With all the focus in recent times on off the field matters ranging from missing frost sheets up to imminent extinction, it’s been easy to regard the football itself as pretty inconsequential. It certainly felt that way at the last midweek home match, when a subdued Dale Roberts Terrace barely raised a heckle as Forest Green coasted to an easy win. Faced with such ineptness against average opposition, the old Rockingham Road crowd, however small, would have demanded blood. Had we really gone past the point where such things made any difference? Perhaps. Were the rousing back to back victories against Gateshead and Lincoln just a final reminder of better days? Probably. Is this depressing you even more? Definitely!
In purely mathematical terms, our league position is far from hopeless – but, really, we know it is. To somehow beat the drop, assuming there aren’t more points deductions to come, we need to win at least half our remaining games and other things to go our way. Yet there are probably only five teams left we could hope to get anything against – so we need to beat all of Hayes, Alfreton, Telford and Stockport (?) and then cap it all by winning at Darlo on the last day. Quite an accumulator – the odds would be interesting.
Of course we might also pick up valuable wins at Southport, Cambridge and Kidderminster to throw the relegation dogfight wide open. If that happens, I confidently predict that DRC Locums will also agree an out of court settlement that includes interest on the monies owed and an extra 100K for the distress and inconvenience. With the cheque presented in person by a smiling James Caan.
Plus, for old times sake, the surviving members of the Brigstock & Thrapston Reds will run around Kiddy with their willies hanging out.
However, we are due another half a dozen red cards (maybe even a couple of them legitimate), another dozen goals gifted by dozy defending at set pieces and more underfilled brown envelopes to negotiate without our remaining players deciding enough is enough and going off to do something which pays better – like handing out flyers or flipping burgers.
So we’re going down folks. Make the most of our last few weeks at this level. Attendances above three figures. Away grounds with atmosphere and proper facilities. Our results on the telly (if you can bear to look). If the future is Blue Square North or South, it’s better than no future at all and we’ll just have to accept our situation and try to make the best of it.
As to exactly how we do that, you don't read this blog for answers surely?
About to write us a big cheque, if results go our way...