Sunday's FA Cup tie finished goal-less.
By David Barber - Monday, 22 October, 2012
The superfan saw a tense FA Cup tie yesterday
Gosport, a four-minute ferry ride from Portsmouth, is a place I know well. My grandparents lived there for 20 years and most of my childhood holidays were spent there. My first football match, technically, was a pre-season practice match involving Gosport Borough’s first team and reserves at Privett Park. I was nine years old and had only seen football on TV before that.
Borough were a Hampshire League side in those days but now play in the Southern League Premier Division. I saw them lose an FA Cup Fourth Round Qualifying tie 2-0 at Windsor & Eton about 30 years ago and they still haven’t made it through to the First Round, though they are very close now.
I saw their 0-0 draw at Slough Town in the Fourth Round Qualifying yesterday afternoon.
It was a dull Sunday from the start but thankfully dry. My morning match in Regent’s Park featured Grantchester Road and Blood Sweat & Beers, the highlight a ‘Blood’ goal scored from a free-kick about two yards into the opposition’s half. Everyone was expecting a chip to the far post but the pace of the shot took it straight into the net at the near post as they all rushed across.
The half-time interval had been less than five minutes, so an early finish meant I had plenty of time to catch the 13.00 train from Marylebone to Beaconsfield. It was packed and two ladies actually came to blows as they disputed ownership of the seat opposite me. It was quite a shock. Then I had a half-hour walk from the station to Holloways Park, the ground that Slough share with Beaconsfield SYCOB. I’d never been there before.
I’d missed the Cup draw on TV. It was the first time Gosport had been in the First Round draw in their 68-year history but all I saw was long faces when I entered the clubhouse. Borough would be away to Mansfield Town of the Conference Premier if they beat Slough. A tie against Portsmouth would have been the ultimate fantasy, of course. But yesterday’s match was very tense, a bit breathless with nobody given any time on the ball, and a 0-0 looked on the cards from the early minutes.
I had an AFA Senior Cup tie in mind for Saturday but the ground I went to was deserted. Fortunately I still had enough time to get a train down to Whyteleafe for Warlingham’s Combined Counties League Division One fixture with South Kilburn. This was ‘second from bottom’ against ‘second’ and was played with surprising intensity. The crowd watched in silence but they were all shouting at each other on the pitch. Several players saw fit to criticise their team-mates.
Last week’s results, with attendances in brackets, were: Hanwell Town 0-1 Oxhey Jets (56), Brentford U18s 5-1 Barnet U18s (248), FC Mutant 6-2 Fitzrovia (4), Warlingham 1-2 South Kilburn (20), Grantchester Road 2-1 Blood Sweat & Beers (2) and Slough Town 0-0 Gosport Borough (523).
David Barber aka ‘The Barber’ joined the FA staff in 1970 and initially worked in the International Department alongside Sir Alf Ramsey. He has compiled more than 100 publications, including ‘We Won The Cup’ and the ‘FA Quiz Book’, acted as liaison officer to 48 national teams and personally attended 6,357 matches including 418 in The FA Cup.
© The Football Association 2001-2013,
All Rights Reserved