No Easter football is almost unthinkable

First for sports news
First for sports news

I appreciate it was probably out of the FA’s hands, and opting out of the upcoming international weekend wasn’t possible but again the fans of the domestic game, the very life and blood of football, get the thin end of the wedge.

My love affair with football started on April 23, 1973, Easter Monday, when the Albion, all but consigned to relegation from the then Division 2, took on local rivals Portsmouth.

It was a 1-1 draw, I was eight and well and truly hooked.

The Easter football programme has traditionally been a make or break period for countless title, promotion or relegation issues. Sadly, this year due to the international games, there won’t be any games in the top two leagues.

I can’t think, in my time of watching football, of this ever happening before. And not for the first time, the fans have been short changed by the football authorities, this time in Europe.

It’s almost unthinkable, a four day public holiday, fairly decent weather and clubs, some of who need every penny, missing out on potential bumper gates.

But perhaps every cloud does have a silver lining?

While the Albion aren’t in action, local clubs are. Worthing FC have a pivotal weekend in the Ryman League South Division play-off chase.

On Saturday, the 45-minute journey up to Dorking Wanderers, sets up the classic six pointer.

It’s a mouthwatering game, with plenty of points still to play for, and the winner walks away with a huge advantage.

With Folkestone out of sight, the race for the all important second and third places, and the play-off home advantage they bring, is well and truly on.

The natural home advantage in the play-off games goes without saying, but the financial implications are also extremely beneficial to the successful clubs.

If you’re an Albion fan, or even a football neutral, and want to watch a classic holiday game, you’ve actually got two. Dorking Wanderers on Saturday, while Walton Casuals visit Woodside Road on Monday, both games kicking off at 3pm.

And if not Worthing, at least get out and watch a game and support the non-league football network in Sussex.

n While on the subject of Worthing FC, a quick mention to the upcoming event at Woodside next Thursday night, March 31.

The Boys of 82, is an evening of anecdotes, memories and a Q and A with a panel made up of, quite simply, Worthing FC legends.

The management team of Barry Lloyd and Keith Rowley led the club to arguably their most successful period in the team’s 130-year history (hopefully to be emulated at some point by Messrs Meeney and Elphick) and during most of this time, Geoff Raynsford was the Rebels skipper.

All three gents have a plethora of stories from the golden days of Woodside Road, so an interesting and action-packed night is very much on the cards.

The evening is being put together to help Rebels club captain Matt Hurley in his on-going rehabilitation from serious injury.

The action starts at 8pm, tickets are £10 and include a fish and chip supper.

For more details, please contact the club on 01903 239575 or email me on harty1964@hotmail.co.uk.

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