It’s been a funny old week. I’ve watched some interesting football, but away from the West Stand it’s been a bit mixed.
Firstly, I managed to time my holiday to Cornwall perfectly to miss the Chelsea friendly, and the six Crawley goals. My suggestion to return home a day early met with the expected derision. I had to satisfy myself with Truro v Yeovil, much of which I also missed as I was too busy looking at Bruce Talbot’s online updates from the Broadfield. Thanks for that Bruce! But I did manage to see the four goals scored in a 2-2 draw, the last of which- a Yeovil own goal- was particularly comical. A corner is driven low and hard towards the front post- easy for the left back, who is standing on that post, to clear. Instead, he steps forward and manages to back heel the ball into his own net. Priceless!
I was particularly interested in Yeovil, given they are a division higher than the Reds, and they seemed a decent side apart from the first ten minutes. Flowing football, good passing, lots of speed down the wings -the right winger and left back were tremendous and they were excellent overall until a whole raft of substitutions destroyed their rhythm. Hopefully we’ll find out just how good they are in a year or so.
I would expect that Truro will do fairly well in their first season in Blue Square South so long as their funding doesn’t dry up- five promotions in the last six seasons have been funded by a local housing magnate, though his business has now gone into liquidation and he has also recently been involved in a bid for Plymouth Argyle. Hope all goes well for them; their fans seemed a good bunch, but I was surprised that there wasn’t more of them- they hardly have much competition in Cornwall. The team seemed far better than the Lewes side I watched a few times last year, and probably on a par with Eastbourne, so if it stays together they’ll be worth watching. One heck of an away trip though.
Back in Sussex, the East Grinstead game was, to a great extent, shooting practice- though the Wasps worked very hard to hold out and scored perhaps the best goal of the game. Luckily our strikers managed to score three each, and I was also very impressed by trialist Shane O’Connor. Sign him up Steve (though I’m kidding myself if I think you’ll take a blind bit of notice of me!). Good to see that our other two strikers also managed to find the net at Bognor- Barb and Chris from our committee tell me that was a good game too, but I think I made the right choice- it isn’t like we score eight goals very often.
Oh, and there was the small matter of a match against Crystal Palace on Friday night- see my photographs of that night on our Facebook page and in the gallery on this site. I’m no David Bailey (more Bill Bailey, unfortunately), but I think they’re generally ok. Good game despite the lack of goals- and even the Palace fans behind me were raving about Hope Akpan and promising to come back when Palace were away.
Unfortunately, however, for every silver lining there’s always a cloud. I got back from a wonderful holiday to find a mini crisis in Alliance ranks. My Co-Chair, Ron Parsons, had resigned to take up a full time position with the football club. Mixed emotions for me; I’m chuffed for Ron as he’s devoted to the club and really wanted the job, but miserable about losing him from the Alliance. Ron and I have worked together closely over the last few months, and I’ve come to like and admire him very much- there is an honesty, openness and passion about the man that makes him absolutely unique, and his value to the Alliance cannot be easily measured. I suppose if I was being unselfish I should be looking at this as a fantastic move for my football club, but at the moment I can only feel sad about not having him to bounce ideas off. Without Ron there would not have been an Alliance, and that’s something we should never forget. Good luck Ron, and thanks for everything.
By Thursday evening I had a new Co-Chair, Steve Leake -and a better replacement for Ron would be very difficult to find- and the Alliance had its first 100 members signed up. Steve and I should also have been meeting with Alan Williams at the club, but that was postponed as Alan had to go to a Football League meeting in Leicester at short notice -I suppose having to visit Leicester is the price you pay for success! By Friday evening we had more than 100 booked on the coaches to Port Vale and have since moved onto coach number three- good going with a fortnight to go.
Thanks to you all for the continued support the Alliance receives- and if you haven’t signed up yet, do it before the new kit arrives in the club shop and get 10% off. And no, I don’t mean it’ll have a sleeve missing!