And so the dream of a Houdini-like escape from certain relegation finally died yesterday, as Luton Town's 0-0 draw with Chesterfield, combined with Grimsby Town's win at Notts County, finally shut the door on any hope that they might survive starting the season on minus 30 points.
It's been a tough few years for Luton Town fans. Three rounds of administration, some eccentric management decisions plus a crooked board of directors have taken the club from fifth place in the Championship to relegation to the Blue Square Premiership in just 40 months.
On that December day in 2005, the coach trip to Ipswich was diverted to hospital after Sol Davis, our central defender, had a stroke. The team that was doing so well suddenly couldn't buy a win. It's been downhill from there, really.
The decision to consult fans as to the identity of a new manager had brought Mike Newell to Luton Town - rumour had it that Watford fans had voted for him as the worst of the three options - and his crusade against bungs in football was made to look somewhat hypocritical when, as it turned out, his contract gave him a cut of all transfer fees gained when selling players.
The Club Secretary, Cherry Newbury, uncovered financial irregularities and reported them to the Football League, and that was the killer blow. Despite the fact that a new consortium had brought the team out of administration, and offered a surprisingly good deal to creditors, a seventeen point penalty for a breach of FA insolvancy regulations, plus a thirteen point penalty for financial irregularities was the punishment deemed appropriate.
Brian Mawhinney, the former Conservative MP for Peterborough, told fans that we should be grateful for being given the chance to even play in League Two at all, which might explain why 40,000 fans booed him at the season's rather surreal high point, the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Wembley.
The against the odds 3-2 victory after extra time against a side pushing for promotion from League One gave Luton the ironic double of a trophy and relegation to the Blue Square Premiership. At least we'll be able to exchange reminiscences with Oxford United as the only two teams to have won the League Cup and now not be in the Football League.
It won't be easy next season. If reminders were needed that bouncing back is rather harder than it looks, here are some... Wrexham, Mansfield Town, York City, Oxford United, Torquay United, Kidderminster Harriers, Rushden & Diamonds and Cambridge United...
It's not going to be pretty at times next season, but we do get to play AFC Wimbledon. Come on you Wombles (in your other games at least)!