Let’s not beat around the bush, despite Tuesday’s result, the season has been rather challenging so far and although the team spirit still seems very much intact, we all know results haven’t been good enough. We have no alternative but to be positive and although Steve Conroy’s post-match interview with Mick Sullivan at Kingstonian sounded as though we had won the game, this approach is the right one currently. Our Chairman, Tony Gale’s pre-match interview was also very watchful with boundless enthusiasm, charisma and his customary cheeky chappie approach. It was also quite funny him inadvertently slipping in that his son, a certain former Casuals manager, is living rent free with him. Anthony’s good at wangling freebies – it’s well known that he’s working with zero budget at Staines Town currently.
Anyway, whilst the men’s team have had a mare, let’s not lose sight of the Ladies, with both teams winning last weekend and also, we won our very first F.A. Cup game – a monumental achievement. The Academy is also going from strength to strength, so whilst it might be fashionable to suggest we are “this season’s Staines Town”, we are in great shape as a Club, as Tony Gale was at pains to point out to Sullivan in front of the camera on Sunday.
With no game on Saturday, I went to Chertsey Town v Sheppey United. I was on the bike just turning into Alwyns Lane from the High Street and I kid you not I could hear this ferocious roar. Normally you can hear a pin drop but once inside there must have been nearly 100 Sheppey fans making a raucous din as were the many boisterous home supporters behind the goal. The highlight of the game was not an hilarious second goal for the Curfews when the visiting keeper completely mistimed the simplest of back passes but the Sheppey fans chanting “You’re just a bus stop in Cobham” to the Chertsey faithful! Good job they aren’t prickly at Alwyns Lane – talking of which, the Walton and Hersham fans’ internet forum has been a bit tasty lately with them enjoying our plight but fixated on who is the bigger club. “Size isn’t everything”, as the saying goes, though their form is finally picking up – a late winner giving them a 3-2 victory against AFC Hayes on Saturday, a game in which everyone was admitted for free.
Last time round I talked about my encounter with a famous person – ringing my bike bell on the towpath to shift Woking gaffer Alan Dowson out of the way. This week’s star struck moment happened as I waited at Waterloo for the 17:12 to Shepperton on Tuesday. Sitting on the concourse benches eating my McDonalds, I noticed our very own Cheyce the Ace was next to me. They say you should never talk to your heroes (and let’s face it, he has been this season’s Hero), so I was too shy to introduce myself. Excitedly I told the missus when I got home and she was moderately more interested than my encounter with Dowse (of which she could not have looked more bored) and asked how I knew it was Cheyce. The fact he was fully kitted in a Stags tracksuit and rucksack was a giveaway as was that incredibly cool hairstyle. This bloke looks the part and is a real standout not only on the pitch but during a ram packed evening rush hour on Waterloo station. Long may he continue to light up The Home of World Football too.
A word to Radio Wimbourne by the way. I was round the pool in Mallorca during our mullering in Dorset a fortnight ago and stumbled across some excellent live commentary on our game. It was almost as good as that which was produced by Frome last season and although I dived in the water in despair when the second goal went in (it wasn’t until many hours later I actually realised we’d lost 4-1), it was a pleasurable if not surreal experience sitting many miles away and hearing the sound of John Kennedy and friends singing Stags songs from behind the goal.
One final reminder – there’s no need to panic! I’m also a Crystal Palace season ticket holder and you may recall that two years ago, the Eagles lost their first 7 games and didn’t score a goal. They then beat Chelsea and finished comfortably in mid-table in a division where there were less games than ours’. Chesham had an horrendous start last year and they beat the drop with consummate ease. It’s a marathon and not a sprint, let’s have a super afternoon and give Weston a nightmare today to kick-start our campaign!