The worst thing about relegation in 2005 was the hope that preceded it. After a miserable season, there were moments towards its end that suggested survival was possible, that we could repeat the miraculous escapes of the 90s. The death-knell sounded by Ruud Van Nistelrooy's cruelly simple headed goal on that fateful May day was all the harder to bear given the previously reborn dreams.
Today's victory against promotion-chasing Cardiff served two purposes: it secured their first back-to-back wins all season; and it rekindled hope that survival is possible after months of despair had led to the death of hope. If Saints are to disappear into League One this season, this result will make it all the harder to take. For hope is reborn.
Saints 1 - Cardiff 0
Make no mistake, relegation is still odds-on for Saints this season. A series of excellent results for their fellow strugglers means they are still three points adrift. However, Mark Wotte has achieved twice in three games what Jan Poortvliet could only manage once in fourteen. His home successes have offered Saints fans the tantalising prospect of survival and the oh-so-dangerous taste of hope. If he can continue in this vein, Saints' seemingly inevitable descent into footballing oblivion may yet be averted
In the event, David McGoldrick's tenth minute penalty proved enough to separate the sides. With reports in today's papers suggesting Saints have a 50-50 chance of going into administration in the next fortnight, this brace of results may have come at just the right time to rally the club into reversing their apparently bottomless fall.
It seems perverse to take such pleasure from a team that has dispensed misery in such volume this season but I am guilty of such perversion tonight. I admit to being excited about the forthcoming dog-fight, a good old tasty relegation battle to infuse the senses and rally the troops.
I know there is pain to come (maybe much of it) but I will enjoy the highs while they come and forget the broader toils of the club. All we have is now, and now is the time to fight for the red and white, the time to get behind the boys - now is the time for hope.
Mengatasi Wasir Atau Ambeien Stadium 4
4 months ago