Saturday, May 07, 2011

Play-offs (again): Burnley 1-1 City

Well it's a bloody good job we didn't have to win at Turfmoor on this, the last day of the regular season to gain automatic promotion, because we didn't.

Where to start?

Well, I guess it all started to go wrong when we had 4 to play and everything was in our own hands.

Then we drew with QPR and it was out of our hands.

Then we needed Ipswich to do us a favour against Norwich and they got stuffed by the Canaries.

Then we needed Norwich to slip up against Leeds and they didn't.

Then we needed to beat Middlesborough and we put in arguably our worst performance of the season and got stuffed.

Then we needed Norwich to slip up at Pompey and they didn't and secured that precious 2nd automatic promotion spot..

Then we needed QPR to be docked points for the naughtiness over the Alejandro Faurlin affair and the FA dilly dallied and then got cold feet and smacked a fine on them which their owners can pay out of the petty cash tin.

Not that it wouldn't have made any difference though. After the debacle against 'Boro, with the side needing to re-assert their play-off credentials and at least give the fans something to shout and cheer,we were behind in the 13th minute and in what was a pretty tame performance by all accounts stayed that way until Bellamy equalised in the 90th minute. And that poor draw means the Jacks who once again showed that they play decent football in a squad with no delusions of grandeur, stuffed an already relegated Sheffield Utd 4-0, and in doing so finished the regular season above us in 3rd place on goal difference, shunting us to 4th.

And so it's the play-offs. After a run that saw us almost nick automatic promotion, we play Reading in the pot luck chance that is the playoffs. At least finishing 4th means the second leg is at home. All the other play-off contenders though finished with a win, whilst the best we could muster was a last gaps draw. I don't think any of them will be shaking in their boots at the prospect of playing us.

And so it's nicely set up for a South Wales derby at Wembley in the Championship final. IF we beat Reading, and IF the Jacks beat Forest. What a day that would be.

I hope to God we can do it. The torture of last years play-off final is still hard to bear. The thought (should we get there) of losing to the Jacks, well......

But there's a long way to go yet.

I am keeping the faith. It's back to nil points for everyone in the lottery of the play-offs, and literally anything can happen. We're two games from Wembley, and three from the Premiership. But so are the others.

Please.....just this once?

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