Last time, I wrote a piece scoffing at Lancaster's manager's claims that we'd struggle away from home. Thankfully, we followed this up with a 3-0 win away at Ossett, and I'm not forced to write a grovelling retraction this week. In hindsight, I should have been more careful given my other role at this club of commentator for the "Blues Live" service. We're all aware of the "commentator's curse", and I was playing with fire a little bit. Still, the lads overcame it, and that's the sign of a truly great team.
Audacious hyperbole out of the way, let's move on. I'm going to take this chance to welcome Chris Sanna to the club. Sanna attended the same high school, in the same academic year as I and whilst he'll have no cause to remember me, Chris was a minor celebrity around that place, so I have a vivid recollection of unleashing a fierce 20 yarder (ok, so maybe we haven't quite finished with the hyperbole just yet) past him in a Tuesday afternoon double games lesson. I await my call, if not from Neil, then at least from Mossley or Ossett, both of whom failed to beat our new shot stopper in his first two games. Long may his unbeaten record continue.
I'm led to believe that we paid a fee to bring Mr Sanna to the club. It's superb that we're already in a position to do that. These days, all club funds come from us, the fans, so we can take particular pride in the signings that we make. This does, however, also make it far too easy to justify the purchase of merchandise. "It's all club funds!" I exclaimed after the Mossley game, whilst further emptying my bank account to order the 125th anniversary shirt.
So, onto today and Skelmersdale. I knew someone from Skelmersdale once, and she professed to support both Manchester United and Wigan Athletic. This suggests two things. Firstly, that women really shouldn't be allowed anywhere near football (calm down ladies, it's post-modern irony, the joke's on me) and secondly, that today's opponents have a struggle similar to ours when it comes attracting fans, given the number of major clubs in the vicinity. So welcome fans of Skem, and kudos for supporting your local team.
I'm sure you've already been told, or read it somewhere this programme, about Skem's exploits last weekend. Going in at half time against Cammell Laird with the score at 0-0, they proceeded to bag an unrealistic 8 goals in a second half which must have been initially exhilarating and subsequently exhausting for the Skem faithful. As the eighth goal hit the net, I imagine the Skelmersdale fans reacted with the same fatigued, obligatory joy that you'd expect from a couple who've spent the day witnessing the first baby steps of three of their quadruplets and were just getting ready for bed when the fourth hops up onto his feet and swaggers cockily across the
living room - Ok, it's an achievement but by this stage, what's new? Save it for another day.
Nonetheless, it's evidence that Skelmersdale are here to play today, and this will be a huge test. A couple of solid results have our home record looking healthier, but having dropped a few points at the Exacta already, we have to rise to challenges like today.
I'm really looking forward to it, as form suggests it will be an open, attacking game. We haven't had many games in the end-to-end mould this season, but I think we might just get one today.