Carshalton's 'keeper had '100' on her jersey.
By David Barber - Monday, 18 February, 2013
FA superfan David Barber was on the Cup trail again
Saturday’s match was Luton Town v Millwall in The FA Cup Fifth Round at Kenilworth Road, my 22nd Cup fixture this season and 426th altogether. The Hatters had already made history in the competition this season, becoming the first non-League side to knock out one from the Premier League when they won at Norwich in Round Four.
At the weekend, they were aiming to be the first non-Leaguers to reach the Quarter-Finals since Queens Park Rangers managed it as a Southern League outfit 99 years ago. Rangers lost 2-1 at Liverpool. I resolved to get to the ground early and was on the platform at St Pancras, just me and 12 policemen, before 10am.
There was a sprinkling of Millwall fans in my carriage as we departed, one of them asking everyone if they ‘remembered Coventry in ‘77’. It was lost on me, I’m afraid.
The turnstiles were opened at 11.45, an hour before kick-off. I was more or less the first person to sit down in the Main Stand, clutching a hot pie and an even hotter bovril. In the end, they had a sell-out crowd of 9,768. The Hatters probably needed to score first to boost their chances of achieving another shock result but conceded a soft goal on 12 minutes.
I found all the aggression and abuse between the two sets of fans quite wearying and wasn’t too disappointed to hear the final whistle. My best moment of the afternoon came before the kick-off. Then a little pony-tailed mascot, a girl of nine, hugged someone dressed as the FA Cup trophy. I think we should all give it a hug – the competition has done us proud this season.
Yesterday afternoon I was in the more genteel surroundings of Carshalton Athletic’s War Memorial Sports Ground, watching their Ladies play Camden Town in front of a crowd of 14. Then some boys decided to play football inside the stand. How long would it be before they hit me with the ball? Twenty seconds? Ten seconds? It was less than ten.
Carshalton went ahead after half-an-hour or so but their ‘keeper, wearing a jersey with ‘100’ on the back, was picking the ball out of her net within a couple of minutes. It finished 3-2 to the home side, a closer encounter than Saturday’s. I took the 127 bus back to Purley and watched most of the Huddersfield v Wigan Cup tie on the box.
Matches this season = 116
Matches in total = 6,411
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