Opinion: Disappointing attendance for Grimsby Town's Ebbsfleet game
WAS the gate for last week's Ebbsfleet game just a little disappointing?
Should a team which had just won through to Wembley have expected a little more support on its homecoming?
Or were fans already saving up for their costly day out in London on March 24?
It's true that Ebbsfleet were not the most attractive opposition. It's also true that there were no kids offers on for the game. It was another cold night and there was live FA Cup football on ITV.
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But having drawn 3,800 for Alfreton and 4,400 for Telford, the gate of 3,100 for Ebbsfleet seemed a bit on the low side.
Town fans have been magnificent in their continued support for a club which had been in a long spiral of decline, but usually gates increase for a successful club as the season heads to its finale.
But maybe the 2-0 loss at Braintree, the end of the 18-match unbeaten run and the Mariners being knocked off the top of the table also contributed to the low turnout.
Yet Luton, without a win in seven games, still drew nearly 6,000 for their home defeat to Mansfield.
The Hatters are the exception in the Conference. Their gates have always been high and average 6,188.
Town are the second-best supported club (3,760), followed by Wrexham (3,595), Stockport, Newport, Mansfield and Cambridge.
Gateshead, when they get games on, are the worst supported with a 644 average.
This is a season that will be remembered for the lack of away fans at Blundell Park.
Figures of 11 and 18 have drawn amusement from home fans who have generously applauded the stalwarts who have made the trips to Cleethorpes.
The Mariners have suffered in revenue terms from the geographical spread of the Conference, with a lot of clubs centred around the London area, West Midlands, North West and further into Wales.
Mansfield and Lincoln are our closest opponents and the only clubs likely to bring enough support to generate a derby atmosphere.
In contrast, Town's away support has been tremendous. I've not seen any figures but the travelling army must outnumber all others.