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Epsom Derby

SW19’s ARMY today met with David Barnard and the Chief Safety Officer at WFC, basically to discuss the problems we seem to have with the stewarding. Firstly, the real problem of away fans getting in was tackled – basically, the clubs main problem is the fact that fans of certain teams (ie Celsi, Man U etc), are also members of the CG or in some extreme cases hold ST.

Now, this is stating the obvious a bit, because many fans have I think wised up to the fact that taking people inside the ground who don’t support WFC is actually quite a bad idea. However, it was pointed out that the worst occasion was indeed Soton, where the South Coast side sold their allocation and wanted loads more – in other words, they just couldn’t cope.

Various safety issues were mentioned, mainly the one about ejecting away fans. The main problem for the stewarding is that it’s far easier for them (safety and manpower-wise) to eject groups of 4 or 5 rather than 12 or 13. As a result, they are considering employing more people for the Holmesdale Road end (which seems to be the main problem area) to act as stewards, which should if nothing else see a bit of an improvement.

Overall, the meeting wasn’t exactly groundbreaking, as my rather sparse comments show, but there’s not really a lot we can do except try and get some more WFC fans:) However, the option is still open to hold another meeting, and it should well be taken up soon. At least they know we’re complaining.

Onto the match – WFC 2 Ramshaggers 2. If Celsi was a game we deserved a draw but got a loss, this one we got a draw but deserved a win. At this rate we’ll win 1-0 at OT next week but will probably deserve a 4-0.

The first half was pretty shit, we have learnt to defend a bit but there are one or two silly little errors still around, namely for the sheepmolesters first goal where we basically left them un-marked. Having said that though, because TP and Trond played together again, the defence looked a lot more gelled together. We even were able to play the offside trap effectively, which is something I don’t think has happened since 1994, so things ARE looking up.

However, KC still looks as though he hasn’t got hang of the zonal yet – he went walkies way too often (did I really say that he got the hang of the zonal?), and if we really need a right-sided midfielder who can cross accurately, hell play Jupp. Of course, our attack weren’t much, despite JH returning, and frankly Marcus Gayle looked absolutely CRAP. Euell and Cort played though, and didn’t look too bad, at least they’re capable of winning more than one arial battle from time to time

Second half as we all know was a revelation, and we came out with all guns blazing. After much pressure, JH netted with a header, and about 45 seconds later Jason Euell netted as well. We were attacking well and defending well too – until about the last 10 mins I don’t think Derby actually have a shot. Reasons for this improvement was simple – we didn’t play Robbie Earle and instead played Walid Badeer who slaughtered the Derby defence. He was exceptional, crossing was good, exploited Derby’s open spaces, you name it he did it.

Sadly he got knackered towards the end, to be replaced by Robbie Earle MBE, who quite frankly looks totally past it. As soon as he came on, we stumbled badly, the Rams raided us and thanks to a long hoof and header (well, that’s how it would be described if it was for us so the Rams aren’t going to get much favours here) they got back to 2-2. Granted, it was hot, and many of our players DID look drained, but Earle frankly shouldn’t play for us any more, he’s now become like Fash was when he went on too long – a lump of concrete, who simply is no good to us anymore. Still, at least we didn’t lose, but really we should have won – confirmed by a Ram fancier I overheard after the game who said “That was a good point for us”.

Afterwards, they interviewed Drillo, who like us reckoned that it was our best performance this season, singling out JH for much praise. That said, he’s still not happy with our defence, and that it was too many little errors that mean we didn’t get the full quota this time. One day we may even get a clean sheet.

Drillo also dropped a comment that will interest anyone with a remote interest of WFC – he’s after two new players, “preferably before Xmas”. Who, exactly? I know the deadline for what Drillo wants to do will be after Sheff Wed away (come on, we HAVE to win that), and I can think of more than a couple of players who will be slinging their hook soon, but it will be interesting to see who he’ll bring in. Stig Bjornebye is intriguing, considering that Liverpool are selling one of their left backs and are apparently after another.

Ben Thatcher plus cash? Wouldn’t really surprise me. Kjetil Waehler is ours, apparently he’s pretty good (and he’s versatile in defence, which could also point to Maggie departing), so maybe defence won’t (eventually) be a problem. I can’t see people like Ardley and Kimble staying, possibly Roberts (though he’s improving after a dreadful start to the season), so who? One thing, I doubt if Drillo will be prepared to see some of the performances some players give as a matter of recourse for much longer

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