Well here’s a bit of a novelty then – Saturday afternoon football at Westwood! It seems like forever since our last outing here, the thoroughly entertaining (and probably fair outcome) 2-2 draw with Fareham back on 6th January.

What’s been happening in the meantime? Well, we had the excellent draw away at title-chasing Blackfield a week later, but since then it’s been disappointing away defeats at Baffins, Hamble Club and, most notably, Petersfield. Now that we’re getting towards the sharp end of the season we’ve got some vital away games to come, but more than anything it’s our home form that might help pull us away from the wrong end of the table, and there’s not so many of those fixtures left now, although we now have two in four days to look forward to.

Today’s a massive game, and Tuesday is arguably even more important, when fellow strugglers Brockenhurst come to Westwood, so let’s see you turning out in numbers for that one as we roar the boys on. The crowd-as-twelfth-man cliché probably gets overused a bit in football, but as has been shown plenty of times in the past, even at this level the involvement of the crowd can make a massive difference to mindset of both us and the opposition, so wear your colours, make some noise, and we’ll see where fate takes us.

On which point, only a month now until our rescheduled trip to Newport is due – no excuses for missing that one, so get the 13th March in the diary.

No news yet on the I.W. Gold cup, but our (admittedly tenuous) involvement in the F.A. Cup continues this weekend as Spurs make the trip to Rochdale for a 5th round encounter. Our defeat at Bracknell back at the start of August may seem like a distant memory, but had we won that day (and then been victorious in each subsequent round) we’d have found ourselves at home to Tottenham in the last round. In the event that we’d made light work of breezing past them (I don’t expect Harry Kane would get much change out of Aidan) that win would have set up a trip to Spotland today, and a long trek north for the Cowes faithful. Spurs have apparently demanded Rochdale lay a new pitch for the tie today, for fear that their Premier League SuperstarsTM might struggle a bit on a more agricultural surface. I’d imagine Rochdale are cursing the fact they’re facing Tottenham today rather than us, given the cost of a new pitch. I don’t expect the change of opposition would have cost them much in gate receipts or TV income, either…

Speaking of pitches, as ever, the club are always on the lookout for volunteers prepared to put in an hour or two – either on match day or through the week – to help keep the club going, so please get in touch with any committee member if you’d be prepared to help out. Particularly when the weather’s like it has been, if you could spare twenty minutes after a match to help fork the pitch and replace divots that’d be an enormous help (and would mean the current two-strong div squad could get to the bar a bit quicker too.) Forks provided, but bring your own wellies…

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to pick up your pack of CSFC collector cards today. There’s just a few of the full sets still available now (fiver each guv), although plenty of the packs still available at 50p each from the tea bar – make sure you complete your set before you start spending all your pocket money on the Panini World Cup collection for the imminent World Cup.

Right-ho, the match is upon us. Enjoy the game!

Toby.

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