Let me clear up where we are with the fixture against Hastings on 1 September.
Knowing Northwood had a home FA Cup draw against local rivals Uxbridge on that date we requested an away fixture – but the company who provide the fixture service ignored that (and many other requests for a variety of reasons from other clubs I understand) and not only gave us a home game – but a home game against Hastings.
We asked Hastings whether they would play on the Friday or Sunday. Given they will be making one of their longest trips of the season the Friday was immediately ruled out and Sunday was also not possible, so – and entirely within their rights – Hastings insisted the game was played on the Saturday.
We investigated changing the fixtures around so reversing the home and away games but this was also not possible.
At this point the Ryman League were involved and confirmed the game would need to be played on a Ryman ground on that date. They tipped us off that Harrow Borough were away and Edgware are also drawn away in the FA Cup so Earlsmead might be available. I spoke to Peter Rogers who confirmed this and said he was very happy to help.
All the while we are of course speaking to Northwood to see whether they might move their Cup game to the Friday. Northwood coach Fred Cummings (remember him) was particularly in favour remembering the successes we have had on the occasions we have tried it (something I hope we will try again).
And it turns out Northwood are keen to give the Friday night a try – so now it is up to Uxbridge. If they play on the Friday there should be a bigger crowd (I’ll try to attend), a much better atmosphere and more money through the gate for the club’s to benefit from so let’s hope Uxbridge agree.
What this has shown me is that cooperation and good relationships between local clubs is so important and I am grateful to Peter Rogers and Ian Barry for their flexibility and help.
So where will our game against Hastings be played? … watch this space!