Town’s welcome win at Biggleswade last Saturday was also their 30th League game of the season which means that they now have only 12 left to play.
Tommy Wright was in charge for the first ten of those games winning four, losing four and drawing the other two leaving Town comfortably in mid-table with 14 points, but in the 20 outings since his departure positive results have proved frustratingly elusive.
They had only managed seven points from two wins and one draw mixed in with fifteen losses before the midweek draw with Hitchin and followed by the Biggleswade win. However the four points from those two games have only taken their overall total to 25 while they have tumbled down the table towards the bottom four with the dreaded “R” word already being whispered among the Town faithful.
And with their home fixture against Coalville originally scheduled for this weekend having already been played in November when both sides had a free weekend after early F A Trophy exits Town have a fortnight’s break before they resume next Saturday (February 15th) when Redditch United are the visitors to the Arden Garages Stadium.
So how precarious is Town’s position given the change in the relegation system this time round?
Last season the bottom three teams from each of the four Step 3 divisions were automatically relegated making 12 in all, but this season due to changes being made at Step 4 only 10 will go down made up of the bottom two from each Division plus the two third from bottom teams with the worst points per game average.
So it’s a gamble if Town end up third from bottom and to be absolutely certain of maintaining their Step 3 status they need to finish fourth from bottom or better, and to do so a minimum total of 35 points is probably required.
Therefore can they take ten or more points from their remaining twelve fixtures?
Clearly the games against title contenders Tamworth (away), Peterborough Sports (home) and Royston Town (home) will be difficult, while those against the likes of Banbury United (home on Easter Monday), Barwell (away), Lowestoft Town (away) and Nuneaton Borough (home) will hardly be less challenging either.
On that basis it turns the encounters against fellow strugglers Redditch United (home next weekend), Leiston (away on March 28th), Alvechurch (away on Easter Saturday) and St Ives Town (the last home game of the season) into the “must win” category or certainly “must not lose.”
And if results don’t go in their favour it’s possible that Town could find themselves travelling to face Richard Gregory, Mike Taylor and Kieran Westwood at Bromsgrove Sporting on the final day of the season needing a point or more to stay up with promotion chasing Sporting needing a point or more to go up.
That has the makings of a worst case scenario, and it’s to be hoped that Town’s survival has somehow been secured well before then.