Posts Tagged 'FA Cup'

End of season elsewhere

So, the final twofootedtackle podcast of the season is now online. It seemed only fitting that we got John Stanton, the guest on our first podcast, back into the studio, and he didn’t disappoint. Among the topics covered were the FA Cup, England Internationals, MLS, Champions League, Gareth Barry, managerial changes and, um, cricket (well, the Ashes are coming up).

We will be doing occasional podcasts over the summer but we’re taking a bit of a break for the time being to let us charge our batteries.

Then I’ve also put my two pence forward at Soccerlens on what changes should be made to the FA Cup, Champions League and UEFA Cup.

It’s already got accused of hateration from an Arsenal fan…

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Gary has been busy but he’s still found time to be elsewhere

He’ll also stop talking about himself in the third person now.

Over at Soccerlens I wax lyrical about the 10 greatest ever drawn FA Cup ties and the subsequent replays.

The words “You’re a bit of a sad geek, aren’t you” may be used in conjunction with this article. You’d probably be right.

I’ve also managed to irritate Manchester United fans. Makes a change from having Manchester City fans chasing after me with pitchforks. I’ve actually got nothing much against either club. They both do things well and not so well. And things are never dull with either of them…

I have got other stuff I’d like to write on here, but I’ve not had the time as I’m insanely busy. And I don’t commission myself to write a weekly piece. If I did, I’d have sacked myself by now.

Gary elsewhere: An FA Cup special

Over at Soccerlens: My predictions for which lower and n0n-league teams are likely to pull off a FA Cup upset this weekend.

And apologies to Kidderminster Harriers fans. I appear to have forgotten about you. You certainly have a good chance of beating Coventry City.

God, I love the FA Cup.

Gary Elsewhere

Soccerlens: Droylsden v Chesterfield may well be the strangest cup tie of 2008.

(And, yes, I know there’s a spelling mistake in the first paragraph. I had a bout of insomnia on Sunday night and only got a few hours kip, so that was written, and then left for two hours before being proofed by a very very tired Gary. This is why subs are just as important on the web, people).

Why I love the FA Cup

Last night non-league Blyth Spartans defeated Bournemouth 1-0 with an 89th minute winner from their 18-year-old substitute to set up a tie with Premier League side Blackburn Rovers.

It’s that kind of drama-you-couldn’t-make-up that makes me love the FA Cup (even if Exeter got knocked out to Curzon Ashton). It’s the chance for, cliched as it is, the postmen, the electricians, and the plumbers, the semi-professionals, to get their moment of glory.

And Blyth have pedigree, having reached the 5th round of the FA Cup back in 1978, and coming close to become the only non-league team to ever make it to the quarter-finals. You can read my Soccerlens piece on it here.

Also, Droyslden and Chesterfield are doing their best to revive the spirit of endless replays (them from the days before penalty shoot outs).

Having seen their original match abandoned due to fog, the teams then drew two-all in a bizarre game that saw Chesterfield allow their non-league opponents to equalise after Jack Lester scored a controversial goal. Then, last night, the floodlights failed at Droylsden [1] with the Spireites leading 2-0, so another replay is required.

Add Histon knocking out Leeds in the last round, and Barrow facing Middlesborough in the third round, and it’s clear just why the FA Cup is one of the greatest competitions in the world.

My favourite cup final is the 1990 three-all draw between Manchester United and Crystal Palace. Not because I have any great love for either of these teams, but because it was a pulsating affair that had you on the edge of your seats.

United went on to win the replay 1-0, with a rare goal from defender Lee Martin.

And no matter what people may have thought about last season’s cup final, it was great to see Portsmouth and Cardiff battle it out rather than any of the usual suspects. It’s why I can’t wait for January 3rd.

[1] There’s a lot of this kind of thing around at this time I year. I was at Dagenham on Saturday when the floodlights failed at half time. Frustrating, yes, as it was a good game of football. But given that Exeter were losing 1-0, it was absolutely freezing cold, there was driving rain, and the away end is uncovered, you’ll understand why I wasn’t horrendously upset to have to leave early.

Gary Elsewhere

At Soccerlens: Praise for Histon’s rise through the non-league pyramid – and their potential cup showdown with Leeds.


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Yes, this is my name. And my email. Use it wisely or you're not getting a biscuit with your tea: garyllewellynandrews [at] gmail [dot] com