The View from the Bar 

  Hmmm, 2022 hasn’t been that kind to us yet, has it? Still, it’d be a nice time to pick up our first win of the new year tonight (although how likely that is to happen I won’t comment on – Baffins being one of the four or five teams who look to have a decent chance of topping the table come the end of the season). Well, you never know…

  I missed our last home match against Alresford as nipper was isolating with Covid. He’s all rested and better now though, so hopefully we’ll be up here tonight (for the first half at least, what with school tomorrow). Massive thanks to Cowes Sports media guru Toby Brown for his highlights packages and full-game videos on the club’s YouTube channel though, which meant I didn’t have to miss any of the action against Alresford. If ever you have to miss a game, or just fancy reliving some magic moments (or replaying some dodgy decisions), do check them out…

  Oh yeah – after a two year hiatus the Gold Cup is back up and running. No news yet on the quarter-final draw but the Island League sides that have battled through are West Wight, Shanklin, Brading and Oakfield (joining the seeded W. & B.). My money’s on us getting West Wight, as they seem to be our most regular opponents (after a few years where Shanklin staked a claim for the spot).

  Speaking of the Gold Cup, Peter Ranger has been in touch with the club recently as he’s currently researching and writing a book on the competition, and was seeking a bit of help regarding a few Cowes players that have appeared in the competition over the years. Digging back through the records we found a bit of info to help him out but, truth be told, not that much. I shan’t rile our older supporters too much by asking about anyone pre-war, but perhaps you could rack your brains to see if you can remember the first names of any of the following players: Summerbee (49-50), Stickler (58-9), Oakley (59-60) and Churcher (60-1). It’s a weird thing, but first names seem to have never been mentioned in programmes, press, or even club records before the 1970’s, and not commonly until the 1980’s. If any of the aforementioned names ring any bells with you, let me know and I’ll pass the info on.

  In other island football news, it looks like Newport are heading back to Smallbrook for the rest of the season, and it has been reported that they’ll be breaking ground on their new facilities at The Racecourse before too long. I still think it’s a massive shame that the mooted plans for a new home at Seaclose never got off the ground, but wherever they end up, it’s got to be for the best of the local game that they get settled before too long. Bizarrely, a picture turned up on Facebook this week showing that the old (and stubbornly undeveloped) ground at St. George’s has recently been mowed. Seems strange…

  Anyone making the long trip to Portland on Saturday? It’s rarely been a happy hunting ground for Cowes but always seems to be a good trip if you’ve got a couple of days to spare to get there and back, and it’s definitely one of the grounds I’d like to get back to at some point fairly soon (unlikely to be this weekend for me though, admittedly). Always a friendly welcome too, and the last time I was there there was a live video feed of the action back to the bar – very civilised for those of us with the medical condition commonly known as constant thirst. Once drone technology develops just a bit it might be more do-able – it’s 82 km as the crow flies, but a fair bit more when you take ferry crossings and the public transport system into account.

  Anyhow, first things first, let’s see what happens tonight. Get behind the boys, they really do appreciate it.

  Enjoy the game.

           Toby

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