Four defeats out of four games played in 2011, bottom of the league and, well, we’ve given up haven’t we? We’ll definitely be in the Conference next season, playing against Fleetwood Town and, er, Grimsby.
Or will we? When you need to know the chances of something happening, go where it really matters, to the people who stake money on it. And the bookies have us as fourth favourites for the drop, with Stockport overwhelming favourites, probably due to their horrible run of recent form.
So, the money men don’t think we’re going down. Why?
Well, it’s almost certainly to do with the snow, and the amount of games we had cancelled. We have five games in hand on Stockport in 21st, four on Barnet in 22nd, and two on Hereford in 23rd. If those five games we have in hand on Stockport had been played, and if we’d stayed true to our current points per game average (a pathetic 0.904), we’d have 23 points. Which would, at the moment, give us a league table that looked like this:
21. Stockport P 26 Pts 25
22. Lincoln P 26 Pts 23
23. Barnet P 25 Pts 23
24. Hereford P23 Pts 22
Still precarious, but not as hopeless as we think it is. Especially when you consider that two of our games in hand are against Burton and Aldershot, in 19th and 20th place and therefore eminently winnable.
What about ordering the table by points per game average, a fair indicator of the games we’ve actually managed to play so far?
Oh dear. But, the four sides are separated by 0.05 of a point per game. There’s nothing in it.
All of this makes our game with Stockport on Saturday massive. Not just massive in the way every game is the “most important game of the season” but genuinely season defining. If we win, we could pull level with Hereford and we’d be within two points of Stockport with FIVE games still in hand.
Put on some coffee, we’re not done yet.