PAUL RACHUBKA never thought he'd see the day when he didn't enjoy a Town win.
As a member of the club's play-off winning team - a penalty shoot-out hero, in fact - and now a valued member of their League I squad, the talented keeper is blue and white to the core.
Having missed a senior fixture through injury for the first time in his career, however, Rachubka was a frustrated man during the 90 minutes it took for Town to beat Peterborough 2-1 at London Road last Saturday.
The 23-year-old was pleased, naturally, with the result and a four-match winning run which has kept alive slim hopes of reaching the play-offs ahead of today's home game against Doncaster Rovers.
He did not enjoy the experience of watching from the stands, though, when he'd been fully expected to take his place between the sticks in search of a third successive clean sheet.
Back-up Phil Senior started the match instead, with Danny Adams being drafted onto the bench just half an hour before kick-off, and Rachubka was forced to pack his bag and don his tracksuit.
"It was very frustrating not being able to influence the match in the way that you would want," said the former Manchester United and Charlton keeper.
"I wanted to play but my body wouldn't let me and I can't tell you how frustrating that was.
"I had never not been available for selection before in my entire career and it hurt not being able to go out and play.
"While I didn't enjoy the experience, at least the result was right and we came away with the three points, which is the most important thing.
"When you consider our two previous performances against Hartlepool and Wednesday, we should have played Peterborough off the park.
"As professionals, we should be able to go out there and dominate teams like Peterborough.
"It is something which has let us down all season and, last Saturday, I felt we were lucky.
"It was a disappointing display, but we worked hard, stuck at it and kept ourselves in the play-off picture with another win, which is exactly what we wanted to do."
Rachubka had been a permanent fixture in the Town line-up since signing back at the Galpharm in early November, following loan spells with MK Dons and Northampton while still at The Valley.
He joined Peter Jackson's squad for regular first-team football and to prove he could help Town move further up the Coca-Cola ladder following the joyous scenes at Cardiff almost a year ago.
While chances of a second successive play-off remain slim, Rachubka is far from ready to give up hope.
"We are up to 12th now before the Doncaster game and, if we keep on winning, other teams will be looking back and thinking the pressure is on them," he commented.
"We are in a position where things are not in our hands, so that takes the pressure off. We can put pressure on the other teams and see how they do.
"From our point of view, we've been there before so we know how it feels and, at least, it's good to be playing well at this stage of the season and putting wins on the board.
"In terms of playing, we have always been doing the same things. We haven't changed anything.
"Maybe some of the players are gaining a bit more experience and that's helping us to win games which, previously, we weren't, but we've changed nothing and that will help us in the games coming up.
"We can't worry about anyone else or what is happening elsewhere.
"We've only got ourselves to blame for the situation we are in, but we can still make something out of the season and we must bear that in mind."
With Colchester at the Galpharm next weekend following Doncaster's visit today, Rachubka is hoping Town maintain their unbeaten home sequence in 2005 with maximum points and the tremendous support which has helped the club stave off any threat of relegation.
"We have been very solid at home and have created an excellent record, so we can go into these games very confidently," he said.
"If the fans can get behind us again and really push us on, that will be fantastic as well.
"I think it showed once again down at London Road just how good our fans have been - they have been brilliant all season both home and away.
"It's like having a 12th player helping you and it's not something you really realise until you are out there on the pitch with every one of them behind you.
"It's a big credit to our fans, they support us wherever we go and the players really do appreciate it."