Buckets and spades (but no boos) at the ready!

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Buckets and spades at the ready – the English Rivierra here we come!

With all the excitement (?) of the two FA Cup ties against York City, it is easy to forget we are on a poor league run that needs halting – and it won’t be easy at Torquay this Saturday.

The Gulls are unbeaten in 10 games, eight of them victories, and are flying high. And you know what gulls can do to you when they are flying high above you!

But doubtless Stags will be backed by a decent following, many of who will have made a weekend out of the long haul (see you at the bar).

What we need is a victory and three points. What we don’t need is an extension to the recent row over booing.

While I would not wish to be booed at work I could understand fans’ frustrations after the home defeat by Wrexham and four straight defeats. I could see why they were so upset and frustrated and vented their feelings at the end. That’s football.

But I can fully sympathise with Billy McEwan’s anger over the booing at half-time on Tuesday night against York. That was plain daft and did nothing to help encourage the team.

Stags had come away from a very tough game at York with a replay on Saturday for which they deserved much credit. Many of us felt the FA Cup adventure would begin and end at Kitkat Crescent.

Okay so the first half of the replay was a tight, stale affair with little goalmouth action. But, even though we hadn’t tested their keeper, a decent York side had not really tested Paddy Gamble either and it would have been so much more productive to have given the side a huge Field Mill roar of encouragement as they came off.

Or is it they are now going to be booed every time they fail to turn in a sparkling 45 minutes while they are BSP level?

Yes you pay your money and have the right. And there will be times this season when I may join in the boos from the press box if deserved! But surely we all go down there and want to see them do well and would do whatever we could to help achieve that.

A second half like the first and an FA Cup exit as well and I could not have argued against a few boos of frustration. But let’s keep things in perspective and not make life even harder out there for a thrown-together side that is clearly struggling to find its feet but does have some talent that needs drawing out.

That said, we are through and have an unexpected trip to Saltergate to look forward to.

I can almost hear their chants now which will include ‘non-Leaguers’ and ‘scabs’ and, after their 11 goals in their last two games and our recent form, few will give us a prayer up there.

But if there is one competition in the world which is a great leveller it is the FA Cup and if we could win there it would possibly go down as Stags’ greatest ever victory over the old enemy.

It would also be the most unlikely given the two clubs’ current situations.

For those who go to every game home and away, there would be a small consolation in defeat. Victory will mean Weymouth away on second round Saturday will become a Tuesday night game!

Dorset on a Tuesday? Now that is something worth booing at!

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