View from the Bar – v Hamble Club 05-10-19

The View from the Bar

I hate missing games, but today I’ll be absent from Westwood, unfortunately. And this promises to be a game not to miss, too. But I’ll get onto that in a minute. First up, the next batch of match posters are out today, so if you normally collect one or more from me, could you see Pete Jeffery today please as he has them.
On the subject of posters, many thanks to Andy Glaysher who has recently volunteered to help distribute them around town. We’re always keen to get more up though, so if you think you can take one or two to display in a pub, shop, business or wherever, please give Pete a shout today, or me at the next home game. For the first time, this poster does have a TBC on it, as we still don’t know when the next round of the Wessex League Cup, vs Totton & Eling, will be played. Keep an eye on social media and in the press for info on that.
Onto today, and what we’d normally be looking at as a very tricky fixture against Hamble Club. It’s still a tough task, but today has the added frisson of marking the return to Westwood of one John McKie, who for so long was a fantastic clubman here, regularly topping the scoring charts and an inspiration on-and-off the field for so many of us. And then there was last season, when we were looking dead and buried in the lower reaches of the table and he stepped in as player-manager to steer us to what had seemed an unlikely-looking position of safety.
I know I wasn’t alone in wondering if taking on the responsibility of the manager’s role might affect John’s on-field performances, but if anything it seemed to help him raise his game even further. The dismay around the club when he departed over the summer was palpable, but I have no doubts he’ll be receiving the warmest of welcomes up here today (and almost certainly a fair bit of ribbing once he takes to the pitch, also). In truth, he’d probably be disappointed if he didn’t get a a bit of stick (although, perish the thought he finds the net, I reckon he’ll be straight over to Country Corner to return the favour…)
Anyway, welcome back John! Sorry I won’t be here to see you, but I hope you have a great day (scoreline aside, of course).
A massively important win for us against Shaftesbury last week, and generally completed in some style, although our finishing did leave a bit to be desired. It was only slightly tongue-in-cheek when one Westwood regular noted afterwards that we could quite easily have wiped out our negative goal difference in that game. Anyone with any bright ideas regarding shooting practice, please step forward…
Next week is, of course, the big FA Vase trip to Gloucestershire to take on Longlevens. I don’t think the supporters coach trip is happening now, but I do know that a good number of folks will be heading up by car, so it’ll be worth asking around today to see if there’s a spare seat if you’re still interested in going.
It seems like we’ve had a home match every few days so far this season, so it’ll be something of a drought waiting a fortnight for the next one, at home to Horndean. I’ll be seeing you all again then.
Enjoy the game.