Torquay must take advantage of Accrington's loss of form at Crown Ground
If you are not careful, the trouble with taking a football team to Accrington is that the place, or rather just the name, can beat you before you get there.
For most of the population, especially south of a line drawn roughly between Hereford and King's Lynn, Accrington smacks firmly of Jerusalem's dark satanic mills, in a corner of East Lancashire that includes similarly daunting spots as Blackburn, Burnley and Oswaldtwistle. Just too far north to have taken on the vibrant, more cheerful airs of Greater Manchester.
Does the sun ever shine there? Is the hot water reliable? Do they eat anything other than meat-and-potato pies (or balti these days)? You know the sort of rubbish.
And then there's Accrington Stanley – founder members of the Football League in 1888, when the professional game exploded in the north-west, before folding for the first time five years later, collapsing again in 1962 and then spending 44 long years in the non-League "wilderness".
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By the way, it should actually read "Stanley Accrington", for it was the old Stanley Villa, based at the Stanley Street Working Men's Club, which effectively took over when the original Accrington town outfit folded in the 1890s.
The fact of the matter is that "Accy" have been battling against the odds for their entire history.
Always in the shadow of their bigger neighbours, always strapped for cash and supporters.
But, especially under their long-serving former manager John Coleman, they took the old "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" adage and turned it into something of a mantra.
Yes, the Crown Ground pitch, sloping diagonally from one corner to another, looks daunting.
Yes, the dressing-rooms, especially the away ones, are basic enough to persuade Fulham's millionaires to go back to their hotel and change there before a League Cup tie a couple of years ago. Yes, the whole place says, 'Have you checked your shinpads – you're going to need 'em.'
But hold on a minute.
Doesn't this season's home record read – W4 D5 L7? Hey, the Crown Ground is hardly the fortress that it is often cracked up to be, at least this year.
So when Torquay United run out there this afternoon, for a match which could have a major bearing on the League future of both clubs, shouldn't they get stuck in, win the old individual duels and then see if they can score a goal or two – just as they should be every week?
For if the Gulls can't do all of that on such an important day as this, at Accrington Stanley of all places, then they will have some very big and awkward questions to ask of themselves.