The BBC London Non League Show

I got a call from Caroline Barker from the BBC London Non League Show this evening.  She has invited me to go on the show next Monday (at 9.00pm), an offer I have accepted.

To be honest I have not listened to the show before although while I write this I am listening to the show which was broadcast on Monday (where we got a few mentions).  Click here to listen to the show.

Caroline tells me that the show always features a London/South East club (Maidenhead on Monday) and it will an opportunity to discuss “all matters Wealdstone”.  Hopefully an opportunity to plug the Weymouth game and get the Club some good publicity.

Any suggestions?

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Who suffers?

I understand Lee O’Leary is desperate for us to appeal his sending off from the Harlow game last week.  Don’t blame him but it won’t do any good as without video evidence there is little if any chance of getting the decision changed.  Lee picks up three games and will miss the Weymouth game.
We’ve had some particularly crazy decisions this season and what is most annoying is that not only do they hurt us on the day but they come back and hurt us big time later on.

Had we beaten Hampton then Steve Hughes’ shocking red card in the Leighton replay would have cost him a chance of playing in the first round of the FA Cup.  Ryan Ashe’s dubious second booking at Leyton meant he missed the Tonbridge game, when his presence might have been the difference between winning and losing and now Lee O’Leary misses the big FA Trophy match.

I wouldn’t mind if any of these players had deserved (or come close to deserving) their red cards but…  I guess we’ll just have to get to the next round of the Trophy so Lee can play then.

And then there is Gordon’s sending off on Saturday against Welling.  Our friendly Harrow Observer reporter John Comfort was standing right there and couldn’t believe the action the referee took (see his report on Thursday).  The linesman and referee missed our player being fouled off the ball (right in front of the lino) yet apparently could hear a supposed continual stream of abuse from Gordon – just his style really.  Of course he will have to be fined heavily now!

In the same vein the referee who took the controversial game again Ramsgate earlier in the season has been appointed to our game against Maidstone in a couple of weeks.  Of course I have to ask (demand) for everyone to behave entirely  properly please.

Weymouth at home

What a draw. I’m excited! And after two good cup runs this season a draw like this is what we deserve.

Let’s get a couple of things out of the way first. The match is likely to be confirmed as being on the Friday night – 14 December. Interestingly live on Sky on the Sunday are two trivial games, Liverpool v Manchester United and Arsenal v Chelsea so not sure we could have competed against that. Fortunately Weymouth are happy to come up on the Friday and Northwood have been helpful in reorganising a function due there that night. So let’s hope for one of those great Friday night Cup matches we’ve enjoyed before.

We are going to raise the admission to £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. I have read the various comments on the forum/mailing list with interest and I hope this is a suitable compromise. This is not about screwing our supporters – or Weymouth’s – but if we get 500 people in the ground that is an extra £1,000 – this is money we cannot turn away and let’s remember we have to split the gate income with Weymouth.

Incidentally we believe Weymouth may bring 400-500 fans themselves so it is likely we will have additional security costs as well – and I think these prices will be the same that we charged for the Watford friendly in the summer.

A journalist from the Kilburn Times called me up earlier and asked me about the draw. He asked when was the last time we played a Conference (sorry Blue Square Premier) Club. It is a while! Just looking at the Weymouth pen pictures there are lots of familiar names – with plenty of football league and conference experience. Check out Conal Platt too, he scored a hat trick for Liverpool against us in that great FA Youth Cup occasion 3 or so years ago. Hopefully it will be Carl Martin’s turn this time.

Bottom line for me is that if our players can continue playing as they have been and keep injury free then we can give them a good game – and who knows what comes after that.

Exciting times!

Harsh decisions

I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of having a go at referees.  But they do tempt you don’t they?

We can add Lee O’Leary’s dismissal tonight to those of Steve Hughes and Ryan Ashe in the category of bizarre decisions of our time.  How can a player be sent off for being late tackled and then attacked while he was on the floor?

Still what can we do?  Well we did what we had to and used that incident to get back into the game – a game where we were poor in the first half but did well in the second and could have won – though we could have lost too bar a great Keita Karamoko save.

Happy with the point, shame it is only 1 point from the last two games that promised so much but plenty of pluses including the emergence of Ben Clarke and Carl Martin scoring and excelling in midfield.

Big game Saturday!

Merging?

Not much to say on all these Ruislip stories I’m afraid except I can promise that we will not be merging with Ruislip Manor.  We know there are some issues down there and we are finding out about these.

If and when there is anything to say – rest assured we will say it.

Good luck Alan and thanks

Alan plays his last game for us tomorrow at Tonbridge before going back to Wycombe.

He has been with us for 3 months, played in every game and I think has impressed everyone with his quality, his attitude on the field and his professionalism off it – and he’s only 18.  Despite training with Wycombe during the week he has still been first to Wealdstone training sessions, and of course hasn’t missed a game all season.  He has been a credit to himself and to Wycombe.

We would love to have kept Alan, but obviously we wish him every success in the pro game.  I hope he makes it – but if for any reaason it doesn’t work out then he’d be welcome back.

If you want to see something a bit different click here to see Alan in his Wycombe kit.

Cheers from everyone at Wealdstone, Alan, and thanks.

AFC Wimbledon buy Jon Main

So why are you writing about this you may well ask.

It could be because of the reported ‘big’ fee paid by one Ryman club to another – possibly a record for the league?

No it’s because we play Tonbridge on Saturday, and on the one hand you’d have to be pleased that Main, the league top scorer last season and this, is suddenly out of the team for Saturday (normally they leave immediately after we play them not just before).  But – who will Tonbridge sign before Saturday.  They have a new manager who is unbeaten in two and I’m sure the Tonbridge players will want to prove the point that they were not a one man team.

Click here to read the statement from the Tonbridge chairman.

You can see the pressure growing  at Kingsmeadow.  Results have improved for the AFC Dons recently but  you can take it that only promotion is acceptable.  Let’s hope (for their sakes) Jon Main is more successful than Richard Jolly has been to date.

Why do non league embarrasments always happen now

Watched the FA Cup goals last night on Match of the Day.

Congratulations to Staines, what a day for them and I understand the distinct possibility of Sky Cameras for the replay, and also to Horsham who hammered Maidenhead 4-1 including a wonderful strike from Nigel Brake (35 or 40 yards?). We are very envious of them both.

Why is it though that First Round always brings some classic howlers that you wouldn’t see in a senior non league game more than once a season.  Workington’s keeper let in a stinker against Bury and the Histon defence got in a dreadful mess for one of Notts County’s goals.

Interesting also to see Hampton brushed aside by a Dagenham & Redbridge side incidentally containing Sam Sloma who played briefly for us a couple fo years ago.  Alan Devonshire says Hampton were the better side for the first hour, but Dagenham won 3-0!  Wealdstone to Wembley now rests with Dagenham & Redbridge.

A good day

Enjoyed yesterday.

A cracking match, Mick Fishman was right to give it a 5 star rating in the Non League Paper report.  Two footballing sides on a good surface created some exciting football, a good atmosphere and a late winner which once again demonstrated the spirit in our side.

That is three straight league wins for us – all tough games – and you can see why Hendon have done well this season.  A notable scalp I think and let’s hope we can keep the momentum going.  A week’s rest is frustrating in the sense we want to play and keep the run going but also welcome as we can give the few players carrying knocks a bit more recovery time as we come into a really busy period.

The reserves also had a good win away at another team who play in green winning 3-0 at Whyteleafe. They are also on a good run having had a shaky start to the season.

After the game we held the ‘Ask the Chairman’ session which was reasonably well attended with some good questions and discussion.  Perhaps we will do another one in the spring.

As those who were there (as well as those at the Supporters AGM) can testify we have much to do in the coming weeks and months.  Amongst these are two dinners planned for April and May.  We will shortly be announcing the identity of the guest speaker at both the Supporters Club 50th Anniversary dinner which I know David Albert wants to make into a really big celebration and also a separate fund raising dinner in April.  An announcement will follow very soon.

A week off for some, but not for others with meetings on Tuesday and Thursday as we continue to work to achieve what we need to for the Club.

Reminder to ‘ask the chairman’

Two opportunities over the next few days to find out more about what is going on at the Club.

Tomorrow night after the main business of the WFC Supporters Club AGM and before Gordon talks about the team I will hold a Q& A session about everything that is happening off the field.  Having recently ‘celebrated’ 6 months in the job I will be happy to discuss what goes on behind the scenes and offer a candid appraisal of where the Club is.  Do try and come along.

Then on Saturday we will repeat the exercise for those unable to get to the Supporters Club event.  This will take place in the Cricket Club bar and we will aim to start at 5.30.  Again all are welcome.

See you at Conways tomorrow night.