Craig Priest’s Mansfield Town blog: The thrill of the title chase

NMAC12-1280-1''STags Fan Craig Priest
NMAC12-1280-1''STags Fan Craig Priest

Sometimes this stage of the season can be a drag as, in Stags’ case, there’s been little to play for and the excitement factor has gone.

Last term the thrill was certainly there as Paul Cox’s men romped towards the play-offs, but whilst that was enjoyable I believe it won’t be a patch on this term.

Strap yourselves in it’s time for the most thrilling ride ever as our beloved side hunt down the title.

It was roughly 10 years ago when I made my first visit to watch Stags in an attempt to distract me from the stress of school bullies, not once did I imagine falling in love with the club or becoming somewhat obsessed with its unravelling story.

Season after season I, like you, travelled mile after mile and, more often than not, saw Stags put in an awful show and plummet from grace.

The end of the season had become a welcome relief prior to last term at least and we always relished the challenge of the new season full of hope.

This term, with 12 wins from our last 16 games, that end of season deflated nature has again turned to excitement and hope.

Winning the league is often an impossible dream, but as I’ve learnt from this incredible journey so far, every now and then dreams do come true.

One of five teams could take the crown this season in my opinion. However I don’t believe that any of them have as much control over their destiny as us.

We are two points behind leaders Wrexham with a game in hand plus them to play twice, the away game coming just days prior to their trip to Wembley in the FA Trophy final.

As ever I say take each game as it comes, only a fool expects things to just happen – success and glory are defined from the work you do.

As loyal supporters we deserve our moment bathed in glory, however there are still many twists and unexpected turns to come...but hey, would we have it any other way?

The thing I’ve learned the most so far is that there is nothing more bitter than a shattered dream and nothing more sweeter than embracing the tiny moments of joy, stitching them altogether into one big fairy tale. Maybe this time the fiction can become a fact – time will tell.