Carshalton (red) went out of The FA Cup on Saturday.
By David Barber - Tuesday, 25 September, 2012
The superfan was on a ‘busman’s holiday’ last week.
I was on leave last week and added eleven games to my total. They included two in The FA Cup, one in The FA Trophy and three in The FA Youth Cup. I saw 50 goals and nine penalties on a real ‘busman’s holiday’.
The fun started at Berkeley Fields, the home of North Greenford United of the Southern League Division One Central and a mile or so from Greenford tube on the Central line. They were playing Tooting & Mitcham United from the Isthmian League’s Division One South in The FA Trophy Preliminary Round and I noted that both teams were struggling in their respective leagues.
NGU were 1-0 up at the break but at 1-1 the game turned on a controversial incident. The home ‘keeper grabbed the ball from a cross and bumped into a Tooting player, with neither party able to avoid the collision. The former then seemed to lift an elbow as he brushed past his opponent and as a consequence the ref showed him a red card and awarded a penalty.
The sub ‘keeper made a tremendous one-handed save to turn the kick over the bar but the ref immediately ordered a re-take, presumably because he had moved forward. Despite the stand-in ‘keeper’s best efforts, getting both hands to the ball, the second kick went in. Tooting went on to win 3-1. During the second half, in the seats behind the goal, I heard three people say independently that it was the worst football match they had ever seen.
I thought it was excellent – which is slightly worrying.
My three games in The FA Youth Cup First Round Qualifying last week finished Fisher 2-4 Maidstone United, Christchurch 5-3 Wimborne Town and Poole Town 3-0 Bournemouth Poppies. I was down in Bournemouth for three nights, staying at my usual hotel where the owner/manager has been a Norwich City fan since the ‘50s. We decided to go to AFC Bournemouth’s League One fixture with Brentford on the Tuesday and saw a 2-2 draw. We call it a ‘Desmond’.
Peter is a one-man-band at the hotel but he only had two other guests that night, so could safely slip away to Dean Court – or Goldsands Stadium as it is now known.
I thought that, rather than mess about with trains and long walks in the dark, I would book a cab to take me all the way from the hotel to Christchurch’s Hurn Bridge ground (and back) on the Wednesday. It turned out that the driver was at the Cherries game the night before, so we chatted about that. We also found that we were both born in Ealing in west London!
Graham insisted on taking me back after the game and, as we carefully left the car park, we noticed a couple of Wimborne officials waiting anxiously at the gate for the ambulance that would take their stricken No.17 to hospital. I fear it may have been a break. At Sunday’s FA Cup Second Round Qualifying tie between Hayes & Yeading United and Heybridge Swifts at Woking I had the misfortune to see another serious injury.
Swifts’ No.4 collapsed to the wet turf after stretching to reach a short Hayes corner in the tenth minute and I was close enough to hear the ref call to the bench: “Can we have a stretcher, please? I think the player has broken his ankle”. Let’s hope both players are back in action soon.
On Sunday morning I was trying, mostly without success, to hold onto my umbrella in the wind and rain in Regent’s Park as I saw Tottenham Chutzpah edge Loughton Orient 3-2 in the Maccabi Southern League. This has Jewish teams in it with names like ‘Jewventus’ and ‘Boca Jewniors’.
My Cup tie on Saturday was Carshalton Athletic v Chalfont St Peter. Saints scored the only goal on 68 minutes and it was reported that the home team’s manager had resigned afterwards. That’s 41 games this season and 6,336 altogether for ‘The Barber’.
© The Football Association 2001-2013,
All Rights Reserved