The View from the Bar 

  Evening! First off, my apologies for the absence of this column in Saturdays programme. Life has been somewhat hectic of late. If it makes you feel any better, I had to miss a trip to see Plastic Mermaids in Bristol on Sunday too. But I’m back tonight, and I know at least one person will be grateful (as Pete Jeffery won’t have to figure out how to fill another page at short notice…

  It’s always a pleasure to welcome Fareham to Westwood (their supporters at least – since their team seem generally incapable of entering into the good spirit between our clubs by repeatedly taking the points here). It tickled me to see one prominent Fareham fan on the Wessex League Facebook a few days back, bemoaning the fact that this fixture always seems to be midweek these days, thus robbing the travelling band of supporters of an all-dayer round the hostelries of Cowes – he made a good point about helping to prop up the local economy in these tough times for local business. Next time you’re here Chris, first pint’s on me. That said, I might be looking for a pint to travel in the opposite direction tonight, as I’ll have something in my bag that should interest The Creeksiders’ archive enthusiasts…

  A sad moment in Westwood history of late, when Mick the Mic stepped down from his position as tannoy announcer after many years of loyal (and entertaining) service. On behalf of everyone at the club I’d like to thank Mick for his time and efforts in this regard. Bit disappointed I won’t get to execute the prank I’d long been threatening of leaning down and swapping his mic for a toffee apple when he wasn’t looking, though. Not sure I’m that taken with that new fella on the tannoy. Umm… In all seriousness, it’s only a job I can do every now and then, so if anyone fancies taking up the role on an occasional or permanent basis, give me or Pete Jeffery a shout. You know the drill, form an orderly queue etc, since we’re usually inundated with offers of help when such vacancies arise. As it goes, I think you’ll be spared my dulcet tones tonight as I’ll be bringing nipper up to the game as a half-term – ahem – ‘treat’. So hopefully somebody has been able to step in and fill the role tonight, and maybe also the Fareham team could manage not to crush the hopes and dreams of the lad in question by being too good. Is that really too much to ask?

  Having welcomed Justin back to Westwood a few weeks ago, another of our most loyal contingent from the late-80s to early-noughties looks set to make an appearance tonight with Neil Scourfield (or Scaff to most of us) due to drop in during a rare mid-season visit to the Island. It would be tough to recall (and perhaps wise, legally) all the adventures we found ourselves caught up in over the years, given the number of games we went to together, but our trips were, without fail, always the absolute best fun (and frequently followed by more shenanigans and big nights out in Southampton after the game). It’ll be good to see you up here, mate.

  Strange one here, Saturday, wasn’t it? Ravaged by injuries and unavailabilities again we never seemed to get going, unlike the previous week against Bashley. It’s tempting to suggest that with a couple of different faces available we would have comfortably brushed aside a Portland team that really didn’t look that special (although who had a couple of very tidy players, to be fair). A nice bunch of supporters made the long trip from The Rock, although the management team didn’t do much to endear themselves, especially with the incident that saw two of them yellow carded. I shan’t say too much about that (mindful of the controversies the aforementioned Justin used to occasionally stir whilst writing this column), but suffice to say I was amazed – along with most of the Westwood crowd – that one of them in particular didn’t see red. What a brilliant last fifteen minutes though! MOM Darren Williams richly deserved his goal to get us back into the game, and all the petulant and frustrating time-wasting from the visitors finally got what it deserved seconds before the final whistle when Jake Watson bravely bundled the ball in for our equaliser. One sage observer in the stand wondered about the sense of Ed Hatt trotting forward for the corner and us leaving no-one at the back, but as history will record (and Ed will remind us, no doubt), it was he who won the vital header to open the chance up for Jake. Yeah, okay, that sage observer was me. Do I mind being wrong? Not at times like this I don’t, no…

  Enjoy the game.

           Toby

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