Fuller Flavour – A week of frustration ends with a warming performance, if not the result

Tom Lawrence fires towards goal but his shot is blocked by Reading's Tyler Blackett during the firs

Tom Lawrence fires towards goal but his shot is blocked by Reading's Tyler Blackett during the first half on Saturday. Photo: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Clapping Town off the field at the end of both halves?

Whatever next?

That is what most us found ourselves doing on Saturday after a much better performance. It was the type that we have craved for so long, and although we did not get the result we wanted and at times, deserved, we could not have asked for much more performance wise.

It certainly made a better end to the week that started off with yet more frustrations. We spent the whole of January yearning for that stellar signing or two to lift the mood and to give us some hope of any better times ahead.

After all, we’ve had nothing all season to feel remotely content about and was it really too much to ask for just anything to get excited about?


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Whilst we were being battered by Derby during yet another inept display last Tuesday, the final day talk of the transfer window was mostly about the possibility of Luke Chambers leaving the club rather than that million pound buy coming through the entrance gate of either Portman or Playford Road.

Playing Chambers out of position for so long has made him an easy scapegoat and I would rather have seen a natural right-back in place over the last two or three years. But we lack serious leadership on and off the pitch as it is, and losing Chambers could have been further detrimental to our failing squad. For now, we need his leadership skills.

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The arrivals on Tuesday evening of Dominic Samuel and Emyr Huws did little to lift spirits and our January signings amounted to seven newcomers for a princely sum of 10k.

To say that was yet another underwhelming transfer window is a huge understatement. I spent the rest of last week wondering what really was the point of the club anymore - the very club that has been at the forefront of my life for the past 39 years.

Should I just give up – many others have and if only we could change our football team like we can cars, clothes, houses or even for some, partners.

On Saturday morning my head was telling me that going to the game would be such a pointless act as I only had visions of a loss and another lame performance but my heart, as ever, ruled the day and urged me to give it a chance in the hope that some fresh faces might just liven things up.

I’m glad that I let my heart rule my head on this occasion.

I liked what I saw of the battling Toumani Diagouraga and the first-half display especially of Huws gave our often maligned midfield a real shot in the arm.

I also felt that Steven Taylor brought a calming presence to our defence as Chambers and Christophe Berra were better than in recent games whilst Josh Emmanuel had an excellent game on the right.

The only blip was Reading’s first goal that saw Jordan Mutch afforded too much space.

Reading’s second goal, as good as it was, was one of those efforts that we’ve seen hundreds of times more often than not end up in row z in the stands.

On this occasion, it ended up in the net.

Whether a draw was the right and fair result matters not.

What really stuck with me coming out of the ground is how we gave a side sitting third in the table a game, something that we’ve not done to many sides all season, let alone the top sides.

Finally, what more can be said about Tom Lawrence?

He’s been great for us, his goals even better than great.

It’s nothing more than a pipe dream to think that we could sign him.

But on Saturday’s display, we could have the next best thing – a fit David McGoldrick for a whole season would be a nice bonus.

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