The empties in Pete Brooksbank’s recycling bin are testament to the fact that he forgot to knock drink on the head for charity, but will Boston United’s form see him go back to the bottle?
It seems quaintly absurd that, mere weeks ago, a charity tried to start a Movember-style campaign called ‘Go Sober for October’.
You’ve probably only just remembered it too, but a casual glance at your Facebook or Twitter newsfeed, or your glass recycling bin, will provide all the confirmation you need that it didn’t really take off.
It’s that time of year again. The clocks have gone back. It’s dark. It’s getting cold. You wake up to mist and condensation. The annual X Factor novelty act is grimly clinging on while everyone acts like this has never happened before, even though it happens every single year.
Appallingly, some people have already erected their Christmas trees.
Honestly, this time of year is about as much fun as all of January, or the third series of Homeland. Who wants to give up booze for this?
There’s something else going on, too. Up and down the country, and across the continent, football supporters are enduring the annual expectation watershed as the season reaches a point of maturity.
It’s around now that league tables begin to take some definitive shape: gone are the nebulous anomalies of summer, the kind of early oddities that place teams like Wolfsburg top of Bundesliga, with Bayern Munich languishing in a distinctly embarrassing second place.
In their place emerge more credible standings, and with them arrive the cold winds of winter to chill the bones of fans bravely clutching their Bovrils on the terraces.
Any lingering optimism from the heady, warmer days of early August are now permanently snuffed out, and supporters of teams destined for futile relegation battles or pointless months of mid-table meandering begin to accept their fate. (Of course, it never works the other way around. Fans of winning teams topping their leagues simply assume a spectacular implosion is inevitable, and brace for imminent catastrophe. Why DO people like football?)
Which brings us to Boston United.
Of course, there has been encouraging news about the new stadium development, but the eight fans still bothering going to games are being treated to the depressing autumnal exhibition of a team that sporadically flickers into life before stumbling at each subsequent obstacle.
Consistent inconsistency, as they say.
October brought three defeats out of four games, and the now annual FA Cup Oktober-mess as Leek Town joined Brackley, Altrincham, Kidsgrove, Cambridge and Workington in ending Boston’s FA Cup hopes in the 10th month.
Worcester would have been on that list too but they actually booted us out in September, which at least saved us all a train fare to some other far-flung hotbed of disappointment, like Kendal.
Frankly, Boston United’s FA Cup record makes Manchester City look like a crack Champions League outfit, and when the malaise spreads to league form it breeds the kind of apathy that causes attendances to plummet.
With not even a relegation scrap to sustain interest, it saps enthusiasm; the simple task of checking the league becomes a thankless chore put off until you’re in a better mood, like logging into online banking after a heavy night out, or checking when you’re next at the dentist.
Left unchecked, apathy in turn morphs into fatalism.
Unable to make the game against Fylde last weekend, I spent the day with my fingers in my ears, expecting a heavy defeat against a team who win with the expectant regularity with which Vladimir Putin wins elections.
The Pilgrims, of course, proved me wrong. I am always wrong.
The emphatic defeat of the league’s leaders has, for now, silenced the vocal grumblings of dissenters who always want a new manager even when they’ve just got a new manager, but you’d be wrong to assume that the gloom that has descended around York Street this autumn suddenly lifted.
If anything, the side’s ability to crush Fylde only exacerbated the grievances of fans frustrated by the team’s irregular form.
As the league’s heavyweights streak away at the top, disappointment that Boston will not, on current evidence, be able to crack this cash-rich cabal still rankles.
There is no easy answer to falling attendances. Only a consistently winning team will draw the fans back in numbers, but all is not lost.
The Pilgrims may have been knocked out of the FA Cup, but the FA Trophy and the play-offs, thankfully, mean Boston United still have plenty to play for.
That said, it’s imperative that the Pilgrims build some momentum to avoid the already dismal crowds from sinking even lower.
If wins against teams like Fylde are to mean anything, they have to be followed up with more routine victories.
If not, Boston fans can be forgiven for hitting the Batemans harder than they otherwise might.
Here’s hoping for a drier November - and a win at Chorley on Saturday.