Fixtures and results so far
Reserve team fixtures
Youth team fixtures
Al Wilkinson's poetry
The Meek that was
Stats and analysis
Man of the match awards
The season in pictures
Euro 2004 preview
What came before
Review previous campaigns covered by Cod Almighty
Mystic Mick's forecast for 28 February & 2 March
A minute's silence, please, readers... 28 February would have been Paul Groves' birthday. Well, y'know, it still is, I suppose, but I haven't seen his face around Town for a while... so I greeted him with a knowing smile. But in return all he could say was "Hi George, meet my fi-an-cée!" Which was a bit odd, cos my name's not even George. Where was I... oh yeah, being all mournful. In a way, part of me feels like Paul Groves has died. I used to get the same feelings about Tony Gallimore. Except this was when he was actually on the pitch.
So: Paul Groves' 38th birthday. I had been reading up on his charts for weeks, and had planned a monster reading, what with him being player and manager - this would have had an enormous birthday horoscopical influence over the match, but now i suppose I've wasted all that time... or have I...? Aha! I know what I can do - I'm going to take all these charts and readings and interpret them backwards!
It's a little-known practice called 'rev-astrology', (though Welsh mystics call it 'ygolortsa'). When someone who would have had a large influence on the things around them is no longer around, that void must be filled by something. Newton's third law states that "every action must have an equal and opposite reaction" and so it is in the world of astrology - the void is filled by the opposite forces of the reading from the departed. See, the worlds of science and the paranormal are not as far removed from each other as you think, despite what my science teacher used to shout at me while holding me up against the wall by my collar.
How else could I start but with a special birthday reading from Da Juana Byrd. "Your lucky number is 7," she begins. Now in rev-astrological terms, this means that it is Town's unlucky number. This could mean that the Mariners will concede seven goals (it would make the record books nice and neat - they've conceded everything else fro nought to eight already), or be terrorised by Barnsley's number seven... midfielder Jacob Burns. "You have natural abilities that help you to succeed in the work place now" is how DJ's reading for Grovesie continues. Good news for him, of course, but disastrous for Grimsby, who will collectively have 22 left feet.
Also in the reading is: "supervisors watch your professional behavior today," which in reverse means that the match officials will observe Town players in a great big punch-up. Oh dear. In readings elsewhere, we find an amazing degree of accuracy regarding Paul: "You’ll not be sure whether to stop or go for the first three weeks [of February]", Groves is told, and then "when the Sun finally moves into your birthday sign for the final ten days you’ll be off like a shot". So expect to see PG moving on sometime around about the end of Feb or beginning of March. The reading also talks of "high energy, revitalised determination and a keen resolve," which means we're going to get one of those really awful lacklustre performances from the Mariners.
It's another two-match week, of course, with the Mariners popping down the road next Tuesday to fellow black-and-whiters Notts County. Depressed with the inverted horoscopes of Paul Groves, I tried instead to look at the night sky in a mirror. It was a clear night, and the view of the stars was a good one; however, they were just too small in the mirror, effectively being twice as far away as with the naked eye, so I borrowed Uncle Derek's telescope and put it up against the mirror. This gave me an extremely good view of the mirror, but not of the stars, so I cleverly decided to angle both telescope and mirror by balancing them on the bedroom windowsill.
Once I had retrieved them both from the patio, I pondered for a while about how much a replacement telescope was going to cost, and decided instead to go back to plan A and see what Russell Grant thought of Grovesie's rev-astrological prospects. His first line, "This is one of those weeks when everything seems to be going your way," tells us all we need to know. This is one of those weeks where nothing will go Town's way. Oh great. And for the record, the Town squad won't be having a creative urge, won't be taking up a foreign language, and won't be having a pleasant evening with close friends.
Let's see if we can take solace in the old historo- charts instead. The Mariners' home record on 28 Feb...? Rubbish. Played eight, won two, drawn two, lost four. Scored less than a goal per game. It's all pointing to that unlucky number coming up, with Boulding, Handyside, and even Gallimore taking Grimsby apart: Town 0 Barnsley 7. Surely Tuesday night will be better than that...? Well, Town's home record on that date is astonishing, having won seven of the nine matches played. These victories include that 5-2 win over Palace, a 6-3 over Cardiff, and other wins over Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs and Liverpool. Woh! Ahem. Of course, this year's 2 March match is a bloody away fixture, isn't it. Bollocks. That's both a general comment, and a description of Town's away form on this date. Never won, two draws - against Mansfield and York - and three defeats, one of them to Barrow. I'm afraid future footy soothsayers will see another piece of historo-astrological evidence when perusing the charts, and it'll be this: Notts County 3 Town 0.