I am sure I am not the only one currently feeling that uneasy sense of excitement and nervousness on the eve of our FA Cup 4th qualifying round trip to Braintree Town on Saturday, just one win away from a place in the First Round Proper draw.
A big thank you to the Supporters’ Trust who I know have almost filled a coach to take to the game, and to the many other supporters who are planning the trip– your support is hugely appreciated and I sincerely believe we are capable of causing a cup upset and giving us all something to celebrate on Saturday evening.
Last Saturday we progressed through the FA Trophy with a crazy 4-3 win over Enfield Town, but on Tuesday night you have to say that we dropped two points with a 1-1 draw at home to Didcot Town. I can only assume that the rugby world cup being on confused the officials into thinking that you are allowed to bundle players to the ground in the way that our goalkeeper was taken down for the equalising goal.
It is the sort of thing you saw regularly back in the 1970’s, but since then goalkeepers have become much more protected, some would argue over-protected, but that was certainly not the case on Tuesday night. If you search social media you can find a video of the goal, 99 out of 100 times it would have been disallowed for a foul on the goalkeeper, but it was not to be and we must accept that we did not create enough chances on the night to make the decision irrelevant. That said, you have to give credit to Didcot Town who played much better than their league position suggests and their goalkeeper made several stunning saves that on any other day would have seen the ball hit the back of the net and us claim all three points.
All of this is what makes football so great and generates so much discussion. We had another fantastic crowd at The Meadow for a Tuesday night, which is wonderful to see and we are getting lots of positive feedback about the matchday experience – especially the tea bar where the homemade cakes are proving exceptionally popular and selling out quickly at all games! I hope you are also pleased with the opening of Maverick’s outside bar in the corner of the ground down the Cricket Ground End which helps to reduce waiting times and saves people over the Popular Stand end from having to walk all the way around to The Chess Suite. However, we are still on the lookout for bar staff so if you are interested please contact email@example.com for more details. On the plus side, we have resolved our chef shortage situation for the time being with the players really appreciating the efforts over the past two games.
Last Saturday also saw us sell our 500th replica shirt of the season, at 2.45pm a young lad called Jo Jo was the lucky recipient with his Dad popping into the matchday shop to buy a home shirt. Coming soon, available after 15th October, in time for Christmas, we have some very special limited edition shirts sign by the Taskmaster himself, Greg Davies, and Alex Horne, along with a signed picture of the pair as a thank you for buying. These will be available for a limited time only and at no additional cost. Keep an eye on our social media for more details of these becoming available.
As we continue to develop our One Club ethos, we are giving some serious consideration to restarting our youth academy which got whipped from under our feet a couple of years ago, so that we can develop that pathway from our youth through to our senior club. For that we are looking for talented young footballers aged under 16 who would want to complete a diploma course in football. If you or your child are interested, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, or if you are already a part of our youth section, please speak to your head coach.
Preparations are well under way for our Fireworks Night on Friday 3rd November, tickets available via the website. I’d like to pass on my personal thanks to our neighbours, the gym and the cricket club, for their co-operation over the logistics and access issues over the event. Also a big thank you to our sponsor for the night, Hightown Homes, together we will put together a spectacular night for the town of Chesham.
Finally, I urge you to take a look at the Your Chesham magazine published this month featuring an excellent painting of The Meadow in days gone by, painted by Pete Sadler. This painting is due to be auctioned at the Good Earth Gallery, by the side of Cox the Sadler, with the proceeds going to Bucks Mind.
Thank you as always for your support, I look forward to seeing many of you at Braintree tomorrow for another huge FA Cup clash.