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With scarves of blue tied round our throats

See, I told you it would come good in the end, didn’t I? I said it’d be reet and it would eventually click into place. Ahem. Don’t go back and check last week’s blog.

Yes, we threw the lead away twice. Yes, it was at home against the team that are now 22nd in the National League. Yes, we needed them to do us a favour and gift us an own goal to get us off the mark. But it was a win, a vital win over a relegation rival, and it was a cracking game, featuring what is probably going to be the goal of the season.

The opening goal was hilarious, and you know what, we were owed a bit of luck. Once again we should have been at least 2-0 up at half time, but it was only a great save from Norman – who is a better keeper than he gets credit for - that kept us ahead at the end of the first half. Torquay changed formation in the second half and equalised early on. Unsworth, the dinosaur with no tactical nouse, responded and made crucial substitutions and switched our formation. Ben Tollitt restored our lead in spectacular style, belting an absolute thunderbastard into the top corner from 25 yards out.

Obviously we then gave away a needless penalty, because we’re as good at holding on to a lead as a dog walker with no arms. Thankfully Timmy Abraham showed great composure to get his first senior goal, and this time we managed to hang on, even through the seven (SEVEN?!) minutes of injury time. Hallelujah, Noel, it was heaven, not hell. And what a lovely young man Timmy came across as in his post-match interview. I hope Father Christmas brings him everything he’s asked for.

The real MOTM was of course Dean Pickering and the groundstaff and volunteers who somehow got the pitch playable, despite it being below freezing for most of the preceding week. Absolutely remarkable work. Well done all. It was also great to see Frank back at Boundary Park. Hope you’re on the mend, Frank.

I couldn’t make it to the game last Sunday. Genuinely couldn’t make it, I didn’t just decide to sack it off because it was cold and the match was on TV and I was fed up. It was the first home game I’d missed since Chesterfield in September. It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me. I may have missed a five-goal thriller and the goal of the season, but at least I got to listen to the game on iFollow and hear one of the co-commentators (I didn’t catch which monster was responsible for this) asking Roy “are you joining us for another threesome on Saturday, Roy?”. To which Roy responded “ooh twice in a fortnight!”. What a terrible day to have ears. I was going to pre-order Roy’s new book but I’m too scared to now, I don’t know what horrific mental images it might leave me with.

So, marching up the league we go. If we’d have beaten Gateshead next Tuesday we’d have been out of the relegation places for Christmas, which would have been lovely, but unfortunately rearranging our FA Trophy game has to take precedence over the league. Ours is not to question why. On the one hand I’m kind of glad today’s game has been called off, because someone definitely would have got injured if it had gone ahead, and also I can’t make it because I’m visiting family in Liverpool and I don’t want to be accused of being a quitter and a lightweight for missing two home games in a row.

If you’re reading this, Darren, can you sort out some mulled wine in the Rocky bar on Tuesday? It’ll be absolutely baltic, and it’s one thing suffering hypothermia to watch us fight for 3 points and try to pull clear if the relegation zone, but it’s hardly worth it for an FA Trophy game against Peterborough Leisure Centre. Come on mate. It is Christmas after all.

See you all on Tuesday then. The road to Wembley starts here. KTMFFF.

Written by Arlene Finnigan. Photos by Luke Reynolds.

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