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96/97 review:
In which it all went distinctly pear-shaped. Crewe came to the Vic with much the same idea as ninety percent of visiting sides - defend in numbers, hit us on the break. They found us in one of our more adventurous moods as we abandoned the caution of previous games and attacked with considerable passion. Unfortunately, we still couldn't score and lost the game to a goal which originated from one of our corners.

Some didn't agree but I felt that Chesterfield was better, even if it gave us a nasty reminder of our lack of firepower. The creative side of the performance was all there, with Palmer and Johnson supplying Slater with all the possession he needed, but there was no finishing touch and we left with another fairly useless point.

True to form, I was forced to miss my first home game for over three years, only for the Slater-inspired Golden Boys to stick four past a sorry York side. If that gave us renewed optimism, then it only lasted a couple of days - defeat at Stockport, regardless of whether we deserved more from the game, left us in a bad position.

The long haul to Wrexham was no more rewarding. Despite complaints about the referee, we had no-one but ourselves to blame for the standard of defending. With our scoring record, we simply couldn't afford to concede three daft goals.

Yet another home defeat effectively sealed our fate. Chesterfield arrived just two days after losing the FA Cup semi-final replay and yet looked sharper and hungrier. Despite Richard Johnson putting in a stunning performance (still not enough to win him the Watford Observer 'man of the match' award, incidentally - it appears that he'll have to die for the cause to win that honour), we were well beaten, succumbing to that old 'counter-attack' tactic once more.

The home campaign finished, fittingly enough, with a goaless draw. That point promoted Bury so, for the second season running, we were forced to watch the away fans going mental in the Rookery as our own aspirations melted away. Tommy Mooney missed a late penalty but, in truth, it was all over a long time before that...