La Victoire…

Fine, it was merely pre-season and there were, as normal, millions of substitutions flying about, but the visit to nearby Whyteleafe produced a very satisfying win, with a nice performance to boot. Things needed to improve after the not-very-nice trip to Westfield, as the hosts were rude enough to play very well on a difficult pitch and thoroughly give us a walloping (it was nice to visit the ground, the match wasn’t nice…). Things could not be allowed to continue like that, harsh words for pre-season, but with the expectations and demands that we have for this coming season, we haven’t got time to leave things alone. After a good start came a bit of shakiness as Whyteleafe took the lead, but we settled down and as the game progressed, the football from the K’s improved no end. Instead of guys possibly playing their way out of a K’s shirt, other players made the manager’s life pleasantly difficult by having good games. We really don’t know what our best eleven is, but this is not because we’re lacking in quality, the difficulty must be who to leave out. K’s came back to win 3-1 – Ugo Udoji with a nice header from a corner, Louie Theophanous getting on the end of a lovely run and cross from Manolis Gogonas, and Mo being Mo, as Muhammadu Faal blasted one in from close range. As I said, a most satisfying win against a pretty decent Whyteleafe team who will definitely win more games than they lose in the new Bostik South Eastern Division. On to Hartley Wintney on Saturday, a new ground for me against an opponent who, in non-league terms, must be some sort of overnight sensation that has been many years in the making. A stalwart (where apart from football do you ever hear that word?) of the Combined Counties League scene, indeed they were founder members of the CCL in 1978, they won the league in 1983 and then in both of 2016 and 2017. First time off, they didn’t get the ground grading but thankfully it was second time lucky, and in their first season in the Southern League they won the play-offs, so the club is definitely used to winning football matches in the last three years. I’ve droned on about it before, but manager Leigh Dynan has done well to arrange a set of very competitive friendly matches.
The K’s officially became tenants at King George’s Field on Wednesday, and it was arranged for as many volunteers at the club to visit to have a look around, see what can be done and where things are. It was vital for us to get an idea for what’s where before we jump into the deep end and our friendly next Tuesday against what is being described as a strong Crystal Palace team. I was extremely worried beforehand about where I was going to be posted during our home games. I am still going to continue to make mistakes and exceedingly bad jokes on the microphone this season, and I had it in my head that I was going to be stuck in a corner of the ground and my eyesight was going to be severely tested (and probably failing much of the time). I needn’t have worried. Obviously, I haven’t visited Corinthian-Casuals’ ground for a few years, so my memory was not the safest on this subject. So, it was an incredible relief to see the press box at King George’s Field slap bang on the half way line. Rejoice! There are good things about the press box arrangement and a couple of bad things (but easily overcome) – there is electricity, there is a simple system for the microphone itself, as in plug it in and speak, no worrying about trebles, bass, woofers, tweeters, or even volume, it is pre-set and it works. There is a light for the box, which won’t shine on to the window making it impossible to see out of, and, for those who can’t face getting cold in the winter, there is even a heater, but obviously at this time of year, it’s a bit silly to test it out now. On the down side, the wi-fi in the bar doesn’t reach the press box; this is ok, it was the same thing at Fetcham Grove last season. My phone acts as a personal hotspot and Bob’s your uncle (actually, in my case, he was…). The other issue is that the only way to play music is to hold the microphone close to the music source – actually, that might not be too bad, and anyway I have forked out for some laptop speakers that might improve matters. This is what this initial visit was all about, to know what can and can’t be done and to have an idea of work-arounds. It was a good evening, and incredible to see so many people. We want to get it right on the night when Crystal Palace arrive – things will inevitably go wrong as you can’t plan for everything (earthquakes, asteroids, etc.) but we will do our best to have a fun evening. And the new programme will be out for the Crystal Palace game, brand new cover (not designed by me any more, which means therefore that it’s good), and, as for the content, well, it’s a good thing I retired as editor and am merely now a contributor, both for the K’s and for me. On to Hartley Wintney!

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.