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It Ain't Pretty
By: Bill Osborne
"IT wasn't pretty, there was a lot of direct play and consequently not much creativity from midfield. But in Town's situation, results are vitally important. How they are achieved is largely secondary."
Those were the comments by Geoff Ford, Sports Editor of the Grimsby Telegraph, in his report of the Hereford Game.
He could have been talking about any game last season because that was the picture then and it is still the picture this season, by all accounts.
But does it matter if it isn't pretty?
A great many people will give a resounding yes to that question. But what we seem to forget is, that over the last 3 to 4 years, perhaps longer, the club have not just struggled to survive in the Football League, they have also struggled to survive as a club.
In fact, it would be fair to say, that if John Fenty had not taken over, we might not have anything to write about today.
But he did and here we are. In the fourth division, only now appearing to turn the corner after a bad start, with a new manager and team and aiming to climb higher in the League.
As Geoff Ford said; "It ain't pretty!" and until the last few games he might also have asked "Is it effective".
It was last season, right up until the Playoff Final.
And in the fourth division, that is the cross we have to bear. It isn't pretty, it never was and I doubt if it ever will be, and we, the fans and supporters, know that but somehow seem not to accept it.
Maybe our expectations are too high. Maybe we have seen too many Premier League games on TV, because reading some of the reactions on our performance this season, one would have thought we were still in the first division.
But we aren't and this is as good as it gets.
But that is no reason to turn our backs on the club.
It is sad to read people saying; "I am not paying good money to watch rubbish." Because it is times like this that the club needs you. The good money you are paying is keeping us afloat and the club too have high expectations.
They would hope that you would stay with them and help them, and yourselves, through these hard times.
It isn't easy. But we have to look forward to further than today. It is only the supporters passing through the turnstiles and getting behind the team that will make it better. It is a long road and it won't get any shorter if all we do is moan and groan.
How many times has it been said that the fans behind the team are the twelfth man on the field. Nowadays we seem to be playing with 10 men without that support.
If you want things to change then get behind the team and play your part.
It ain't pretty and it ain't easy either.
But it is times like these when your support is crucial. It won't get prettier or easier if you just walk away. That's the way of the 'Glory Boys'. It is not the way of the true fans and by my reading we have few of those today!
Note:In answer to those who are going to say "It's OK for you Billo, you are in Australia and you don't have to see it, so it's easy for you to talk."
I have supported Town for over 50 years now. I have seen more worse times than most of you. I have been through all this time after time. I have supported Town not longer than you were born but longer than your dad was born.
I have stood behind the goal season after season, in the fourth division, the days of seeking re-election and seen all the bad times. But we still turned up. Ask my cousin, Pat Linford, who some of you may know. She was there too and she is still standing (or sitting) there today in the pontoon. Ask her what it was like.
And let me tell you. It wasn't pretty them days either!
But we still turned up. Because we were Town supporters.
And because we turned up, we were not just able to see the glory days, we were part of them. Ask Billy Coxon, who now lives in Canada and flys in now and again to see Town play. He was there too and so many more of us.
The true supporters!
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