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Another Low Ebb
Same old By: Eric Hitchmo 25/02/2012
Aldershot Town A
25/02/2012   (Click date for match details)
League 2011-2012
L  1- 4
Attendance: 2511  (206 Away)
More On Aldershot Town

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"Perhaps it would be prudent to let myself simmer down for a while, however I cannot help but think that I must get my thoughts on this latest debacle out in the open rather than stewing on it.

This may well have all been different had we won today, such is the way that snap reactions can hang on a precarious edge in football. Perhaps if we had won, I would have enthused about how well we had done and how we could look forward to a comfortable end to the season. Instead, I approach one of the darkest points I have ever felt whilst being a Barnet supporter.

My love affair with this football club began nearly eleven years ago. I immediately felt something special when I first attended a Barnet game, and that feeling has carried me through to the present day. Back then I was all too unaware of the friendships I would gain, the addiction that would emerge, the strength of emotion that I would pour into this hobby. Those who I associated myself with at the time would be elsewhere, doing whatever teenagers did, while I found myself located at random outposts around the nation, beginning a love-hate relationship that has now spanned over a decade.

Back then, it was all about the football. Even now, Saturdays are still the epitome of my week, but for entirely different reasons. When I was young, I enjoyed watching Barnet play, win, lose or draw. After this long, sadly, all has changed.

Like many of you, I am proud to tell people who I support. Like many of you, I have made friends through this club who will be with me throughout my life. I don't stay in touch with many people from my youth, it is a love of a football club, and having something in common with people that has brought me to where I am today. It may be a different story for many of you, but I'm sure that every Saturday, you turn up to Barnet, look around and see the same faces that you have done for many years. I don't know about you, but wherever I go, that makes me feel pretty special.

Today, I did the same, only there was barely anyone there. I have been in crowds three times that size at that very stadium. People have better things to do than to spend their time and money to watch the inevitable be displayed in front of their eyes. I wished I had something better to do.

As I said before, it used to all be about the football and not much else. For me today, it was about everything but. For several years, I have cared more about having a day out with the friends I have made rather than watching a game of football. It has become such an extreme that ending up in Aldershot to be with friends had become a mere coincidence. I did not care about the game. Not even one bit. The fact that I parted with £17 to watch it grates on me severely.

Well, I say I watched it. In fact, I watched about 17 minutes of it. As soon as we went 2-0 down, I left. I can hear your reaction now. ""Why did you bother?"", ""What was the point?"", ""What sort of fan are you?"". Believe me, I was asking myself the very same questions. Does that make me less of a supporter? Am I fickle? Am I an idiot for paying that money and leaving? Should I have stayed until the bitter end and given my vocal support to the team? These are all questions that could easily be fired at me, and I understand that, but it's nothing I haven't heard or asked myself before. I was livid at myself for being coerced to attend. Such is my cynicism towards the football now, I'd have rather stayed in the pub. Why go to Aldershot then? Well that's as good a question as any. I should have done what many did, and just stayed home and watched the horror unfold from the safety of my laptop screen. True fans stay to the end, I am told. I defy anyone to keep doing this to themselves. If you can do so, then I'll shake you by the hand and commend your undying dedication to this unfulfilling series of experiences.

That is what it has come to now. Just 206 Barnet fans made a journey that is barely an hour long. That is shocking, but who can blame those that didn't go? I miss all the people that used to go. That feeling of community and family spirit that embodied that club from 2003 to 2005 was a huge part of why I love it so much. It was a joy to go along every week. It was about being with your friends AND about being at the football. It is long gone. Individuals have slowly drifted away into doing other things. I only wish that I could say the same.

Maybe I'm overreacting. On the other hand, this could be the moment where enough has become enough and seven years of watching this club pathetically attempt to sustain itself at Football League level has taken its toll. The straw that has finally broken the camel's back, if you will. Unfortunately, I have been in this place far too many times with Barnet and I've had to let it all out in what has most likely become a drunken, incoherent mess.

You get highs and lows in football, and there's no doubt that as a club we could be lower. Look at the likes of Darlington and what they have been through as a case in point. However, as far as I am concerned, this is pretty fucking low, and once again I am wondering where the good times are going to come from again.

Until that time, you're going to have to put up with reading this rabble, and I will forever be questioning the moment where I decided that this pasttime was the right one for me."

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