Evening all! Great to see such a good crowd up here for our season opener last week and, despite the result I think the lads can be rightly proud of an excellent performance against a Sholing side who must be among the title favourites this season. The young lads coming in to the side did particularly well which I’m sure augurs well for an exciting campaign, and with just a touch more composure in front of goal we could have been looking at a point at least. Was a bit disappointed we missed a tactical trick by not sticking on a couple of extra players while Dave Draper was running around looking for 50p pieces for the floodlights though.

Not much incoming on the collecting front this summer, although I did pick up a nice Ryde v Cowes programme from January 1953 on ebay recently. Frustratingly the last few months have been more about the ones that got away. At the start of the summer I just missed out (again!) on one of our Supporters’ Club badges from the 1960s (I’ll get one one day, I will I will I will…), but probably the most gutting was the programme that slipped through my fingers just a few weeks back. Now, this one has been on my wish list for a loooong time, so when I saw a listing go up for a copy of the 1932 Hampshire Senior Cup Final programme I was more than a little excited. As any self-respecting Cowes history buff (there are a few of us around) will tell you, this was the day over 21,000 turned up to see Cowes battle Newport at the The Dell (unfortunately won by our rivals), with legends of the likes of George Reader and Percy Cherrett in the Cowes line-up, and so was a must-have for the collection. I say must-have, but unfortunately there were a good half-dozen bidders with same idea and it eventually sold to a last-second bid of an incredible £139.33 – not my bid, sadly. Ah well, I’ve only waited thirty-odd years to see one come up, there might just about be another one in my lifetime…

Many thanks to those of you that responded to our recent appeal on Facebook for more help getting our match posters displayed around the Island – as well as the usual haunts this year there’ll also be copies up in and around Northwood House and also at City Plumbing in Newport. Regarding the latter I’m delighted that we’re starting to make inroads through the industrial estate and into Newport territory – I’ll be more than happy to buy a couple of pints for the first person who gets one up somewhere around Newport High Street (although I shan’t be stumping up the insurance for whatever window it gets displayed in…)

They’re usually entertaining games against Team Solent, so hopefully tonight will be no exception (although I’d be happy with a dull-as-ditchwater 1-0 win, truth be told). Enjoy the game, and see you all up here Saturday when reigning champions (and second favourite team of the Cowes Balkan Fans) Portland United come to Westwood.

Toby.

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