Wednesday, 10 September 2014

MSC Programme Notes v Witham Town

The Dripping Pan was a suitably named venue for the wettest August Bank Holiday in living memory, a day so foul that the brand spanking new all-weather G3 pitch installed at Whyteleafe drowned under the weight of water! Don’t ask! Of course the Gate fans who travelled to Sussex, hopeful that the 100% record would be retained, accepted the soaking in remarkably good spirits as earlier in the day many were anticipating spending their afternoon wasting hard-earned cash on overpriced goods on offer at Clacket Lane! Don’t ask! 

For those waiting for news of the excellent victory via whichever technological masterpiece was at their disposal they most likely wished they had gone as their alternative day was probably washed out. Hands up on that one with personal, selfish regret that the fixture hadn’t been arranged for later in the season. No not because of missing the incomparable Harveys drawn from the hand pumps in the bar but because a distant memory needed to be addressed. I refer to a Tuesday evening during the one forgettable season in the Conference South the league fixture being Bill Edward’s 400th start for the club. 

The match was full of unusual incidents, talking points for sure, far too many to expand on here. Suffice to say a quiet return journey following the 7 – 3 drubbing. Revenge is not a word to use in football; payback is preferable. Thus those who watched us beat the Rooks at their home for the first time in a competitive match hopefully wore a self-contented smile on my behalf!

We reached the end of the first month of the season facing a variety of vexing questions. Would we complete August having won all seven fixtures? Or at least unbeaten? Still top of the league? The programme notes, perhaps unwisely, Ed?, spelled out the records within grasp. Indeed everyone was aware that we had had the best start of all teams the length and breadth of the country apart from that pub team that plays in the Frinton Sunday League Division Four! The gathering set back to await the latest foe being put to the sword. Maybe not, there is a hardcore of realism populating the terraces, they know the score I’m pleased to say. 

Straying from the plot the floodgates were effectively sealed by a resolute defence and inspired custodian. Full marks to Leiston for a well-thought out game plan and to the home players who may have felt it wasn’t to be their day but set about challenging that point resulting in a 90th minute reward. Despite the passing and movement being less sharp, something easily corrected to be sure, the match was exciting enough and that’s what we want for our shilling. Unbeaten it is then as we headed into September with an appointment in ‘sarf’ London.

Those who find the time to glance at the MSC web page and Facebook site will probably have picked up on the strongly worded statements about the conditions attached to travelling by coach to away games. No-one likes being a killjoy, for that is indeed what it feels like, but there really are serious consequences for failing to comply with the regulations. (Not expressed again, please check on the internet sites). 

The MSC committee has pondered at length to make coach travel a reality again after many years of not being able to do so our desire being to help as many fans as possible attend away matches. Let’s make sure it works successfully. Don’t forget anyone not yet in possession of their membership card may collect it at the hut inside the ground on match days prior to kick-off.

I’m not sure if tonight’s visitors from Witham have played at Hartsdown before. They are very welcome so let’s make them feel at home everywhere but on the pitch! Enjoy the game.

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