The View from the Bar

Right, it’s now official, I am some kind of negative soothsayer. Don’t doubt it, the evidence is irrefutable. Two weeks back on this page I bemoaned the tribulations of following a game via facebook updates, only to find myself incapacitated for the next match and doing just that. This piqued my interest, so last week I took a punt on saying how awful it would be to win the national lottery (or at the least, the golden goal competition). Well, neither of those ships came in, but as I strolled into Westwood last week I was accosted by Julie Potts, who proceeded to pass me a small brown envelope containing a tidy wodge of loot courtesy of winning the latest club lottery. Two for two – the odds are astronomical! There’s clearly something deeper going on here. With that in mind, today I’d like to say how terrible it would be if Cowes were to end Sholing’s unbeaten run in the league this year. Truly awful it would be. I don’t think there’s anyone involved in the Wessex League who doesn’t want to see The Boatmen complete a glorious “unbeatables” season: they’ve managed no less than 24 matches already, dropping just two points along the way. Can you imagine the horror?
Sholing have been seriously impressive, it has to be said, with a draw at Tadley the only blot on their copybook when it comes to league affairs, and still an ongoing interest in two cup competitions, including the Hampshire Senior Cup in which they’re due to take on AFC Bournemouth in the quarter-final this coming Tuesday. Faced with that task, I’d be tempted to claim a technical victory on a point of order, being as Bournemouth’s in Dorset, but hey, I’m sure they’re looking forward to testing their mettle against The Cherries, so maybe this one will be settled on the pitch rather than in the courts. Sholing were also looking strong bets in the F.A. Vase, but an extra-time defeat at Northwich Victoria a couple of weeks back put paid to their dreams of a return to Wembley.
Having missed the 4-3 goal-fest against Bashley it was good to get back up here last week for the visit of Shaftesbury. Not so many goals, but equally tense, it was a great performance against a tough side and a very well-deserved three points. A very useful three points too, given that all the teams around us seem to be embarking on Sholing-like runs of form now we’re getting to the business end of the season. As I’ve said before, the support this season has been fantastic and it was great to see another big crowd rewarded with such a pleasing performance and result. There were 136 here last week, taking our average for the season to just a shade under 130, and making us the third best supported side in the league – no mean stat given that we’ve been battling down at the, ahem, interesting end of the league for most of the campaign. Well-done everyone!
A pity that the Gold Cup quarter-final on Wednesday evening fell foul of the weather. At the time of writing we’d yet to hear about a rescheduled date, but keep your ear to the ground as it may be something of a short-notice affair so there’s a good chance it won’t make it onto the posters. But then again it might, since I’ve just realised I’ve forgotten to send the latest ones to the printers. D’oh. That’ll be me staying up for another half hour tonight then…
Enjoy the game.
Toby.

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