BROWNE ON THE BALL: There’s no conspiracy here... hard work and talent win football matches, not fate

Gregg Smith.
Gregg Smith.

Duncan Browne may accept little green men and the New World Order, but he’s not sure about one football adage...

There are some things that - no matter how much I refuse to believe - could actually be true.

Little green men from Zog may have landed on our planet. War, finance and disease could all be controlled by shapeshifting lizards, merrily quaffing from their goblets filled with aryan blood. There’s even a rumour that the Graham Norton Show won a Best Comedy BAFTA.

But one thing that I refuse to believe in is the age-old suggestion that things even themselves out over a season.

It’s one of football’s daftest statements and, let’s be honest, that’s one thing the sport isn’t in short supply of (just see Paul Gascoigne’s latest ‘hilarious’ quotes about signing for Boston and thinking he was off to the USA).

To suggest that conceding a dodgy penalty, having your captain wrongly sent off or losing a crunch derby due to a flawed offside call is easier to take because somewhere down the line you may be on the favoured side of a terrible handball decision is about as sensible as spending your life savings on the Lotto because you once accidentally binned your winning ticket for the pub meat raffle.

Of course, there are times whencircumstances trick us into believing that things even themselves out.

Just, for example, look at Boston United’s last two National League North matches.

Away at Nuneaton the Pilgrims were by far the better team over the 90 minutes, but had to settle for a point after conceding a 20-yard screamer deep into stoppage time.

Then, this Saturday, the outcome took a massive twist following another goal scored in time added on.

This time Gregg Smith forced home Jay Rollins’ low cross to complete an against-the-run-of-play victory at New Bucks Head, leaving hosts Telford, who had peppered the Pilgrims goal earlier in the contest, stunned.

Perhaps, on the balance of play, it would have been fairer for Boston to have beaten Nueaton and drawn with Telford, but those two results had nothing to do with this mythical evening out.

Boston conceded late at Nuneaton because players, whether tired or swiching off, failed to close down the opposition, plus Jordan Nicholson struck a flipping good effort at goal.

The Pilgrims scored late at Telford because they showed belief, they used the man advantage to stretch the opposition, and because Rollins is in the powerful, speedy and thrilling form of his life and Smith is a big, strong swine who knows where the goal is and wanted that winner more than any marker cared for the draw.

In football you don’t always get what you deserve, but the harder you try, the more you persevere and the stronger you defend, the more rewards you’ll get.

You have to put your faith in yourself, not fate.

And that’s what the last two Pilgrims matches have proven.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go and donate some of the red stuff because Supreme Ruler Splog’s goblet’s getting empty and the New World Order have got a bit on their plate following this US presidential election.