Most games have a moment that you can say is a turning point and at last week’s game at Eastleigh there was an obvious moment that turned the game on its head.
Having gone behind, which is a habit that’s becoming all too familiar at the moment, we felt at half time that if we managed to get back in the game the pendulum would swing in our favour and we would fancy ourselves to go on and win.
When Billy Bricknell equalised, I thought we were well in control of the game. At that point we were very much on the front foot and going for the second goal. My complaint after the game was how open we let ourselves become defensively trying to get the second goal. In doing so we allowed Eastleigh to break and cross into a dangerous area and Chris Sessegnon made a rash decision to scoop the ball away with his hand to deny a goalscoring opportunity.
I have no arguments with the sending off but if the referee had just taken the three seconds to allow the advantage the ball would have been in the back of the net and we could have continued with 11 men.
Mathematically we are still in it but realistically we are competing for one of the play-off berths and although we will never give up it’s very much business as usual, taking one game at a time, trying to put as many points on the board as we can.
I’ve just made a 400-mile round trip this week to attend the annual meeting of Conference clubs and the big debate was whether to allow amongst other clubs, Maidstone and Sutton, to have an all-weather pitch as their main pitch. This would allow any team to play on a plastic pitch all the way up until you gained Football League status. Obviously the main argument is the financial gain clubs can have from hiring the pitch out. The other argument in its favour is that far fewer games are cancelled because the pitch won’t get waterlogged.
The votes were cast and it was a proposal that was heavily defeated and although there are many benefits to having a synthetic pitch, our view is it has to be run supplementary to your grass pitch and not instead of. The second main proposal was to start the Conference North and South season the same week as the Conference Premier, a motion that was passed by the majority of the clubs – and starting from next season we will begin the same day as the Conference Premier.
We had a midweek game cancelled this week and although frustrating, the wet weather has been relentless these past few weeks and it really cannot be avoided. Luckily we have a superb drainage facility that allows our pitch to dry out very quickly and I’m sure the pitch will once again be in perfect condition.
Lastly, I’d like to welcome Craig Laird, his staff, the board of directors and of course all of the Weston-Super-Mare supporters that have made the long journey up today.