Robins fan Will Edden looks back on a frustrating night and ahead to this weekend's game.First it was surprise, quickly followed by disbelief. Then massive frustration which quickly boiled into rage like an angry kettle.
It would be an understatement to say Tuesday evening's home defeat to Southend saw the temper of the home support raised beyond levels deemed safe by health professionals.
Yatesy described the Cheltenham fans as 'mild mannered' but upon Tuesday's full time whistle Robins fans were anything but. I've seen our fans angry before in my years attending Cheltenham matches but rarely have I seen so many fists shaken and faces contorted with blind fury! A quick glance at Twitter at about 10pm Tuesday night told you all you needed to know. One man had endeared himself to us and ensured that he shall remain in the memory for the foreseeable future (and it wasn't Jason Taylor).
Taylor's sending off was inevitably followed by a defeat which means that our good start to this season has veered off course in the form of back to back losses. I saw a few fans after the Southend game lamenting our lack of creativity and attacking flair but I feel to blame the players for that is very harsh considering we played for an hour against a very decent side with only 10 men. I actually felt what was more important was that the team dug in and made life difficult for the opposition, and as was pointed out, Matt Richards' last ditch block in the last minute epitomised the new battling qualities we've developed this season.
This kind of effort and commitment seemed to be in short supply last season, and was capitalised on emphatically by Dagenham & Redbridge on the final day last May when they ran out 3-2 winners amidst a poisonous atmosphere at Whaddon Road. Much has changed since then and I'm confident we can end three games without a goal against the Daggers this Saturday.
We've struggled for goals so far and this hasn't been helped by Birmingham recalling our super sub Koby Arthur. I've seen a bit of flack heading in Byron Harrison's direction over the last week or so but I feel some fans are a too quick to jump on his back. To say he looks 'disinterested' is just a lazy critique. He's a confidence player and if the crowd get behind him on Saturday then he's got more than enough talent to grab a goal against the Daggers dodgy defence.
On recent form there may not be a better team for us to be facing on Saturday. Dagenham have lost their last three games and have the defensive record of a broken umbrella. They've leaked three goals in a match four times already this season and like a serial bed wetter, they've managed only two clean sheets. If our midfield can provide some service for Byron, Terry Gornell and loan man John Marquis then Yates can be rightly confident of Town ending their goal drought.
So whoever starts up front on Saturday let's get behind them and watch them do the business. Just be wary of a particular striker who'll be lining up for Dagenham. Jamie Cureton has three goals to his name already and will no doubt be relishing a chance to add to his tally against his old club!