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We're In This Together!

By: Todd Bontoft
Date: 13/03/2001

I was disappointed - but sadly not surprised - to see the mass exodus after the second goal went in for Wolves. A goal, by the way, that was superbly executed and on another day could have flown harmlessly over the bar.

The first was a deflected free kick - that never was a free kick (Paul Groves brilliantly won the ball). And there we have a defeat instead of at least a draw.

It must have given the team a big lift that, knowing that when things get desperate the already small number of loyal supporters the club attracts feel able to just walk out and wash their hands of the whole affair. Oh, of course it's just an entertainment isn't it?

It's not at all about something that is at the heart of our community. It's not about a continuing fight for survival against all the odds after all! It's not about being proud to fight for the survival of a local professional football club.The club that is one of the few defining features North East Lincolnshire.

We cannot seem to attract the fickle tens of thousands that attended Wembley never to be seen again but it would be nice if those of us that do regularly attend go that extra mile at this time. After all it's in our interests as much as anything else or do we want second division football?

I know it's hard but we need to support the team through to the bitter end. I accept that this is blue sky and I am a naive simple romantic type but just imagine how much more determined and confident the players would be had they at least receive warm applause at the end from all their supporters. They would have understood that we were in this together.

Are we really of the opinion that they purposely set out to lose the game? Admittedly there is not much to shout about but we need to keep shouting anyway. Let's stick with them - as despite everything - there's still more than our fair share of hope.

There is no doubt that on current performances Grimsby Town should be firmly rooted to the bottom of the table, the poor home form consecutive defeats against Barnsley and Wolves does not bode well for the season's run-in.

This is the time of the season when a club needs to hit form. Depending upon a team's form in the preceding three quarters of the season it can mean the difference between automatic promotion and a play-off place, a play-off position and a mid-table finish, or in our case safety vis-à-vis relegation.

Fortunately, due to the equally poor performances of four or five other teams, the Mariners have so far remained outside the drop zone. Having said this, and in an effort to win this weeks award for 'stating the bleedin' obvious', it remains a very precarious position.

But these results are now mere history and the season starts afresh from this point on - we start the dogfight now! Today, the present, at this precise moment, here and now, is the defined start of the season. Ignore the horrific story that has preceded so far, the season starts afresh and safety is still very much 'in our hands'.

When the dust settles and we look back at season's end, from this point onwards our final position will be more than likely decided by the outcome of the forthcoming fixtures Away to QPR on Saturday and Home to Tranmere Rovers on 7th April.

Granted there are lies, damn lies and statistics but if we look at the season-BD (Before Dogfight) the performances against our fellow strugglers has clearly been our major undoing. Looking at the teams around the bottom of the table and the form against our 'competitors' has been disappointing. For example Crewe played two lost two - six crucial points. Sheffield Wednesday - ditto, Stockport two draws. Tranmere played one lost one. Huddersfield with a win and a draw and QPR with a home win are the exceptions.

Just take a few of these defeats convert them into at least draws and Town's position is transformed. The opposition loses ground while we pick up crucial points. Likewise avoidance of defeat away to QPR and a victory against Tranmere will go a long way towards avoiding the dreaded drop. But regardless of this fast! And with games against West Brom, Blackburn, Birmingham and Fulham small piece of conjecture, points must be forthcoming from elsewhere and (oh dear!) nothing but a mighty effort from the team and we the loyal band of supporters will do!

Once we give up - we certainly are doomed.

We're in this together!

Todd Bontoft


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