So, I missed the Laverstock match, as I’m sure you may well be aware. I was on the mainland that night, watching the wonderful (mostly) Cowes-based Plastic Mermaids launch their new album with a wonderfully-intimate show at the Vinilo record store in Southampton. But I was checking Facebook plenty to keep tabs on events at Westwood. As it goes, the early show was pretty much done as Cowes kicked off, and had the helicopter not been in for a service I’d have made it back with only about ten minutes gone. As it was we traipsed back to the wonderful Platform Tavern for a post-show pint (not much happening, according to the Facebook updates) then onto the 8.50 Red Jet. Just after we got on news came through of Laverstock’s opening goal, and despite more updates during the journey back to the Island, it was looking like we weren’t going to peg them back.

As we disembarked at about 9.20 I remarked to my travelling companions that we could make the last few minutes at Westwood if we got a cab up the road. No-one seemed keen, at 0-1 down and with just a few minutes left to play another pint seemed far more enticing. The reception (phone) in there is terrible. Luckily the reception (literal) is warm, and I didn’t check my phone for the next while.

Walking home from Cowes Alehouse at around 10.00 pm my phone beeped. “What a comeback!” is all the message said. It took a bit of to-ing and fro-ing to get the full story, but I quickly realised that our decision not to jump in a cab had meant that I’d missed maybe the most exciting five minutes of football here at Westwood in a good while, what with John’s extra-time brace, first levelling then somehow grabbing a last-gasp winner to what was, by all accounts, an ecstatic reception from the Westwood crowd. More fool me, hey? Lesson learned? Well, maybe…

A great win though to push us up into the heady heights of mid-table. Horndean away last Saturday was not the ideal place to try and follow it up with a consolidatory performance, though, and so it proved. I wasn’t that surprised by the heavy defeat, given that there’s three or four sides in this league that are, on their day, absolutely head and shoulders above the rest of us. One result (or even a few like that, to be fair) shouldn’t define a season, and it won’t ours, I’m sure of that. I’m not looking forward greatly to Horndean’s visit here in February though, I must admit, despite a shared love of the afore-mentioned Plastic mermaids with Mick Catlin, a legend in local football and now general manager at Five Heads Park. It’d be nice to think we could keep the conversation that day to music, but knowing him, I’m sure the result last week *might* get a mention…

I understand that (at the time of writing) there’s still a few seats available on the coach up to Rayners Lane for our Vase match next Saturday – bargain at £20 including the ferry (pay your own admission to the game). There’s details on the Club Facebook page or, for the old-school amongst us, if you speak to a committee member today I’m sure they’ll sort you out. See you there, I hope!

I’m sure today’s opponents Hythe have happy memories of Westwood, having completed their great escape last season with a last-day win here – not so much on the game today boys, so maybe you could ease off a bit, hey…?

Enjoy the game.


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