrous start with Gillingham scoring after just eight minutes. The Gills finished last season in 12th place and were battling for a play – off spot. If they continue to play like this, they may well be in with a chance this year.
Bristol Rovers 0 Northampton 1
Probably the least shocking result but a great one for Northampton all the same. Newly promoted Conference teams are very often a force to be reckoned with in League Two and Bristol Rovers will have high expectations for the new campaign. Northampton have comeback stronger from the brink of relegation and former Glover Sam Hoskins was a substitute for the Cobblers and will be looking to score a few goals this season. Let’s just hope it is not against us!
Speaking of Rovers, they are our next challenge at Huish Park. It was great to be back there Tuesday night and the atmosphere should be brilliant with a big crowd for the local derby.
What a fixture that would be to get our first three points of the season – see you all then and get behind the green and whites!
Until next week.