The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

No really, when does the cricket season start?

20 March 2017

A pattern is emerging. Town make a decent start, often enough to get a goal ahead. Then we stop. What happens after that depends on the opposition. Portsmouth blasted us away. Wycombe enjoyed outrageous fortune. Orient weren't good enough to take advantage of the way back we offered them, allowing us to regain the initiative. Crawley were closer to Wycombe than Orient on that spectrum.

If you think you can see progress, that's probably an illusion brought on by the varying standards of our opponents. It might be better all round if we just played Orient every week. They need the money even more than they need the points.

Below the waterline, in the building if not on the pitch, then maybe there is something to see. There's a profile of Marcus Bignot in the League Paper which is a reminder why his appointment met with general enthusiasm. This is a man for the long term. Who knows, perhaps our mediocre second halves are part of his business case for a fitness and conditioning coach. And at least on Saturday he didn't blame the wrong kind of bus journey.

Progress, as far as Middle-Aged Diary is concerned, would be for Bignot to send his teams out in the shape he wants them to play in. Now he has conceded that the play-offs are beyond us, there is no longer any point – if there ever was – in trying to second-guess our opponents. If someone were to offer me some entertaining football in the next two months, I'd not slap them in the face for their impudence either.

North East Lincolnshire's representatives at Wembley this season will have to be Cleethorpes Town, then. Now that they have made the final of the FA Vase, the ambiguity Retro Diary mentioned last week comes to the fore. On the one hand, it seems patronising to decide you suddenly care about them just because they are in a big game. On the other, the Owls want the support and as long as you don't try and start up a chant of "Maa-ri-ners" you'll be welcome.

Congratulations to all involved.