The View from the Bar

Art’noon. Well, as I write the wind is howling and the rain lashing down, but hopefully it will have calmed down enough for us to have a game on. Us and Tadley have a bit of history when it comes to inclement weather, after our match here almost exactly four years ago was abandoned due to torrential rain with Cowes leading 2-0. The match was replayed the following Saturday and, the home crowd (for some long-forgotten reason decked out in a variety of silly hats), were treated to a 3-2 victory in rather better conditions.
Of course, I always want to see Cowes win, but three points today would be a bit more special for me, since I’ve never quite forgiven Tadley for not producing a programme for our visit there on the day my boy was born, back in November 2013. Petty, moi?
It’s F.A. Cup 1st round weekend of course, and although our direct involvement ended at the first attempt with an unlucky defeat at Bemerton, our interest carries on with our own road to Wembley now being trodden by Billericay Town, who travel to Chesterfield today looking to cause an upset (and I have to say, a little bit of me is pleased it’s Billericay carrying our flag, rather than Taunton Town, whose name still sends shivers through me after that merciless F.A. Vase display back in 2000). Below is the path of results that followed our exit at Western Way back in August.

11/08/18 EP Bemerton H.H. 1 – 0 Cowes Sports
25/08/18 P Thatcham Town 0 – 0 Bemerton H.H.
04/09/18 P rep Bemerton H.H. 3 – 2 Thatcham Town
08/09/18 1Q Taunton Town 7 – 1 Bemerton H.H.
22/09/18 2Q Taunton Town 4 – 0 Bitton
10/10/18 3Q Taunton Town 5 – 2 St. Albans Town
20/10/18 4Q Billericay Town 2 – 2 Taunton Town
24/10/18 4Q rep Taunton Town 0 – 1 Billericay Town
10/11/18 1st Chesterfield v Billericay Town

Of course, undoubtedly our most famous F.A. Cup outing came against Yeovil in 1963, but six years earlier we actually made it into the 1st Round draw for the only time in our history. Having battled our way to the 4th qualifying round we hosted Trowbridge Town here at Westwood, but the visitors looked strong and carved out a 2-0 interval lead. Chapling pulled one back for Cowes going into the closing stages, but with the final whistle approaching supporters were “streaming out of the ground”. However, Cowes won an injury-time corner, and supporters were scrabbling to get back in as Ashley Wingham managed to bundle the ball home and earn a last-gasp replay. The 1st round draw the following Monday must’ve led to great excitement when we were potentially handed a home tie with Southend United. Unfortunately the long midweek trip to Somerset for the replay was a step too far for Cowes, with the west country side victorious by four goals to one. Trowbridge ended up losing 2-0 to Southend, who then battled through to the 3rd round before bowing out to Liverpool after a replay.
Now, I hope you’ve all been good boys and girls this year, because Christmas is coming, and we thought it was time to rustle up a bit of new Cowes merchandise! Get them on your wish-lists for Santa now, because in the next few weeks we should have our first ever Cowes Sports F.C. mugs available for purchase. Oh yes indeed!

It’s hard to know what to write about this weekend’s hundredth anniversary of the end of the Great War, heaven knows what it was like for those who headed off to the battlefront between 1914 and 1918, or those they left behind. But look around you today – they were men, women and children just like us, all with lives that changed immeasurably, forever. Over 700,000 of those who left these shores never returned, and a total of over fifteen million people perished during the hostilities. Imagine that. Close your eyes at 3 o’clock today, and just try and imagine that.

Toby.

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