So, with just Oxford and York to slug it out between them next weekend, we now know who’s going to give us a miserable Saturday be our opponents next season.
We know about Darlington, Newport and Southport, and as of 4pm today we get to return to Barf City and go up North again to Fleetwood. Not to mention hosting Grimsby Town too. Hope they still have got the inflatable haddocks…
It’s fair to say that trips to Twerton Park and South Wales were amongst the more favoured of the BSS season. A 4-1 win at Newport would do nicely again, even if we could do without the weather this time. As for Barf, as most of you know I saw them last week at Chelmsford, so I’m pleased they went up. Like ourselves back then, they seemed to all be onside with each other – fans, players, even directors (after walking out of the ground, I saw two Barf directors shaking hands with as many of their supporters as possible).
Twerton Park is also one of those classic grounds that you can’t help liking. Decent chippy nearby too, though my satnav doesn’t like me negotiating through some of the more obscure country roads around there. Many will lament FGR going down, but Bath and Newport will at least give the cider drinkers another excuse to damage their vital organs on two weekends.
The only thing that disappoints me about Woking staying down is that it’s not too far away for us. Otherwise, I’m not upset that they’re in the BSS next season : I used to do a fair amount of reports down there, and suffice to say, there’s a bit of the Non League Family mentality down there. You can bet they would have been giving it the Franchise shit more than most sides, so at least they can stay down and act the giant against Welling and Ebbsfleet…
At least we know about those two. What about the others? Firstly, the question many may be asking right now is – where the fuck is Fleetwood? Good news for those planning weekend aways though : it’s near Blackpool. Actually, to go one step further, it’s on the Blackpool tramway system. 40 minutes away, apparently. Suddenly, everyone is digging out a list of Blackpool B&Bs and phoning the Conference HQ to demand an early release of the fixture list. Though what’s the betting that Blackpool get promoted to the Prem, and our game at Fleetwood clashes with the Tangerines hosting Chelski…?
Apparently, though, Fleetwood aren’t the most popular team about. The Southport manager doesn’t like them, certainly. Reportedly dodgily funded, and their fans are supposed to be on the unpleasant and violent side. So, another fun day out after all. Speaking of Southport, it’s almost been forgotten they’ve been planning trips to KM themselves for a couple of weeks. Those with a long memory may be having flashbacks to 1977/78, and no doubt one of our old guard will have a seizure as he remembers Roger Connell’s second goal in the 5-0 up there.
And then there’s Darlington and Grimsby…
Darlington is one of those clubs that should be a compulsory case-study for any aspiring football club owner. It really has to be depressing for their fans – not only is their team shit, but to play in a 25k stadium that some nobhead of a previous owner built for them, and they can’t use half of it anyway – must make it almost as bad as watching Franchise.
I said “almost”.
You can see us getting scheduled for the away game in about October, finding it gets postponed because of the FAC, then eventually getting rescheduled for an evening game in late February. Where it will rain, it will be less than 2k in the ground and we will play utterly shit and lose 3-0. Bit like the WFC days when we trudged up to Middlesbrough.
As for Grimsby? Get your inflatables out. Your editor still has nightmares about a trip in a white minivan to the 2-6 stuffing in THAT season, and by the look of it it’s bloody miles to get there, even by train. The average Womble may be soiling their knickers over the scenes from yesterday at Burton, but weÂ coped with Luton and Oxford all right. Mascot notwithstanding…
All of which gives us something to look forward to. There’s been no further official word on any signings, nor any more players on the “out” list. Presume there may be holidays getting in the way here, but it does seem to have gone quiet. Maybe now the season is over in the League, contracts will start to expire and we can start swooping?
Earlier this week, we had a trial game, and we can safely assume that some got asked to come back for another look. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the PSFs with some more triallists, though preferably without the farce we had at Imber Court a couple of PSFs ago. For those who have finally put it out of their mind, we went into that game with as-good-as two teams worth of triallists – I don’t think we kept one on.
Still, some signings would be nice, and not just news that Sam Hatton has re-signed either….