Following today’s game and a subsequent place in the Conference South Play Off final Club Media and Communications Manager Grant Morris thought he would share with you all the Chairmans programme notes from today.

The togetherness and family feel around the place is there for all to see.

Enjoy reading and we hope to see you all at Meadow Park next Saturday.

Having had to write this article on Tuesday, the day before the 1st leg at Havant, I have to say that I fully expect come 3pm today, that both teams will still have everything to play for.

Havant like ourselves have had more than a decent season in the Conference South, they are a big club at our level and on top of their play off place, they have also won the Hampshire Senior Cup.

Reality though says to me, that our two legged play off semi final, between two very good sides who are both looking to prolong their season, will come down to a nail biting next 90 minutes??

We have always known that whatever the result on Wednesday. That we would end up having to treat today as a one off cup game. People forget we have experience of this format, after winning the Ryman play offs as the underdog.

We did that by playing a certain way, by never looking further ahead than the next game and as such whether we have won, drawn or lost on Wednesday, our game management over these two legs will have to count, if we are to get to the play off final.

If we do come up short, we understand that as the loser it’s simple we go home. We must accept our fate with good grace and we must lick our wounds and accept it. We must also congratulate our opposition in Havant and Waterlooville whole heartedly on a job well done and then get ready for another go at a promotion push next season.

Over the season, I felt we really have played some great attacking football. We’ve out scored the entire division and come the seasons end, we also hope to have the league’s highest goal scorer in Lee Angol.

Lee although very young has been instrumental in our league campaign and alongside his partner in crime Junior Morias, they are improving all the time. They will no doubt have the league scouts buzzing about in the stand today and hopefully they will be buzzing around the pitch being a pain to the Havant defence.

However I must emphasise that we really are more than just a two man team. I’m hoping our performance at Havant on Wednesday will have truly shown you all that. Our squad from 1 to 18 is very strong but more importantly it is also very united, it is very focused and it is very talented.

For those who couldn’t attend our end of season presentation last Saturday. It was a truly wonderful evening that showcased the camaraderie at the club. Camaraderie from boardroom to bar, from our dressing room to our the matchday staff and from our day to day staff to our part time staff.

It showcased that our club has been built on years and years of trust and as a group of staff and players, they are more like friends and family, who not only have each other’s backs but also possess an incredible ambition to progress together.

So what happens if after I’ve written this, things have gone more than a tad wrong on Wednesday?? That’s a simple one for me to answer, the lads and gaffer will not need a Chairman apportioning blame as they’ll all be hurting enough.

If we’ve been given a chasing and that’s more than possible, we will have to wipe our mouths, we will have to have a never say die attitude today and come 4:45 we will know exactly where we are and know whatever our fate we will still have each other.

My genuine belief is that things will not have gone wrong and I say that for very good reason. As I told our guests and players who attended our presentation evening. This is by far and away the best side and best set of employee’s i have ever had in my sixteen seasons as Chairman.

The best way of describing my feelings on the night, was that as a presentation evening it simply felt like a family party. That may sound corny but that’s how much friendship, love and trust was in the room and that’s how I felt. I hope that togetherness will show itself over these two legs but who knows??

So come 3pm today, whatever has happened in the 1st leg, let me reiterate I wouldn’t swap my gaffer, my players or my staff for all the tea in China and if we are to be successful, I certainly wouldn’t want to share it with anybody else.

Anyway enough of my sentiment and drivel, please let’s all remember that win, lose or draw today, it’s important for us to deal with what’s in front of us in the correct manner. If it has gone against us, then we must accept defeat gracefully and perhaps treat it as a learning curve.

If we are victorious, then we must remember to be magnanimous as the victors, especially as both clubs and teams are very talented, very hard working and of course defeat will hurt enormously.

Finally whoever you support, let’s hope for an open, attacking game and may the best team win.

It’s over to you.



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