The View from the Bar

Last weekend was a bit of a washout, all things told. It was gutting that our day out at Brockenhurst fell foul of the weather, although truth be told had we gone, even with drying-out time in the licensed hostelries, it had been shaping up to be a soggy one. To compound the disappointment, though, a good few of us had bought tickets to go and watch the IW’s rising indie starlet Lauran Hibberd at Southampton Joiners that night, and we couldn’t get to that either, what with all the ferries and Red Jets being suspended for 18 hours from that afternoon. Apparently it was a stonking gig too – the first night of a sellout tour of the UK. If her surname rings a bell, I hear she’s the niece of former Westwood legend Alan Hibberd – some of our longer-serving supporters might remember him – you couldn’t hope to meet a nicer chap off the pitch, but on it…
The Brock game has now been rearranged for the last day of the season, Saturday 25th April, so we might get our day out after all, and with things going the way they are, who’s going to bet against it being a make-or-break match? Whichever way our season goes from here, this is starting to look like a massive day out!
The week before, away at Shaftesbury, looks tempting for a day out as well, and the trip to Solent Uni on Monday 30th March looks infinitely do-able too (although if you’re thinking of making the trip to Test Park, from experience I’d advise not getting the train to Redbridge and walking up to the ground through the estate, if you’re of a nervous disposition…
The last home game, with Baffins, looked like it might be going the same way as so many others before, as we found ourselves two down with around half an hour to go, courtesy of a sleepy moment at the back and an unfortunate piece of luck, but the Westwood faithful were rewarded with a brilliant comeback courtesy of a sterling team effort and two Gareth Bricknell goals. We could, and perhaps should, have won it in the end, but truth be told a draw was a fair outcome and it’s hard to begrudge Baffins their point – definitely one of the nicer group of folks we’ve had come visit this season.
The Baffins game was also notable because, although he didn’t play that night, Aidan Bryan’s incredible service was recognised when he received an award for making 500 appearances for the club. It’s hard to think of a game over the last fifteen years or so that Aidan hasn’t had a significant impact on, but the Vase game away at Egham in 2011 will live long in the mind – a great team performance, yes, but an heroic display from Aidan, seemingly flying in from every possible angle to block the home onslaught as we escaped with an unlikely-looking victory.
The other Aidan story that springs to mind is the game (memory fails me of the date, or opposition), where he came on as sub after a period of injury, launched into a potentially goal-saving tackle (which of course he won), dislocating his shoulder in the process, then casually strolled off the pitch and removed his shirt (with one hand) so that he (and everyone in the stand) could survey the damage, before casually popping the offending joint back into place. Smiling the whole time he was, too, not that you’d expect anything less from Aidan. What a guy! Players, and clubmen, like him come around all too rarely. Thank you Aidan! I think I can speak for us all up here when I say, in all sincerity, we love you!
Home again next week, and I look forward to seeing you all here for that, but first, the matter in hand. Let’s hear that support! Enjoy the game.
Toby.

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