I’m sat here looking out of my home office window at what I can only describe as the carnage of nature. We’ve got a tree down in the garden (don’t worry, we have about 30 more), my garden arch is wobbling like a plate of jelly and next to me Charlie is giving me the ‘I can just poop in here’ look.
It’s cold, windy and hazardous out there. I have a sixty miles round trip to get to the game, one that starts at 3.30pm so I can bag the car parking space I like, get my Dad and use the excuse to eat chips and something on the High Street. It’s the sort of game I normally love, a night under the lights, but there are so many reasons not to go.
It’s the third night game inside what, a fortnight? That’s three nights of rushing home from work (ok, I work at home, but I’m talking generally), paying for fuel, food, drinks and for non-ST holders, entry too. It’s all beginning to get a bit much isn’t it? Plus, the payday boost from late January has already gone and to make matters worse, it has started to snow outside now.
We’re not on a good run either, are we? Portsmouth was a poor display, Rotherham we were decent but got nothing for our endeavours. Watching this video from the official site yesterday made me think about how much things have changed: all the players featured were new and it takes time for fans to bond with new faces. This is a tough time to feel connected to the club, familiar faces are going and results have dipped. I’m not being negative here, I’m putting across a case for not going.
Why? Because these are the nights when you absolutely SHOULD make an effort to go. These are the nights when our mettle as a football fan is truly tested. Friday was a sell-out and a great atmosphere, but tonight won’t be. Tonight, there might be empty seats. Tonight, there won’t be a vocal away support, not to the levels we’ve seen over the last two home matches. Tonight, your club needs you.
I can’t say I ever seriously think about not attending a home game, but I know when I arrive at Wragby Town Hall at 3.45 this afternoon to pick my Dad up, his first words to me will be’I’m not sure I fancy it tonight’. I know he’ll say that because he often says what I’m thinking. I don’t fancy it tonight, I’d rather light the fire, stick the TV on and lock away the bad weather. I know though, as a football fan, I have a contract with the club. Not the type that pays me money or that I can let run down and walk away for peanuts, or opposition managers can use as a tool to get me on the cheap. I support the club and they rely on me, and others like me, to pull myself out of my comfort zone and go along on cold, miserable nights likes this.
These are the nights that define us. These are the night when, anyone in attendance, cannot be referred to as a ‘plastic’. Against sides below us, battling for points, these are the nights that matter. Did I expect us to win against Rotherham or Portsmouth? No. Do I think tonight is a must-win game? Not to the level fo matches like Aldershot in 2011, no, but it is a big match which could dictate the direction of the next six weeks. Win tonight and that gap opens up even further, offering us respite. Lose, and those people who choose to sit at home by the fire and criticise will have more ammunition.
Don’t be one of those, get down to the Bank tonight and be part of the reason we get a result. Be loud, be proud and let this young side know that we’re right behind them. Many of these players signed because of the atmosphere at the ground, so let’s play our part eh? Let’s not disappoint. Let’s show the world that Lincoln City are not a disgrace at all.
The snow has stopped now and the sky looks blue… it’s pay on the gate by the way, but tickets can be bought here as well.