The Diary

Cod Almighty | Diary

Aren't you worried?

19 February 2021

Daubney Diary writes: "Same again next season?" is the hanging fate tempter that closed the account of our last visit to Exeter in September 2019. It's a fixture to remind us of what we're missing. More than that, it rubs your nose in it.

A nice ground with friendly Exeterers serving fine food and drink, it has the bonus of being far enough away to ensure you don't get a bunch of lagered-up idiots embarrassing themselves and Grimsby by smashing up the boozer or abusing the locals. Happily, the "We're the boys from Grimsby" chant also requires a critical mass to get it going, so that doesn't get an airing either.

Alas, it is just Hursty and the boys making the long journey this afternoon for tomorrow's game. The 1pm kick-off will enable them to get back within sight of Dock Tower before they turn into pumpkins or something. That's as long as they haven't already been turned been into lemons like the last early kick-off did at Scunny. 

Exeter City where, usually, your trip to the football is about more than the 22 blokes chasing the bag of wind. Not this time, pal. We all know we're up to our eyes in it. Furthermore, the news that despite furloughed and possibly folding teams, the Conference is going to fight on shouting 'Tis but a scratch!', means, unlike 2009, Town will have to survive on merit.

Just as we're all aware we're in the mud, if we take a breath and weigh things up, we know we can get out of it. Sounds obvious, but we need a win to clear the heads and soon. Is tomorrow the day?

Our opponents will hopefully be missing leading scorer Ryan Bowman. He's suspended along with defender Alex Hartridge after their midweek dismissals in the 1-1 draw with Newport. I say "hopefully be missing" so as not to tempt fate and later read on Twitter "Phil Inn was ace scoring those four goals, we didn't miss Bowman at all #hashtag". 

The draw left the perennial playoffers sitting just above the dotted line. How are the team sitting two places below the much nastier solid line going to counter the City stand-ins imaginary or otherwise? We found Devon Diary lying under a pile of empty ale bottles and old 1970s rock vinyl and gave him a nudge to assess our chances: 

"Hursty's team selection this weekend will be like looking in your sock drawer when you've put off doing a wash and you're left with no matching pairs, some too small or full of holes. Or you pull out the nice looking jeans you just picked up from Sue Ryder and find the legs have gone"

Devon is alluding, we think, to Paul Hurst's mention during the week that we're likely to be missing a couple of players through injury. Not naming names makes sense, as he explained, he doesn't want to give the Exeter lot any help at guessing which of our 149 players makes the starting XI. However, it has potential to drive us Town fans over the edge at imagining that one of the wounded will be everyone's new favourite player, Jay Matete.  

Amid all this I am reminded of top notch Cold War spy flick Bridge of Spies. Well worth a trip down to Joe Waters Video Rentals in its own right, Mark Rylance’s captured spy character's deadpan reply of "Would it help?" to the frequently asked question of "Aren’t you worried?" seems pertinent right now. We've had an awful run this season and teams around us have picked up points. Yet we still have our destiny in our own, ever-improving, hands. We can do this. We will do this.