The View from the Bar

I don’t get to many away games these days, unfortunately, but over a period of twenty-five years or so I trawled all over the south of England (and occasionally further afield) watching Cowes, and while there were numerous highlights, there were plenty of disappointments too. Many’s the time I’d curse the affliction after a late goal or dubious decision had apparently robbed the mighty Yachtsmen and condemned me and others to a long, deflated journey home. Times move on, so these days I have to content myself with following most of our away forays on facebook, thanks to the excellent updates provided by Dave Draper, Pete Jeffery, or whoever might be holding the digital keys that day. But, it has to be said, I reckon it’s just as hard work following a game in this way as it is actually standing in a howling gale on some rain-swept touchline in a far-flung corner of Thomas Hardy’s fabled Wessex. Last Saturday was a case in point, with optimism leading to hope, and hope leading to joy as Callum put as ahead at Team Solent, followed by tension (still laced with hope, mind), then magnanimous disappointment as Solent grabbed a late equaliser. It could be worse, we thought, and we counted down the minutes and seconds waiting for that final post confirming the draw – a point away is a good point any day, after all. And we waited, and waited… and then the post came through… a last-gasp winner for Team Solent after we’d bossed a good seventy minutes of the match. And so began another grumpy Saturday evening, but without the trudge back to the station, silently reflective train journey and last-leg glooms on the Red Jet to help get it out of the system. Instead we’re expected to just put the phone down and crack on with things. It’s tough, I tell ya. Tough.
With that in mind, I’m thinking of starting a campaign to knock ten minutes off in a bid to push us up the table a bit. Bit ambitious you think? Well, it gets even better – I don’t just want to clumsily lop ten minutes off the end (although that would probably put us about fifteen points further up the table). No, I’m far more ambitious – I want to delicately prune five minutes off either end of the game, so that we kicked off in the 6th minute and the final whistle blew at the end of the 85th. If someone could arrange that I reckon we’d be a shoe-in for the top six, and we’d probably have enjoyed a considerably longer run in at least one of the cup competitions too…
But then that would be an extra tenner in Golden Goal ticket sales that we couldn’t rely on, so I guess the powers that be will put the kybosh in that one before it even gets off the ground. Mind you, the accusations of nepotism are hotting up, with Fred Stokes’ win being swiftly followed by Mick the Mic announcing his own ticket time for the first goal at the last home match, to a chorus of pantomime boos from the back of the stand. Seriously folks, you’ve got to start picking your tickets more carefully if we’re going to stop this lot from scooping the loot each week…
Don’t forget, today’s the day when our player, manager, fashion icon and all-round good egg John McKie is getting his precious locks shorn off in the clubhouse in support of his fundraising for the Make-A-Wish foundation. It’s all happening in the clubhouse at 6pm, so hang around for a beer or two, but keep a bit of change spare to put towards the most excellent of causes.
Enjoy the game (and see you after for the haircut…).
Toby

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