Crystal Palace's Jonathan Williams and Stoke's Dean Whitehead compete for possession
By David Barber - Monday, 07 January, 2013
Our superfan, David Barber, saw FA Cup and FA Sunday Cup action over the weekend
My choice for The FA Cup Third Round, Crystal Palace v Stoke City, turned out to be one of the only two 0-0 draws.
But it was good entertainment and Palace might have edged it with a couple of chances near the end. It was nice to be sitting only a few seats away in the Main Stand from where I saw my first football match 52 years ago. That was an FA Cup tie too, but that one had eight goals and a much bigger crowd.
Sunday was another dull day and I was in my hotel room, carefully reading through The Non-League Paper, when I realised my train from Paddington to Southall was leaving in a few minutes’ time. I flew out the door in my fabulous new anorak and, having initially gone to the wrong platform, caught it with a good ten seconds to spare.
The train was nearly full. Surely they weren’t all going to Upshire v CB Hounslow United in The FA Sunday Cup Third Round at Osterley. No, I was the only one. Mostly they were Italian tourists on their way to Windsor Castle. It was a 40-minute walk to the ground, passing not too far from the nursing home on Ealing Broadway where I was born.
The pitch was muddy but perfectly playable and there was a crowd of 35 as the match kicked off at 1.06pm. CB, hosting the tie despite being the away side, were nearly ahead inside a minute. Their No.9 sped clear of the defence and his firm shot was grabbed by the ‘keeper at the second attempt.
Then Upshire scored in the fourth minute, the ball poked gently home after a scramble.
On 27 minutes there was a break in the action as an injured Upshire player received treatment and the referee went over to speak to some supporters in the far left corner from where I was standing. Then the ref, back near the centre of the pitch, called his assistants and the captains together and shortly afterwards both teams started to walk off!
The father (I believe) of one of the Upshire players had been taken ill as he watched the match and an ambulance had been called. With the Upshire team understandably upset, the ref took the decision to suspend play. We all waited for news, the stricken chap did seem to improve a little, but I was standing almost next to the ref when he abandoned the tie.
They will try again this coming Sunday, again at CB’s ground. Another long walk!
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