View from the Bar v AFC Portchester 06-04-19

The View from the Bar

I could have started writing this page about eight hours ago, when I hadn’t already been up for twenty-seven hours having done a night shift last night, but hey, why do something early that you could put off until the middle of the night? You’ll have to forgive me if I ramble (more than usual…)
At least there’s plenty to write about, so let’s start with our last home league outing against Bemerton a fortnight back – a great performance made all the more enjoyable by the brilliant season’s best gate of 171 there to enjoy it. This was followed, of course by the awesome victory at Hamble Club last Saturday – only our third away victory of the season, but what a time to get it, with a travelling party of some two dozen supporters intent on cheering every kick and putting as much money as possible over the home bar into the bargain. A grand day out, by all accounts, and despite the defeat Hamble Club were doubtless pleased to have their gate doubled and bar take increased tenfold. That win puts us six points clear of Bemerton with each team having just three games to play – the finishing line, and safety, is in sight. Not the time to be taking anything for granted, though. That’s for sure.
And then on Tuesday night there was the Pan Gold Cup game, and progress into the semi-finals. Not as easy a ride as some may have expected, but I thought it was a good game, all in all, with a couple of absolutely blinding goals for the 133-strong crowd to enjoy. Highlight of the evening for me came after the final whistle when a couple of colleagues – occasional visitors to Westwood – asked if I was disappointed at the prospect of going to Pan for the replay. I was as puzzled as you doubtless are reading this. Somehow they’d managed to watch the whole second half (no, they weren’t hunkered down in the bar) without realising Jimmy had netted a winner not long after Pan’s equaliser. They were incredulous, and very confused. I was in stitches. So now we have a semi-final against Whitecroft to look forward to, if that’s the right term for it. I must admit to being a bit nervous about that prospect, truth be told, although hopefully our Reserves will soften them up a bit when they take them on in the Challenge Cup Final at Newport this coming Thursday.
I hope by now you’ve all seen the brilliant video of the lads at their ‘bonding session’ on Thursday evening, and the incredible head-tennis sequence that should, by rights, be a worldwide internet sensation (or at the very least get featured on Soccer AM). It’s not often you’ll get me recommending a ‘Footballer Watersports’ video, but you really should check this out…
And hopefully if you’re reading this you’ll have survived the inevitable mass hysteria at the turnstiles with Mickey Sheriton doubtless getting swamped by eager punters desperate to pick up a Golden Goal ticket for the game today. Tuesday evening was the first time this season that tickets didn’t quite sell out and, wouldn’t you know it, the winning ticket was among the handful of those not sold, meaning today is a rollover and a prize likely to be in the region of £85 – not bad at all I reckon. Unfortunately my recent stint on the mic is now over so I won’t be able to enter into any nefarious plans to announce the wrong goal time and take a share of the proceeds. Might be worth tapping up Mick the Mic though – he’s always struck me as being a bit shifty…
Speaking of doing the mic, I’m now pretty sure our tannoy is haunted, since at two home games recently a mysterious female voice has piped up midway through the game to make an announcement about not smoking in the stand. Very laudable and all that, but I’ve absolutely no idea where it comes from or what triggers it. At the game on Tuesday it started up when I was sat a good ten yards away from the controls. All very strange…
So, believe it or not it’s the last home game of the season next Saturday – that seems to have come around quickly. Let’s do our best to make it another big gate and, all being well, another memorable afternoon with Wessex Premier safety assured. Nothing taken for granted – we might manage it today or, for a bit of dramatic tension the lads might string it our for another week… we’ll see. Whatever happens today, thanks as always for your support, and I look forward to seeing a large Cowes contingent for the reserves’ Challenge Cup Final up at Newport on Thursday evening too.
Enjoy the game.