The View from the Bar 2nd September 2017

Art’noon all, and here we go once again with another home game. Amesbury were last here on the final day of last season when a somewhat nervous Westwood saw us grab a late-ish goal that helped us leapfrog the visitors in the final table and guarantee our Premier League survival. Amesbury themselves also stayed up of course, although I’m sure they’ll be looking to gain a measure of revenge for that defeat today.

Must admit, I’ve had something of a spring in my step these last five days after the bank holiday win over Newport. Having waited nearly forty years for a league win over our biggest rivals (although admittedly we only played ten or so league matches against them over this period) we’re now seven points from nine in our last three meetings. Is the start of another dynasty and a new era in Island football? Well, a bit early to speculate on that probably, but a massively enjoyable win nonetheless, as you might have surmised if you’ve watched the video of the goals on our Facebook page. The camerawork won’t be winning any prizes that’s for sure, although the audible joy and somewhat shaky visuals provide Cinema Verité that Sergei Eistensten himself would be proud of. One for the film buffs there…

Today of course is ‘Non-League Day’, the weekend when the international break means no professional league football in the UK and instead supporters are encouraged to check out their local non-league sides. If that’s why you’re up here today, good on you and I hope you’ll enjoy it enough to be back through the turnstiles again before too long. I do think it’s easy for the F.A. et al to forget that every week is non-league day for some of us though, and it certainly wouldn’t hurt to see just a bit more of the money swilling around at the top level of the game filter down to grass roots football – the sums being bandied around during the transfer window this week certainly put things in perspective when you have to work so very hard for every extra pound or two for the club coffers.

Unbelievably, this is our sixth home league game of the season already – nearly a third of our home fixtures for the season played by the first weekend of September. Seems a bit crazy, but then when have I ever been one to question the sanity of the Wessex League schedule? Erm… Home again next week of course, but no complaints there since it’s the first step on the road to Wembley in the F.A. Vase when we’ll be facing what looks a tough prospect in the shape of last season’s Div. 1 winners Baffins Milton Rovers. Spread the word and let’s get a good crowd in for that one – the notion of ‘crowd as extra man’ might sound far-fetched to some at our level, but we’ve seen it a good few times here at Westwood on Vase day in the past.

A good win for the Reserves in midweek when they won that most local of derbies against Northwood 3-0. My ongoing Wednesday night efforts to achieve kung fu masterdom meant I couldn’t make it along but I’m sure those that did enjoyed the show. Two tricky trips for the Ressies today and next week as they visit Shanklin then W. & B. Sports. No news yet on their next home fixture (most likely on the 16th September) but do try and make it along as there’s definitely a promising crop of players who’ll be pushing for 1st Team places throughout the season.

Enjoy the game.