The View from the Bar 

  It seemed terribly unfair that we didn’t get anything out of our last home match, against an altogether not-that-impressive Shaftesbury side. On the evidence of that performance quite how they’ve managed to get this far through the season having lost only three matches is beyond me. Maybe they’re just enjoying some kind of supernatural lucky streak. Luck was definitely running for them (and against us) when we conceded the type of freak own goal that we were howling about when one went in our favour just a few weeks ago, and less than 45 seconds after kick off too. I think plenty of us were fearing the worst at that point, but a battling performance saw us more than match the visitors up until the break, and in the second half we pretty much bossed it against a team who looked anything but the third-highest scorers in the league this season.

  It wasn’t to be though. I think a draw would have been a very fair result, and no-one could’ve had many complaints had we taken all three points, but if you don’t take your chances you’re not going to win games, and we seem to be learning that the hard way at the moment (Shaftesbury on the other hand…) Blank scoresheet aside though, it really was a very good performance from our lads, we shouldn’t forget that.

  I’ve been banging on these past few weeks about the current vacancy in the matchday announcer role, which I’ve generally been filling in since Mick the Mic stepped down earlier in the season. Due to other commitments there’s a good chance I won’t be at Westwood today, and so it’ll be interesting to see if anyone else steps up to have a go, or whether the tannoy will fall silent and the substitutions and (somewhat inevitable) goals will go unannounced. I hate it when that happens, and I’m sure there’s a good few more folk that do, also. It’s apparently little things like the pre-match music, the tannoy announcements etc that help turn matches here into proper events, and you don’t tend to notice them, or appreciate them properly, until they’re not there. But like so much that happens up here, the work that goes in to doing these jobs often goes unnoticed and sometimes seems to be taken for granted. It can get very dispiriting asking for new volunteers to help out the dedicated and (very) hardworking committee and other volunteers that we have here and seeing little-to-no response. So please, ask yourself, ‘is there anything I could do to help the club out?’, either on a matchday or through the week. If the answer is yes, and you could lend an hour here or there, please let one of our committee members know. In this scenario, it might be best to approach them when they’re sitting down, to minimise the chances of them falling over in shock, but once they’ve recovered their composure I’m sure they’ll be able to point you in the right direction. The position of matchday announcer is still up for grabs, by the way…

  On a more positive note, it’s been great to see some big crowds here over the recent festive period, and I do hope that continues into the new year. It’s funny, win, lose or draw we tend to have more fun (and create more atmosphere) up here if there’s a good crowd in, and when people have a good time at Westwood they tend to come back again. It feeds and, to an extent, sustains itself. So let’s keep that going – bring a mate or two up, or the family, enjoy a pint beforehand, make a bit of noise. This is our club – it will always be greater than the sum of its parts, but equally, it will only ever be what we make of it. The recent ‘El Creekio’ derby between Fareham and Portchester attracted an incredible gate of 621 to Cams Alders. I’m not sure we’ll be beating that this season, but if we could get more than a couple of hundred in for a regular match that’d be quite something in itself, and we’ve been mighty close a few times already this season. Come on, let’s make it happen…

  Enjoy the game.

           Toby

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