When did the last day of the season start being played on a Sunday. And at 12.15?
A mini-revival has seen the never mighty Colchester United with 3 points and results elsewhere between them and the ignominy of a slide back down into the basement of professional football.
The last day, as well as being on a Saturday at 3pm should always be hot and sunny, the pitch getting back that verdant lushness.
Rain. Grey. Cold. Pitch not to bad considering. Big crowd as PNE have taken their full allocation and it's over 8,400 in the soulless concrete bowl we have to put up with these days. It's simple really, they need 3 points for automatic promotion, we need 3 points and other results to go our way. A draw is no good for anyone, a loss will bring heartache.
It 's a nervous affair, under the gaze of a probably bemused Sky audience. Names like Beckford (Jermaine) and Davis (Kevin) plying their lingering trade in the lower echelons. News filters through of goals for MK Dons, which we delight in relaying to PNE, increasingly so as more go in. We have no width, threat or idea to be honest. Certainly not any end product, any high ball is meat and drink for the central defensive pairing. We can't see how Preston have got to their tottertingly dizzy heights either.
Half time and Geoff Stelling does not have cheerful tidings for us either. Things are not going our way elsewhere. A crucial brave challenge from Eastman in the box as we are carved apart down the left leaves the away end howling, the ref not interested and a huge warning shot across our bows. A cheeky long range lob nearly comes off. Our dander is up.
A penetrative ball towards the right flank gives the keeper little choice but to up end the Col U player. After a look to the lino the ref points to the spot and the South Stand erupts. Porter picks up the ball, but lingers on the 18 yard line as the keeper berates the ref's decision, rather than putting the ball on the spot and forcing the issue. His body language is all wrong. His head isn't over the ball, the keeper guesses it's going down the middle but frankly we not surprised that it balloons way over the bar. That's torn it.
News filters through that we now gave a chance to force the issue ourselves. PNE are done for either way. From almost nothing Moncurr has a gaping net to pass into. Which he does. Porter breathes a massive sigh of relief. We go into raptures, and the sun comes out. A minumn of 5 minutes extra time. Where from? Squeaky but time. Whistle goes. Wait for the final scores to come in. Pandemonium as it is confirmed over the tannoy. We have survived, right down to the wire. Play-offs for Grayson's PNE, disappointed as we celebrate. Nice to see a small group of their supporters staying to applaud the Col U players once the pitch is cleared and they come out to do a jubilant lap of the ground. No Orient or Notts County away days next year. Wonder who is going to be the nearest next season?
Stopped off to get supplies to keep my blood alcohol levels topped up. Now, this is quite clever. Do you see what they have done there?