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It Is Not Over Yet!

By: Richard Lord
Date: 25/04/2004

DESPITE suffering such a critical defeat at Stockport, the league table doesn't look as intimidating as I thought it'd be. I mean, we're just a point off safety and there are still five teams seriously threatened by the two remaining relegation places.

I will admit to switching off the radio when we went 2-0 down, but when I rejoined at 16:30, I was surprised at how the game had turned. However, we never pulled it back and we were made to pay for a first half that was only described as 'woeful' by John Tondeur.

A few weeks ago, we all started taking an interest in Rushden's descent. After all, in every division there's always one team that slips into trouble from relative mid-table safety.

But I would also like to point out that there are always teams who either find their form just a little bit too early, and sink back down again when they think they've done their job, and there are teams that win the crucial remaining fixtures, when their earlier form would suggest that they had accepted relegation.

Of course, in times like this there's always going to be doom and gloom, but it's moments like now that I feel compelled to write something that reinforces my hope (or wishful thinking).

I'm not detached from reality, as I realise our chances of survival are beginning to stack up against us, but once more I'd like to point out that we're only one point from safety. Not five points, with a remaining six available; just the ONE.

What has given most of our fans the impression that we're down and out has been the way we've played at times this season. It's also been the way that Town have crumbled at the feet of seemingly mediocre teams.

Now it all boils down to two games. I was glad to see that Brentford struggled against Wycombe, and only managed to scrape a draw in the end. That should inspire the team and the fans for next week's clash at Blundell Park.

Chesterfield have chosen the right time to grab their first win in nine, but before today, they were three points adrift with three to play. Now they'll fancy their chances of survival.

Having lost only 13 games all season, and with a positive goal difference, Oldham were never in it if we're being honest. So to see them pull away from the scrap wasn't all that surprising.

Stockport are one of the division's form teams, so the effort in the second half from the Mariners must be recognised. No doubt they'll believe that their job has been done.

More interestingly, I've left Peterborough 'til last. Like I've already said, Rushden are the team to slip down from safety, and in my eyes, Peterborough are the team that found their form - and peaked - too early.

From the beginning of March to the middle of April, the Posh lost just once in nine games. Within that time, they beat Wrexham 6-1 and Swindon 4-2, as well as collecting maximum points against Barnsley, Rushden and Port Vale.

But a defeat at Brighton and a home defeat to Bournemouth have seen Barry Fry's side fall a couple of places. They've now got to play Blackpool (away) and Wycombe (home) and as we've seen, Wycombe are no pushovers.

Last week I was saying that Chesterfield had to win two of their remaining three games to stay up, and Rushden had to win one of their remaining games also. At the time, that didn't seem likely.

At least on Rushden's part, they're doing their best to get relegated. I suppose what I'm basically trying to say is, three points against Brentford could be enough to see us safe. It'd lift us above them in the league.

It might not feel like it right now, but Rushden are so poor (poorer than Town, I think you'll agree) and both Chesterfield and Peterborough need to win at least one more game - and with Brentford below us (after our impending win over them next Saturday), it could be enough.

But what do I know?

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