Northampton FanZoner Tom Reed is prepared for all the devil can offer after a trip to Barnet.
Northampton endure the tortures of defeat at Barnet
Social commentators throughout the ages have tried to offer a vision of hell in their writing. From Dante's "Inferno" to Milton's "Paradise Lost", Virgil's "Aeneid" and Sartre's "Huis Clos".
But no-one rings truer than Percy Bysshe Shelley:
"Hell is a city much like London
A populous and smoky city;
There are all sorts of people undone;
And there is little or no fun done;
Small justice shown, and still less pity."
Indeed, the Cobblers' trip to Barnet on Friday night was to enter a dark, dank north London underworld where all hope was extinguished. To describe the road to perdition would be best served by explaining that it took four hours to travel the sixty miles from Northampton to Barnet.
Every inch of the motorway journey was constricted by mile upon mile of traffic jams and blue flashing lights. All played out with the miserable soundtrack of monsoon rains.
Thoughts of pre-match beers turned to the anxiety of arriving on time which morphed in the hazy rain to the slow torture of seeing the A1081 at a crawl. The Barnet turn-off road sign would have been better replaced with one warning "Abandon all hope ye who enter here" as several cars did U-turns and jealous away fans peered nervously from steamed up windows.
To see Barnet High Road at such a slow pace was excruciating and the neon signs of kebab shops blinked as if warning of impending disaster. How disturbing to watch Northampton fans sprinting down the road, ten minutes after kick off, their cars ditched in some god forsaken back street, all too keen to reach their fate.
And then the grizzly cheer as our own vessel crossed the river Styx and a further hundred Cobblers fans rushed the Underhill gates with their decrepit dawdling attendants.
Then the blinding blur of the floodlights, like some torturous trick flashing against the black of Barnet alleyways and the hundreds of Northamptonians not knowing what to do about collecting in such numbers.
Rain, more rain, acidic with vitriol towards the famous Dutchman in goggles. Screaming slurs aimed at his advancing years and questioning his legitimacy. And then cruel laughs as the squat glaucoma sufferer, cast adrift by the Old Lady of Italian football was booked for his terrier aggression.
One header, two headers, the Cobblers' Minotaur striker butting the ball into the Barnet keeper's palms as frustration ran down the slope like gin-induced vomit and worried fans in claret scarves hopped from foot to foot.
Meanwhile, watching Northampton hacks suffered the paranoia of published pre-game boasts pinned to home dressing room walls. And then a shrill whistle, the Dutchman stomping down the tunnel at the scoreless first half.
The away fans stood in never ending queues for pounded-up cattle, glancing at bizarre advertisements in the match-day programme. "Amber and black coffins for Barnet F.C themed funerals". Haven't the poor beggars suffered enough?
But then that shrill sound again and the Cobblers' own death. No laughs for the Dutchman who emerged with a bright Oranje glow, smouldering like an ember in the rain.
Perhaps the Northampton players were bedazzled by Davids or maybe they were merely following the light as he proceeded to destroy not only their hopes for a football match but also their professional dignity in front of the world's press.
One nil to Barnet, a Krystian Pearce header, two nil a Yiadom driller killer, three nil John Oster and the fourth could have been scored by anybody. For the Cobblers were crushed by a team winless in eight games. Northampton's seven hundred undead followers begged for the end. "Small justice shown, and still less pity".
They'd euthanize them now but there's no more bitter a pill than Barnet four Northampton nil.