The View from the Bar

Well, the season starts (again) here, I reckon. We’ve got twelve league games to go – eight of them at home – and going by the last twenty seasons or so, five wins should give us enough points to avoid the bottom three. The exact situation re. how many teams will drop into Division 1 at the end of the season is unclear (as it will depend on the performance of teams in other leagues, what with the restructuring going on across different levels at the lower end of the non-league pyramid), but it’s highly likely that two teams will be facing the drop, so whatever we do, we’ve got to try and elevate ourselves a bit from our current position.
And I, for one, think that’s more than doable. There’s been plenty of games this season where we’ve been the better team for long periods but lacked the wile or concentration maybe to hold out for the points. This was definitely the case in our last home match against Bournemouth, and sounds like it was true on our visit to Grigg Lane on Tuesday. Opportunities for revenge (or putting things in order, more politely) don’t usually come around this quick these days, but with our second game against Brockenhurst in five days today, it’s all to play for. As supporters, I think we’ve got a massive part to play, especially with so many of our remaining games being at home. Despite our position in the table the support at Westwood has been excellent again this season and the average home gate has gone up again (to nearly 130), despite there being no local derby to boost the numbers, so well done everyone for that and many thanks for your loyalty. There’s a real buzz about the place on a matchday, and that doesn’t half make a difference, so as we head into the final third of the season be sure that your support really is appreciated. If you can bring a mate or two along, do, and if you fancy a pre-match livener don’t forget the best pint of mild on the Island is waiting for you in the clubhouse…
As usual, any help with little jobs on a match day or through the week is also very welcome. An hour or two of your time can help make all the difference, so if you think you could be that difference, get hold of a committee member today. (From a personal point of view, some help distributing match posters around town roughly once a month would be a great help…)
Now, I’m sure you’re all aware of the comings and goings at the club over the last couple of weeks, so it would be remiss to let this pass without comment. Firstly, in many ways I was sorry to see Vic go. He’s a great clubman who many of you will remember as a loyal player during some of our most successful years, and I’d like to thank him for all his efforts in the managerial hotseat this season. I’m delighted that Steve is staying with the club, likewise that Pottsy’s back, and I’m very excited to see what John McKie brings to the manager’s position. John’s young for a manager, and will need all our support and backing as he settles into the role, but I fully expect he’ll take the infinite skill, guile and tenacity that have made him such a legend on the pitch into his dealings off it too. Good luck John, we’re all behind you!
Enjoy the game,
Toby.

Many congratulations to Jonny Barker of Northwood, who claimed the full prize with the winning Golden Goal ticket at our match against Bournemouth, and went home nearly fifty quid to the good – not bad for an afternoon up at Westwood. And many thanks to everyone who so enthusiastically bought into our new venture at the game. Don’t forget to get your tickets today!

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