Bags I take the throw-in.
By David Barber - Monday, 29 October, 2012
The superfan was on the FA Trophy trail at the weekend
There were three unusual things last week. At Market Road on Wednesday, the Dover Castle No.9 was shown a yellow card for leaving the field without permission.
At Merstham on Saturday, Wealdstone were 3-0 up in eight minutes.
In Regent’s Park yesterday, a long throw by Phoenix Gower’s No.9 was deflected into the net by the Groucho goalie.
I saw two contrasting FA Trophy Second Round Qualifying ties at the weekend with a 2-6 and then a 0-0. I thought Saturday was meant to be dry and sunny (if a little chilly) but the rain was typically lashing against the window as the 1.56 to Merstham pulled out of Purley station. There were some heavy showers during the first half too.
I’ve seen some conflicting goal times in the press but according to my little clock, the match kicked off at 3.02 and Wealdstone’s third goal went in at 3.10. Stones led 4-2 at the break and notched two more near the end.
I felt the need to leave my seat at the back of the stand at half-time because the people on my immediate right and left simply hadn’t stopped talking, loudly and irrelevantly, for 45 minutes.
I went to stand behind the goal at the covered end and there was a man a few feet away wearing the most ridiculous hairpiece who had his radio blaring away. They could probably have heard the Arsenal v QPR commentary at the other end.
Apparently, the Wealdstone squad included a forward who had played professionally in his homeland Poland. Looking at the programme, it had to be either Lee Chappell, Mark Knight or Jacek Magdzinski. There was no real hint there but I suspect it might have been Mark Knight.
Sunday was meant to be wet and windy but turned out to be dry and fairly bright. After the usual ‘Full English’ I made up half the crowd at the match on Pitch 9 in Regent’s Park.
Phoenix Gower were ahead in five minutes and won 3-2 against Groucho, one of their goals coming from a huge throw from the left that seemed to brush the ‘keeper’s elbow on its way into the net.
I was chatting to the ref at half-time and discovered that I was watching a match in the ‘Music League’, which I had never heard of. He told me that he had been reffing for 25 years and in one match a Tunisian lad, only 19, had collapsed with a heart attack and died on the pitch. It had been a shock for everyone, obviously.
My first proper match, Crystal Palace v Hitchin Town in 1960, was in The FA Cup First Round and I’ve now seen 67 matches in that round. I haven’t decided where to go on Saturday yet but League v Non-League has always been my preference. I’ve been fortunate enough to see eight ‘giant-killings’.
Last week’s results, with attendances in brackets, were: Carshalton Athletic 0-1 Whitehawk (121), FC Mutant 3-2 Dover Castle (1), Merstham 2-6 Wealdstone (245), Phoenix Gower 3-2 Groucho (2) and Cray Wanderers 0-0 Arlesey Town (96).
Games this season = 67
Games in total = 6,362
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