Daily Archives: October 23, 2009

The Magic Of The FA Cup

fcum 005I love the FA Cup. Perhaps I should clarify that. I LOVE the FA Cup. The league is the league and its our bread and butter, but the sheer excitement of knockout competition is really what football is all about as far as I’m concerned. It really gets me down when people start talking down the greatest cup competition in the world. As a child of the eighties, I grew up worshiping the FA Cup. There is a reason why it will be difficult for any football moment to surpass Wembley ’88. When I first became a fan of the Dons, well, I was amazed and delighted that we reached the fifth round despite a 1-5 replay defeat at West Ham – and this was before I had even taken in my first Dons game!

Watching the Dons on TV against Everton in the fifth round in ’87, being in tears following a 2-0 defeat against Spurs in the next round. My amazement as we beat Mansfield,West Brom, Newcastle, Watford and Luton to reach Wembley. Then the big day itself. Queueing forever outside the old stadium. Watching scousers who had failed to gain entry curled up on the concrete in tears. The goal! My dad telling me at half time we needed another goal, and absolutely knowing he was dead right. The second half that seemed to last forever. Driving back to Kingston, standing with my head out of the sunroof screaming my head off in delight. My mum taping the ITV coverage, meaning I will forever have the ‘re-record not fade away’ and ‘follow the bear’ adverts saved for posterity…

Even in the AFC era, we have had milestones to reach. That first cup run coming to an end at home to Thurrock, much to our amazement. Finally reaching the final qualifying round last year, then going one stage further for a televised first round match. This year, starting in that same fourth qualifying round, the stakes are higher. Drawing a fellow Conference side is not the easiest draw, but one we must overcome. Besides, there are new milestones to achieve. Beating a Football League club. Reaching the third round. Drawing a Premier or Championship club away from home…

Perhaps that is why my dreams have been littered with AFC Wimbledon players over the last day or so. Not obviously of course, these are dreams and they need some interpretation. Which explains why I have dreamed of the following this week; An orangutang (James Pullen), a bronze Roman statue of a soldier (Danny Kedwell), a potato (Jon Main?), Lake Geneva (Jay Conroy), Sweep (Terry Brown), a rabbit caught in headlights (Sam Hatton).

So tommorow, nervous much. More than the first day of the season thats for sure, all those dreams of exciting cup away games and televised ties (with the added bonus of being able to earn a shed load of money…) could have vanished by 4.45 tomorrow, the name of our hosts firmly stamped on ball 68 when the draw comes around. Oh, by the way, as you all know the draw is actually fixed and has already taken place. My sources at Soho Square have tipped me of that the winner of this tie will face Kettering or Redditch United at home in the First Round Proper. You heard it here first.

So Dons fans out there, regular readers and those that stumbled upon the article and probably wished they hadn’t, I have but one message for you. Lets turn it into a home game. Its only down the road, if you are still 50/50 COME ON! Its the FA Cup, for fucks sake! The world famous FA Cup, the competition that put Wimbledon on the map for reasons other than tennis. If you were planning to boycott, DON’T! There is still time. Lets get a good 1500 turnout like at Maidstone last year, and lets cheer the lads into the First Round and beyond…

Finally if there was any reason to turn up that hasn’t yet been explored, lets not forget Crawley are effectively Steve Evans FC, aka Convicted in court of cheating football and every one of us who has ever paid our taxes. This is a foul, odious man. How would we feel if they went through and went on to play Leeds on TV, and his fat bastard mug appeared in homes across the country? Sorry to any Crawley fans tuning in (but seriously, what did you expect) but the man is scum, and by extention so are his team. Lets do the competition a favour and remove him from it at the first possible opportunity.

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