A very warm welcome to the management, players, officials & supporters of Ludgershall Sports Football Club for this afternoon’s fixture in the Wiltshire Senior Cup.
Today’s visitors play in the Wiltshire Premier League and occupy sixth position, having won half of the 14 games losing 6 and drawing just the once. There are some good players at this level although I know limited details on our opponents. A local manager has commented that many of his players are good enough to play at a higher level but due to circumstance, financial reward or ambition would rather play at a lower level. I’m sure our guests will want to show what they can do and we have to show them respect, concentrate and try to perform to the best of our ability. We hope you enjoy your visit to the Elms this afternoon and our hospitality which is available throughout the day.
Having won this Competition back in the 08/09 season it holds many special memories, you’ll always remember your first senior winners medal as a player and for me as manager it was a special night at Chippenham. A good final against Warminster and a win that we deserved after going behind in the first half. When the final whistle went I stood back and watched the lads celebrate and the elation was there to see. Gary Hill was Captain that night and he knows how it feels to lift a trophy that actually means something, it’s only the Wiltshire Senior Cup a few people said but we haven’t won a Cup since and I for one will be trying to give the players every opportunity to have that feeling in a Competition once more!
After four really excellent results which saw us move up the league and progress in the FA Vase, we had the indignity to lose at Bracknell last weekend and again on Tuesday night here against Thame. To be honest last weekend was one of those games and as I said in the Thame notes, you get what you deserve and we got exactly that. The performance on Tuesday was much improved and I was really pleased with the effort the lads showed. Games swing on decisions and that little bit of luck and we never had or got either. Sean got his debut goal from the spot to bring the game level but we conceded within a minute to send their bench and players into raptures, we had further chances but couldn’t manage the draw that we definitely deserved.
You may notice that me and the rest of the staff have moved this afternoon to the other dug-out, after what I witnessed on Tuesday I’m not prepared to tolerate opposing managers influencing decisions by verbally abusing officials, it’s the second time this season that our clubs have been involved in a game were a number of players have been booked or sent off. I was guilty of that in the return fixture and as managers we have a responsibility to control ourselves, our benches and ultimately our players to respect the officials and hopefully this step will help in future.
We have a few more injuries albeit minor with Sean, Matty and Shakes all carrying knocks, these should clear up and all should be in contention today. Jonny Aitkenhead should return after his ankle problem if he comes through training on Thursday night and Craig Curtis is welcomed back after suspension with Dan Wallington serving his last game of three.
After today we have no midweek fixture and then we travel to Willand Rovers next Saturday in the FA Vase, what an opportunity that is for everyone to progress in such a prestigious competition and hopefully a great day out for everyone associated with the club. Then on the Tuesday night here we entertain one of the favourites to win this league in Binfield, all tough games but ones everybody should relish!
Enjoy it this afternoon & thanks for your continued support. See you in the bar!