Opening game of the season – repeats

Giles unexpectedly receives a pass from a free kick and, even more unexpectedly, blasts it from 30 yards into the top corner

Jimmy Sirrel, upon Notts County winning 1-0 at Aston Villa on the opening day of 1981-82, said to start the season, you want your first goal, your first point and your first win. He perhaps should have added your first clean sheet. Whatever, I’ve repeated the homily many times, and always think of him on the opening day. – which is too early (which I also always repeat).
Salop’s 1-0 win against promotion-fancied Portsmouth – who’d bought 2 of our players – is a great result.
But welcome to the word “streaky” a la football. Our on-loan-for-a-season full-back had never hit one like that before; all the match stats were against Salop (except the red card; and a last kick of the game that seemed a certain equaliser hit a crouching Portsmouth player and ballooned away.
The full-back actually said how their determination had been to defend.
My hunch – another season of struggle and of 54 points is the target – but hey, nice kit.

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