These are humbling times for all of us as events in Ukraine unfold and our tv screens are filled with scenes that I’m not sure anyone believed we would see in Europe again. Our thoughts are with everyone who has friends and family suffering, and for the Ukrainian people showing such incredible courage and bravery.

This week, I received a message from the Ley Hill cub scout leader, Jo Kimber, who this coming Tuesday, 8th March between 4.30-7.30pm, will be running a drop off centre for donations to go to people fleeing from Ukraine in conjunction with the Luton branch of the ‘Association of Ukrainians’.  They have already had offers of help from several local businesses and are hopeful that they will be overrun with donations, so if any more local businesses are able to help with transportation to Luton with the items, please contact Jo (details below)

There are specific items they are asking for so, if you are donating, please only bring the items on the list: First Aid kits, burns kits bandages, Pain killers, Bandages, Dressing pads, Warm socks, Thermal underwear, Gloves, Hats, Nappies, Torches, Power banks, AA and AAA batteries. The drop off point is Ley Hill Memorial Hall HP5 3QR, the contact is Jo Kimber – Please do show your support.

It makes our frustrations about the midweek cup match against Reading being called off seem very incidental, though we do seem to be having our very own monsoon season in Chesham at the moment, which is making the pitch maintenance a real challenge, but hopefully all will be well for tomorrow’s game against Metropolitan Police. Yet again this is another huge match in our push for a play-off spot, Metropolitan Police look to be in a very strong position to guarantee one of the four play off places, and we are going to have to be at our very best tomorrow to get the three points that we are looking for. Please do come along and give your support, kick-off is 3.00pm.

Last Saturday we battled out a 1-0 win at Hartley Wintney in challenging conditions. We dominated the first half and manged to seize upon a defensive error to take the lead, in the second period we were very much on the back foot, struggled to have much possession at all and had to put in a tough defensive shift to maintain a clean sheet and secure the win. That is what it is all about at this stage of the season.

Wednesday night’s postponed Berks & Bucks Senior Cup quarter-final against Reading has been re-arranged for this coming Wednesday (9th), at the Meadow, 7.45pm. If we win that game, we will be at home to MK Dons in the semi-final. It is great to see the Berks & Bucks Cup back to involving so many local teams this season, over 40 teams entered the 2021-22 season, there have already been some very good attendances recorded, and now we are down to the final eight we hope to have a good crowd ourselves on Wednesday night. It is a competition we want to do well in and will be going all out to win it for the first time since 2018, when we beat MK Dons in the final at Stadium:MK with a Kieran Murphy equaliser late in added time before going on to win on penalties with the penalty saving & scoring exploits of our keeper at the time Haf Al-Droubi coming to the fore.

As mentioned previously, our home game on 26th March coincided with Non-League Day when our 3.00pm game with Poole Town will be followed by England v Switzerland on the big screen in the clubhouse and then a Football Quiz hosted by our football management team – a day not to be missed.

This will be the 11th season of Non-League Day, over the years, an increasing number of clubs across the National League System have recorded significantly higher crowds, in some cases doubling or even tripling their average attendance. Once again, the event is partnering with Prostate Cancer UK to raise funds for, and awareness of, an illness that affects thousands of men in Britain every year.

In the build-up to Non-League Day Prostate Cancer UK is calling on grassroots football fans to find their fixture – and check their risk of prostate cancer. The leading men’s health charity wants supporters across the UK to join forces and find the 14,000 men whose prostate cancer has gone undetected because of the pandemic. Please, spare a moment to understand the risk and take this simple online 30-second risk checker. Click here.

Elsewhere this week the Academy side travelled to Rushall Olympic and lost goalkeeper Dan Hosier to a red card for deliberate handball in the 12th minute, but still battled on to win 4-2 with an excellent performance. Dan had trials with Colchester United earlier in the season and will be returning there again later next week, but not until after our game against Reading on Wednesday!

Last but not least, a quick reminder about our fundraising for new floodlights, the new lights will improve the safety, be more economical, more eco-friendly and make viewing matches a much more pleasant experience. As a result, we will be able to return to a claret and blue home kit next season, without the risk of losing visibility of players in the poor light. Donations can be made here:

Thank you as always for your support, I hope to see many of you at The Meadow tomorrow.

Peter Brown, Chairman