Bill Waterson | Chairman's Welcome | Wealdstone Programme Notes

Our match day programme Robins Review will, as usual, be available online and inside the stadium this evening.

Given the nature of the content we publish inside the match day programme this season, only the Chairman's welcome and the results table was time sensitive, therefore we have not-re-printed a new edition. Instead, our co-chair Bill Waterson, has kindly re-written his notes ahead of kick-off.

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Bill Waterson | Chairman's Welcome | Wealdstone Programme Notes

We belatedly welcome our friends from Wealdstone for tonight’s rearranged Vanarama National League match. The original game was of course postponed because of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and since then we have seen a flurry of Prime Ministers, Home Secretary’s and Chancellors come and go. And whilst our very own Sir Graham Brady directed traffic, the MP representing our visitors, one Boris Johnson, vacated Number 10 Downing Street early in the process.

Meanwhile in the equally turbulent world of the Vanarama National League, the re-arrangement has seen different circumstances for both clubs. At the time of the original game Wealdstone topped the table and we had not yet recorded a win.  Since then Alty are flying high in the form table, whereas Wealdstone have had a tougher set of results.

On Tuesday last Alty beat local rivals Oldham Athletic 1-0 whilst the Stones were overcome by a Notts County side in full flight. Now the two teams sit side by side in the table, with Wealdstone a point ahead of the Robins. We will draw a veil over Saturday for both our sakes.

There is no segregation tonight – a measure of how friendly we are with todays visitors. We are also having no segregation for our next midweek game against Barnet, although Wealdstone might have something to say about that – the two are long standing rivals and that rivalry has intensified in recent years. A Hive of activity one might say.

Why am I suddenly all parliamentary at the top of this article? The reason is I was lucky enough to visit the Houses of Parliament recently to hear of the excellent work that UA92 are doing for social mobility in Greater Manchester, and specifically in Trafford itself. This is a great initiative that does not get the attention it deserves. I was able to use the opportunity to catch up with Andrew Western and have a good conversation about the clubs place in the borough, and like just about everyone in Trafford, he had been to Moss Lane for some of our big nights in the past.

If you want an example of a big night, the win against Oldham certainly qualified as one of those. I was proud that we managed to handle a crowd of over 3,500 as though it was routine, and it was great to see us actually win a landmark fixture. 



In recent years Stockport County and Wrexham have just proved too strong, and going further back (with lesser milestones) we have fallen short against FC United of Manchester and York City in recent years.  The last league win I can find with an announced attendance of over 3,500 (so not Barnet back in 1990) was a 4-1 win over Northwich Vics on Boxing Day 1967 when 5,092 were at Moss Lane to see us maintain second place behind the now defunct Macclesfield Town.

Also a sign of progress from that game was the soft opening of the Fan Zone, the first step in building new facilities on the Popular Side. The Fan Zone is not open this evening to allow us to continue work on the facility, but it will be back, and continue to improve, over the coming weeks.
 
Enjoy the game,
 
Bill

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