The superfan joined in the Cup fun at the weekend.
It's the Extra Preliminary Round, Jim, but not as we know it. Two of the home team had scored memorable goals against Brazil!
Claudio Caniggia, now 45 and living in Marbella, headed the goal for Argentina in Turin that knocked the Brazilians out of Italia ’90. Graeme Le Saux, 43, launched a 25-yarder into their net at Wembley in the Umbro Cup five years after that.
On Saturday they played for Wembley FC of the Combined Counties League in The FA Cup with Budweiser – along with Ray Parlour and Brian McBride – and it was Caniggia who slid home the Lions’ 14th-minute opener in an exciting 3-2 win over Langford before the ESPN cameras at Vale Farm. The Argentine, still sharp, laid on the other goals too.
Langford, the Spartan South Midlands League outfit from Bedfordshire, were the first team to ‘get to Wembley’ in The Cup since Chelsea and Liverpool managed it in May. They played their part against Wembley FC and had enough chances in the last 20 minutes to have won the tie. But it was the home side who hung on to earn a trip to Uxbridge in the Preliminary Round.
I love anything quirky and that’s why I was happy to make Saturday’s match my 405th in The FA Cup. Wembley FC have only reached the First Round Proper once, losing 3-0 at Enfield. I think they will find it tough to emulate the heroes of 1980 but this is The Cup, so who knows?
“Come on boys, this is massive!” That’s what one Wokingham & Emmbrook player shouted to his team-mates as they prepared to start yesterday’s Extra Preliminary Round tie against Camberley Town at Larges Lane. I travelled there via a Bakerloo line tube to Waterloo, a 62-minute train journey to Bracknell and a ten-minute walk through myriad underpasses.
Camberley, in the same league as Wembley FC, nearly scored in the first minute and eventually did take the lead on 28 minutes when their No.11 hit a screamer from the edge of the box that the ‘keeper just got a hand to as the ball soared into the top corner. The Wokingham ‘Satsumas’ – they play in orange shirts – did everything but equalise in the second period, even having a penalty saved with 12 minutes to go.
Then the canny visitors clinched their place in the next round with an injury-time goal, again from the No.11, to make it 2-0. I remembered seeing them play at Brentford in the First Round in 1998.
I have an FA Cup replay at Warlingham on Wednesday and I’m looking forward to that.
Games this season = 12/Games in total = 6,307