Mark Hollis’ December column

Here we go again then, entering the second half of the season on an unbeaten run that we hope can take us through to a play-off place at the end of the season.

The current run spans nine games across league and FA Cup, and has seen us keep seven clean sheets and concede only twice.

It will be a tough ask to maintain this until the end of the season considering we have just three home matches before the end of January but, as we have seen for the past two years, we’re more than capable of continuing to prove our critics wrong and achieve more than even we as fans think possible.

Since my last blog we’ve won five and drawn three with arguably the most impressive result being the defeat of Sheffield United with Scott Laird sealing the victory with a late penalty. But even that was on the back of impressive victories in two tricky away games at Bury and Brentford.

This run has seen us up into ninth position just three points off the play-off spots with plenty of time to drag ourselves into those places before the season is out. I certainly wouldn’t bet against us doing so at the moment!

On to the FA Cup and two more victories, one at Hartlepool and most recently at Stourbridge, ensured we were in the hat for the third round. Stourbridge was an odd day for me. It was nice to visit a non-league ground again as there is a part of me that misses those days, but it was also a weird feeling going there as overwhelming favourites and being seen as a potential giant-killing.

Luckily we’re far too professional for all that and the boys made relatively light work of a spirited Stourbridge.

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The draw itself isn’t too bad, in my opinion. It gives us a chance to get revenge over Reading after they knocked us out last year, and also it’s not too far away so we should take a decent sized crowd with us. Add to that the fact that they’re not as good as they were last year and we’re better than we were and it should be a cracking match.

In terms of the Supporters’ Association, as is usual the FA Cup has seen an increase to SA numbers taking us past the point that triggered a prize giveaway, so two lucky members will be winning a Behind The Scenes trip around the club before the Tranmere game.

We’d also like to welcome Carl Rutherford onto the committee in his role of social secretary taking over from the recently departed Paul Lyme.

To wrap things up, 2011 has been a fantastic year to be a Stevenage fan and long may it continue!

All that remains is for me to say thanks for all of the kind comments I’ve received about this blog, and on behalf of everybody on the SA Committee, I wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous new year!