The View from the Bar

Right-ho, here we go, last home game before Christmas. Fareham have been a bit of a bogey team for us over the years, a state of play that goes back to the 1960’s, when during their period of Hampshire League dominance they pipped us to the 1964-65 league title. From there they headed up, into the Southern League, while we headed downward, but we were re-united in the Wessex League where they pretty much picked up where they left off. Their ground, Cams Alders, does hold special memories for many Cowes fans though, as the venue of our first trophy win in over twenty years (the Hampshire League Cup, in 1993, when over 120 Cowes supporters travelled over for the match and did their damnedest to drink the bar dry before, during and after the match). The Creeksiders have long enjoyed the support of a loyal band of travelling fans too, who never fail to make their presence known. Not many teams at our level seem to have supporters who REALLY CARE about their club. I’d say we’re one of the lucky clubs that do, and Fareham are most definitely one of the others, so in that spirit, it’s always a pleasure to welcome them to Westwood. It would be nice if they’d let us take the points every once in a while, mind.
I know the vagaries of Wessex League fixture scheduling has cropped up in this column before, but this season does seem to be setting new standards for weirdness. Assuming no further postponements, by Christmas this year we’ll have already played fifteen – FIFTEEN! – of our 21 home games for the season, and just eight away from home. This leaves us in the precarious position of seeking points from just six home games in the last four months of the season, and no less importantly our income (which relies heavily on a regular dose of first team action here at Westwood) will be severely hit. With that in mind, please help rally support for what games we do have (home attendances have been averaging well over a hundred this season, so we’re not doing bad on that front), and also please try and support the off-the-pitch events that help keep the club going. Your support, both on and off the pitch is vital to keeping the club that so many of us love going…
Speaking of events off the pitch, the ‘Evening with Steve Hunt’ night up here a couple of weeks back was a truly brilliant night. If you missed it, you really missed out, and if you were one of those who packed in to the clubhouse many thanks for your support and you’ll well know I’m not kidding when I enthuse about how good it was. Steve was on great form with some fascinating, and candid, reminiscences from his time as a top level player, and there were no shortage of takers when it came to getting photos with his international shirts and caps. I thought the bloke doing the compering did a fair job also, as it goes 
And all that followed a fantastic performance against Bemerton earlier in the day. Another good crowd, another cracking atmosphere, and plenty on the pitch to talk about. Conor’s goal was something really special, John McKie’s first was something very weird (what was the keeper doing?), but I think the plaudits have to go to Harry Dye for his double step-over and Blanco bunny-hop (look it up) towards the end of the match. Brilliant stuff. The afternoon started in sombre mood with a minute’s silence for Mick Knight, who was a diehard Cowes supporter for so many years, but ended in jubilation. Mick would have loved that match and it was a fitting display to mark his passing. Rest in Peace, Mick.
Before I forget, the long-vaunted sets of CSFC football cards are finally available today. Get them while they’re hot – a limited number of full sets are available for a fiver a go, with packs of four cards (50p a pop) also available for those of you that prefer a bit of mystique and some frenzied swapping. We’re also giving a pack away with admission to all under-16’s while stocks last. Please note – these are awesome – don’t miss out!
Away to Team Solent next Saturday, meaning the next time many of us will see each other is Boxing Day up at Newport, so make sure you’re up there as we look to complete our first league double over them in, ooh, probably about two hundred years. But in the meantime, here’s wishing you all the merriest of Christmases, and just in case I don’t see you before, a happy new year too.
Enjoy the game,
Toby.

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