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Town fan Nick Judd endures a nail-biting night in front of the TV...
The title isn’t the neurotic statement of a glass-half-empty fan, but the findings of a report that attempted to reveal which clubs were the most stressful to follow according to the number of promotions, relegations and managerial sackings they’d experienced, not to mention their propensity for conceding last-minute goals.
Notts County came out as the most likely to induce a heart attack. They’ve sacked 35 managers since 1945 and switched divisions 29 times.
Swindon Town were fifth. In the last 20 years we’ve gone up three times, down four times, lost one play-off semi-final and been promoted (and demoted) in one summer without kicking a ball.
Robins fans being put through the wringer
This season we’ve been in the top three and the bottom four. We’ve sacked one manager and dropped enough points late on to see us fighting for our lives rather than promotion. It’s no wonder we’re embroiled at the bottom.
And this week, for the first time, I found myself even more nervous than usual. And Swindon weren’t even playing…
On Tuesday night, while most people were enjoying their first barbeques of the year, I was engrossed by the football on the TV.
However, not the 4-4 draw at Anfield, but Sky Sports News, which was providing updates from the three games in League One.
Brighton, Northampton and Yeovil were all involved, and for the sake of our home game against Bristol Rovers on Saturday - and ultimately our survival against the drop - I was hoping all three would get turned over.
Brighton went one down against Rovers in the first of a series of ‘rollercoaster’ moments across the three games.* Good times.
Northampton took an unlikely lead against play-off hopefuls Scunny. Bad times - the Cobblers were four points behind but with two games in hand and a better goal difference.
Ah wait, Hereford are one up at Yeovil - we’re level on points with the Glovers but our goal difference is better.
Northampton then went 2-1 behind, then 3-2 down. Get in.
“Are you watching the game?” says a mate via text message. I turn over to see an almighty ding-dong unfolding between Liverpool and Arsenal.
“Sh*t” reads another message.
I flick back: Brighton are now ahead at Rovers, and Northampton are level again. At least Yeovil are losing…
But then, in stoppage time, the Glovers' goalkeeper equalises! Drat, and double drat!
Late Weale leveller sees Yeovil usurp Swindon
Final whistles all round, and it’s not been a great night.
Quick calculations find Yeovil above us by a point. Northampton are now three points behind with a better goal difference and a game in hand. Brighton are now one point adrift, and they play Stockport – the team with the second-worst record in the last eight games – on the last day. At home. Oh goody.
If Tuesday night is anything to go by, I expect to have run out of fingernails by the time this season’s finished…
*Rovers are used to doing us favours - in 2000/01 we looked odds on for the drop until they conspired to lose all three of their games in hand. Could they help us out again? Not on Tuesday, but hopefully they’ll be feeling more charitable at the weekend.
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Great post as usual Nick. I gotta say I havent been so nerovus the week before a swindon game as this! Hopefully we can take the win on saturday against rovers, so I can go to london road slightly more relaxed. Knowing us though I'm sure I and the rest of the travelling town support will be kept on edge all game.
I got to admit, I was doing exactly the same thing glued to SSN, rather watching the Liverpool match.
Luckily for us, after beating Rovers, it is now over and we're safe for another season, and Simon Cox breaking the post-war club record goals in a league season as well, despite playing in a struggling side.
Congratulation to him...and after Saturday, looking forward to the new season already...with 3 months to go !!!
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