How was it for you? Part 6 – Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

Nicola Hudson brings us the rollercoaster ride that has been Southport FC’s season back in the Blue Square Bet Premier.  And who is to say the ride has come to a complete stop just yet…

2010/2011 has been a high octane season full of emotion at both extremes of the spectrum for the players, management and fans of Southport FC.

With the campaign now over, Southport find themselves sitting fourth from bottom of the Blue Square Bet Premier league, occupying the last relegation place, and the sense of disappointment throughout both the club and the town is overwhelming.

After becoming champions of the Blue Square Bet Conference North last season, the part-time Sandgrounders were always going to find this season in the Conference National challenging considering the calibre of the professional teams that they would have to compete against, but the nature of the defeat, with safety looking possible with ten minutes of the final match remaining, has left a bitter taste.

Southport manager Liam Watson entered the 2010 campaign with a squad largely unchanged from the one that had secured their promotion at Eastwood Town the previous season. Only a handful of players departed, the most notable being striker Ciaran Kilheeney who, after two successful seasons at Port, signed for Conference North side Droylsden to be replaced by Matty McNeil of League Two Stockport County. Continue reading

Natural disaster

Bonfire night in East Sussex is not the same as any other place in the world.  Lewes, one of the biggest town’s in Sussex is famous for a number of things.  It was the site for England’s biggest avalanche when in 1836 snow from the white chalk cliffs rolled down the hill and killed 8 people.  It also suffered an earthquake in 1864 measuring 3.1 on the Richter scale.  It is the home of Harvey’s beer, the staple diet of any local and my favourite Friday lunchtime tipple at the Market Porter.  And finally, for its bonfire celebrations.  Their celebrations are not like anything else seen in the country and it is full of history (see here for more details) is far to complex for my little brain to get around.

But I was not here for the fireworks fun.  I was taking part in an exchange trip – similar to one you used to do in 4th year French apart from I knew I wasn’t getting some thieving little chap who wanted to steal my porn or shag my goldfish.  This exchange was a football exchange par excellence…You see Mr Last (EFW fame) had agreed to sponsor the matchball for the Lewes game versus Hampton & Richmond and invited myself and Cynical Dave along for the ride.  And in return I was taking Mr Last to his first Premier League game for a decade the following day for West Ham’s game with Everton.

Lewes and West Ham had had similar seasons, struggling to fulfil their potential and spending too much time in the relegation zone of their respective leagues.  Was this to be the weekend when it all changed?  Well at this point I will hand you over to Danny who takes up the story of the weekend…..