Opening day defeat an omen for a good season?

Town fan Nick Judd on an opening day to forget for Swindon...

So, how was it for you?

The Football League kicked off last Friday thanks to Middlesbore’s home stalemate with Sheffield United.

And while it’s only one game down and 45 to go, fans across the country will already either be tearing their hair out in frustration, or booking hotel rooms in the Wembley area ready for the play-offs.

Me? Well, I’ll be doing neither of those things, although if I had to put myself in one category, it would have to be the former.

Sadly, the Reds lost a close-fought game at Gillingham 5-0.

Still, it could be worse… I wonder how Norwich City fans are feeling this morning. The Canaries are among the favourites to win League One, yet were spanked 7-1 by Colchester. At home. Let’s be havin’ you, indeed. Ouch!

"Come on, sing you fairweathers! It's only 7-1..." 

I must admit, I didn’t see Swindon rolling over like that.

I was a little concerned after our pre-season defeat to Plymouth a week earlier, but I put our poor performance down to players not wanting to get injured a week before the season started, and playing a team from a higher division.

I had other worries, of course. With only one eligible striker to name following the selling of Simon Cox and Barry Corr, and injury to Lee Peacock, I wondered where the goals would come from.

Yet we had all seen enough, and heard enough positive vibes from the management to suggest we would be difficult to beat.

That theory was blown out of the water in just 87 minutes!

Still, I trust Danny Wilson, and I put it down to a bad day at the office.

As one Gills fan pointed out while gloating on a Swindon forum, they were tonked 7-0 by Shrewsbury in September last season, then went on to gain revenge in the play-off final. I’d take a repeat of that, thank you very much.

"That's for tonking us 7-0 in September!" 

There’s also the statistics. One particularly optimistic Town fan has pointed out that of the teams who finished in the top half in League One last season, seven lost on the opening day.

In contrast, six teams that won on day one finished in the bottom half. You only need to look at Walsall’s opening day demolition of West Brom in August 2003 to find this theory actually has some substance.

The Saddlers sent the Baggies boinging back across Birmingham after a 4-1 mauling. Nine months later, Walsall were reeling after relegation to League One, West Brom were celebrating promotion to the top flight.

Here’s to a cracking season, then. Colchester fans, meanwhile, I’d be sh*tting myself if I were you…

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