Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Margate Supporters Club Programme Notes v East Thurrock United

For seventy-six minutes the smug smiles were gradually widening on the faces of the vulture-like scribes, circling, with pencil points sharper than Brutus’s dagger, intent on writing a premature obituary. How they wanted those they saw as ‘the mighty’ to fall and the opening day of the season would be the perfect setting. 

But it only needed one moment of magic to ensure that the contemptuous writers went away empty handed the headlines actually panning out as all Gate fans would have wished. This is the way it will be for forty-five further occasions. No longer can we expect on our travels to hear, should we lose, ‘bad luck, mate’ but rather something more animated, something unprintable here. 

For the club winning the first competitive game would have been a massive relief, a settling of nerves and a confirmation that the chosen style of play will be rewarded. By now we will know if the approach, which thrilled the onlookers, has been successful on the road, two trips up country having been negotiated. Let’s hope so. 

Summer ensured the fans, ten days previous, were bathed in brilliant sunlight ‘hurricane’ Bertha being kept at bay for twenty-four hours. A good turnout bodes well. Although well short of the highest figure in the Ryman Leagues – Maidstone were odds-on to claim that honour – the 727 exceeded all the gates in the Vanarama Conference South. Wouldn’t it be an achievement to reach four figures? Margate, in a recent assessment in a Sunday newspaper, came fourth, out of ten, of the places ‘to be seen’. It struck me that they missed out from the article the obvious, that is narrowing the actual part of the town to Hartsdown Park! Surely I’m right?!

The supporters of Salisbury face an uncertain future currently ‘weightless’, floating in space with a faint possibility of landfall in the Wessex league. The saga has been a complex one to follow and is not yet at an end. Whether the club’s fans have a firm understanding of the goings-on is questionable given that the ownership, as decided by the courts, seems to change on a weekly basis! One thing is for sure if anyone still harbours the belief that football clubs ‘really’ belong to the people think again.

There are numerous areas which exemplify the wind of change that has swept through the club and continues to do so; the transformation no doubt far from over. You would have to visit Hartsdown with your eyes shut not to notice. It seems the supporters club has been caught up in this revolution with the membership at least 50% up on this time last year. Realistically some of the newcomers have joined to gain the benefit associated with the coach travel to away matches. 

As I write it is pleasing to note that the 28 seats will have almost certainly have been filled for the journey to Harrow. If you wish to know more about the arrangements speak to one of the committee members to be found in the hut opposite the turnstiles. There may well be places still up for grabs for the Bank Holiday game at Lewes so why not book a place today or, if you haven’t already, sign up to become a member of MSC. Details of other social events are being finalised and will be released in due course.   

The first home evening fixture will see how big a dent is made in the Saturday attendance. Inevitably and unfortunately there tends to be a drop in midweek but hopefully not in the number of the noisy brigade! Let’s hear that vocal appreciation of the team. Enjoy the game.

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