GLF78 - Our start to the season

GLF78 - Graham considers our start to 2011/12

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OUR START TO THE SEASON

If you had said to me the night I travelled to Cappielow for the first game of pre-season against Morton that we would be joint top with thirteen points after five games and the only team to beat us would be Rangers I would have snapped your hand off.

With so many players heading out in the summer, including top scorer John Sutton, and only Michael Higdon and Nicky Law coming things looked as though they could be tough.

But as the game at Cappielow wore on I did start to think some positive thoughts, particularly as the young boys came on in the second half and tore Morton to shreds. The football played on the night should have given us a hint as to what was going to happen in the opening games.

Inverness up first in the league - there is always nervousness around this fixture given the away team usually does well.  The way we tore them to bits and scored three excellent goals was pleasing to see, although there was still a nagging doubt as the highlanders hit the woodwork twice.

The win did, of course, have us sitting top of the table after one game, and led to many tweets by 'Well fans ending in #wewelcomethechase. Although I am not sure other sides' fans saw the tongue in cheek nature of the hash tag.

It was one of last season’s form sides next with a trip to Rugby Park to take on Kilmarnock which saw the unbeaten streak continue with a goalless draw. This was followed by a fine one - nil win over Hearts, under new management, another clean sheet and still top!

We continued to defy the critics in week four as we travelled to Paisley to take on St. Mirren who were also unbeaten. Despite allowing the home side to keep the ball as much as they wanted to, the only keeper who made a genuine save was Colin Samson.

Who will forget the celebrations though when Tom Hateley planted in the stoppage time winner!

Rangers next and normal service was resumed with the routine defeat against the Glasgow giants. But the side showed great bouncebackability to beat Clyde with six changes and hammer Dunfermline with the full team back on show.

Where do you expect to be after five games?  You also hope to be in the Third Round of the League Cup – we are!  Pick up a few points and not be in the bottom half of the table – we have!  A couple of signings coming in, Tim Clancy and Omar Daley fit the bill.

No-one is getting carried away, there are still 33 games to go and a lot can happen in that time but if we keep our thirteen or fourteen top players fit, particularly the Motherwell Messi Nicky Law who has been a revelation since he came in, we should finish in the Top Six, and have at least one decent Cup run again.

Hopefully we can finally beat Rangers again this season and put an end to the frustrating line that we haven’t beaten them since Boxing Day 2002...

                                              

Graham Barnstaple



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