What a day we had last Saturday! I often get asked the question, “why do you do it?” and to be honest a lot of the time I struggle to answer, I usually come out with some mumblings about a desire to see the club do well, I want to make a difference or it is some uncontrollable addiction that I cannot walk away from; but the real answer came to light at around 4.45pm last Saturday. It is for moments like that.

As our regular supporters will know only too well, and those that read these notes will be somewhat aware, we are pushing hard for a play-off place and a chance for promotion to National League South. A slow start to the season has made things diffiult, but we are hanging in there with very little room for slip-ups.

At around 4.38pm on Saturday 26th March our hopes looked to have evaporated. Trailing 1-2 at home to Poole Town with minutes left on the clock, the mountain in front of us was looking too big. What followed over the next ten minutes were those magical moments that make the game of football so great. Two late goals, including a dramatic injury-time winner saw The Meadow erupt like we have not seen it do for years, and as a Chairman of a club it feels you with enormous pride when you see the players and supporters, young and old, sharing a moment of true elation and unity.

To make the day even better, there was a fantastic crowd of nearly 600 people there to witness one of those great moments of the season and experience the joys of watching non-league football and how you can feel so much more a part of the club. At the final whistle the players and management were loudly cheered and applauded off the pitch. It felt like a pivotal moment in the season. It felt like this might just be our…no, let’s not get too carried away just yet!

Huge credit must once again go to our management duo of James Duncan and Michael Murray who have orchestrated our rise up the table and showed their brilliant tactical awareness on Saturday switching the formation from a 4-2-4 to a 3-4-3 and making the substitutions at just the right time. We are very privileged to have James and Michael at the club, there are not many managers who would follow up a full day of football at their club by hosting a Quiz Night in the bar that evening, but that is what they did last Saturday which finished off a long, but thoroughly enjoyable, day at Chesham United FC.

A final mention of last Saturday must be our thanks to former Arsenal goalkeeper Graham Stack who stepped out of retirement to put in a performance for us between the sticks at the age of 40 when our regular goalkeeper, Sam Beasant, was out with COVID. Thank you – you did a great job.

As great as last weekend was, we cannot dwell on the past and must look forward to another big game this Saturday away at Walton Casuals as we look to stay breathing down the back of Weston-Super-Mare just above us, whilst keeping an eye on Yate Town, Gosport Borough and Truro City who are sitting just below us – a hugely exciting month of football ahead of us.

Off the field I am delighted to say that we are just polishing off the artwork for our 2022/23 commercial and membership packages where we literally be offering something for everyone. It is our intention to launch this early next week covering opportunities for local businesses of all sizes and your chance to take advantage of significant early bird options on season tickets for 2022/23. Tickets next season will be issued using Kaizen ticketing technology, full details and how to get your tickets will be issued, so please do not worry if you are a bit of a technophobe!

We have also taken steps to improve parking at The Meadow on matchdays which will enable us to cater for more cars next season. Out the back of the ground we have doubled the size of the car park by making use of the grass area to enable more parking out there, meanwhile we have been advised by the gym that they will no longer be needing to rent any car parking spaces from us for their members. Our current arrangement finishes as from today, 1st April, which means that the spaces near the gym behind the Cricket Ground End are no longer available for use by people attending the gym.

Parking has always been an issue on site and we are looking into the feasibility of charging for spaces with exceptions for those that are attending football or cricket club events – when we have big crowds like we did last Saturday it is important that we are able to cater for as many vehicles as possible to make it easier for our supporters.

We are continuing with our budgeting for next season and it is always a pleasant surprise when you get contributions you were not necessarily expecting. This week we received a £500 contribution from the tea bar profits – a big thank you to Dan, Rachel and Sarah, your efforts are truly appreciated.

Elsewhere, for various reasons we have opted to move the Tony Woodcock Sportsman’s Dinner to later in the year, watch this space, and we continue to raise funds for the new floodlights. As mentioned last week, we will definitely be playing in claret and blue again next season and any help with raising the funds for the new lights to improve visibility in this kit would be much appreciated. As always, donations can be made here.

Thank you for your support, last weekend you were magnificent, let’s hope we have a few more of them to come this season.

Peter Brown, Chairman