“I don’t mind the pain. It’s the hope that kills me”
There couldn’t be a truer word spoken as a Luton Town Fan. After all, we are use to the pain. It’s become something of a companion as we wander the football leagues. Hope though!?! That bastard shows up randomly, flashes his smile, pretends he’s always been there, and gets us so drunk we don’t even remember our own address. Sure, it’s fun when he’s around. You feel lighter with less stress during the time spent together, but as quick as he saunters in he saunters away again, leaving us cold, depressed, and staring into the darkness with only Pain to console us.
Hope sauntered his egotistical ass into Luton on the 27th of June, two games into the restart of the EFL Championship season. After a 1-1 draw with Preston the previous week, the Hatters went to Wales and shocked Swansea City with a 1-0 win. Suddenly the great escape was on and Hope was encouraging us to let loose and enjoy it. Tuesday, June 30th he once again organized a night out and the 1-1 draw against table-topping Leeds United had the drinks flowing. Hope’s good friend Belief joined us for the first time since the opening night draw against Middlesbrough and we partied like it was 1999.
Unfortunately the next morning we woke up with the worst hangover and Hope and Belief were nowhere to be found. A 5-0 trashing by Reading all but sealed our faith as Pain wrapped its arms around us and held us tight for fear of losing us again. It needn’t have worried as another match day passed without Hope rearing his ugly head as Barnsley snatched a draw on Tuesday night to further damper our hopes of survival in the wicked world of the EFL Championship. ‘Roll on the weekend’ we thought to ourselves. A loss to fellow strugglers Huddersfield Town on Friday night would all but relegate us. We could curl up in a ball and have Pain pat us on the head, telling us ‘everything would be ok’. We had finally surrendered to the realization of League One football next season.
But nothing is that straight forward for Luton Town fans and on Friday night after a first half that looked like a League One match, there was a knock on the door. Imagine our surprise when we opened it to see not only Hope but Belief too! And they’d brought beers! Reluctantly we let them in but were adamant we’d keep our guard up. It was going to take more than a few beers to undo the previous two matches. Four minutes. That’s how long that guard lasted. Four whole minutes. It was at that point Sonny Bradley headed home from a corner, knocked the guard flat on its back and put Luton into a 1-0 lead.
Twenty-two minutes later Elliot Lee followed up on a James Collins shot that hit the post and doubled Luton’s lead. Not only was the guard down but Hope and Belief had picked it up and thrown it out the window. Safety was now only two points away with three games remaining. Not to mention the gap to Huddersfield in 19th was now only three points! Sure, other teams have games in hand and our faith rests with them, but Hope and Belief have us ‘All In’. They are saying all the right things.
The only problem is we know Hope and Belief and are well aware by Tuesday night, our next game against Queens Park Rangers, they could be nowhere to be found and we’ll be left crying in the arms of Pain yet again. However, if they stay and continue to whisper sweet nothings in our ear not only will everything be okay but all the tears will have been very much worth it. Please stick around Hope and Belief. Things are so much nicer when you are here, even if it may ultimately harm us.