The match statistics may read Kettering Town 2, Gateshead 1, in front of barely 800 souls on a mucky January night. And yet, any Poppies fan in attendance will tell you, this is the sort of game that we wade through all the dross to experience.
There was the moving tribute to young Ryan Kirk before kick-off and by the players after Mills's opener. There was the amusing efforts of the soon to be ex-scoreboard operator having some fun with our, hopefully soon to be ex, non-bill paying Chairman. There was the real sense that team and supporters were united in intent and endeavour. We've all been hoodwinked by Imraan, but f*ck him, let's go for it!
We all roared and stomped at our goals. We all gnawed our nails when Gateshead pulled one back. We all wanted to roger the ref with ripe radish when he missed an obvious corner we'd won deep into injury time. We all bellowed with relief and joy at the final whistle.
It was a real night of the kind of rollercoaster emotions that only comes through being in close proximity to YOUR team, playing for YOU, and feeling it as much as you. Something you couldn't get from yawning through a season's worth of HD quality Champions League matches on the telly.
Mind you, I have never understood what anyone has ever got from being an armchair football fan. It must really be difficult to feign support for whichever foreigner-laden team is doing well at the top of the Premiership. But, does a Surrey-based Man Utd fan get any genuine thrill from watching his team beat Wigan? Does a Midlands-based Chelsea fan feel any real pain when they lose to a last minute goal? A rip-off replica shirt from JJB and a sports subscription from Sky Sports do not a real football fan make. If you can't feel it, what's the point?
Nights like last night is what football is truly about. Big night and big emotions. Surely something worth fighting for? Poppies hardcore support and team as one. What a pity our Chairman wasn't there to see what he is risking with his petty games.