30 April 2015

The eight goal swing

One game of football is all that remains of the season that was to rubber stamp the renaissance of Luton Town the Football League Club, now all we need to creep into that final play-off spot is a tiny little miracle (and possibly some bail money).

An eight goal swing. That’s all it’ll take to drag this blistered, hobbling home-straight out for another couple of weeks before the odd numbered year in which we currently reside unleashes an endless summer of no football.

No football. No match day mayhem for 3 long months until we meet again one day in August, when summer’s rays have rendered the pairing of your orange shirt and throbbing red forehead untenable in the familiar shade of Kenilworth Road.

An eight goal swing. In the quiet words of John Lennon: eight is all we need.

We’re less than a Joe Payne away from the play-offs here, lads. We’ve not had a twelve nill-er since 1936; statistically we must be due another one soon, eh? Let’s just stick one of the fullbacks up front? Come on, it’s still on, lads! Lads? LADS!?

Well, yeah, alright, maybe it’s not quite still on. I suppose we’d have more belief in a final day goal splurge if this wasn’t the sort of season where the queue for the treatment room stretched longer than the one for the bar in the White House at 2pm on a Saturday, or where more men were suspended than ladies night at Cirque de Soleil.

This week finally nudged our 2015 from contemporary theatre into the realm of good old fashioned Billy Smart’s Circus when two attacking options for our longed-for final day goal rush were ruled out for being banged up in nick on their way home from a team night out that saw footballers venture, as footballers never should, to Milton Keynes.

That’s not to say the season’s been all that bad. Or to say that all that’s been bad has been down to bad luck either - some of the football’s been more Mid Beds agricultural than the cosmopolitan brand your sophisticated Lutonian yearns for - but given that you’ve decided to carry on supporting a division four football team when other, shinier football teams are available on a TV near you, you’ll have to shoulder some of the blame for that one, you beautiful genius.

With that briefly interrupted losing streak still fresh in our minds, it’s with almost apologetic optimism that we can now start to gaze into the wide blue yonder of seasons yet to come. Looking down on our position with even an Andre Scarlett sized pinch of perspective, you have to concede that despite losing a load of League 2 football matches recently, we haven’t been this well placed for years.

You might argue there’s been more success off the pitch than on it this season, if you can be so blasé as to take a top half finish in the league above for granted. Either way, in the past year our club has genuinely felt more a part of its community than ever in recent memory, with initiatives like the Living Wage, links to Luton Foodbank and loads more outreach with local kids and disabled people.

Ironically it seems these strengthened local roots might finally result in the goodwill required for that bittersweet uprooting of our ancient Saturday Bury Park ritual, and on to a life after Kenilworth Road.

If the eight goal swing doesn’t happen (and it definitely, definitely will, mate), I’ll see you lot on the other side.

Up the Town.

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