Printed in the Slough Town FA Cup preliminary round game v Corinthians
Saturday 26th August 2012. We won 4-2
A beautiful sunny day in Brighton
But this wasn’t the time to join the hoards on the beach but instead board the
FA Cup fever train to Shoreham
for an extra preliminary round tie against
Colliers Wood United
. Five of us did a quick tour of Shoreham boozers before
heading to Middle Road
to see if the Musselmen could pocket a grand and get a plum away trip to
Maidstone United’s new ground
in the next round.
There are fourteen more rounds before the final and it’s probably
safe to say that none of the 370 teams that play at this round will get to the
first round proper let alone the final but that doesn’t mean the cup doesn’t mean
as much for the minnows.
Shoreham are in the Sussex County League Division One and to
say their league has got itself in a bit of a pre season pickle is a bit of an
Under threat from re-organisation plans by the FA the Sussex
County League were looking at losing all their top clubs. Eventually the FA plans
but the league has decided to fight their corner by increasing
Division One to twenty two teams. This meant despite finishing in the
relegation zone for the second consecutive season Shoreham didn’t face the drop.
Infact no one was relegated in the whole three divisions including Chichester
City United who finished bottom and didn’t turn up for three games but rather
cheekily appealed their relegation and won! So did Dorking Wanderers who won
their ground grading appeal. This meant Littlehampton who had been promoted
were told ten days before the season started they were back in Division Two.
Meanwhile in Division Three two clubs pulled out leaving
just 12 teams to compete for the season!
Over in north London
some people have been losing the plot at Budweiser’s cup plans. Terry Venables became
technical director while ex-pros Ray Parlour, Martin Keown, Graeme
Le Saux, Claudio Caniggia and Brian McBride were given one last shot at
competing in order to get the Combined Counties Premier Division side into the
first round proper. The game also made football broadcasting history, being the
first extra preliminary round game ever to be shown live on TV. This has sent some people into anaphylactic
shock but I’m sorry but I can’t see how Wembley could turn this down. The cash
and the profile will keep them afloat for quite a few seasons and you never
know they even grab a few extra regular supporters along the way. As the Wembley FC manager pointed out "A year ago we were playing in front of an empty grandstand and the club house was falling down."
Yes we would like all our clubs to be run on goodwill and
magic fairy dust but with a crowd of 71 for the Shoreham game clubs need
to grab any opportunities to help them survive.
Survive and prosper is something Colliers Wood United have been
doing for 136 years and are one of the oldest teams in the country. With a move
to a new ground in 1991 they have risen up the pyramid and are now in the
Combined Counties Premier League. They only entered the FA Cup for the first
time in 2006/7.
Shoreham aren’t wet behind the ears either being 120 years
As for the game, in the first half Shoreham keep getting
caught on the break and it was no surprise when Colliers Wood scored. When the
Wood got a second there looked no way back for the Mussels who piled on the
pressure but with little effect. Then in the 82 minute they pulled a goal back
and it was game on. And with five minutes of inquiry time and the last kick of
the game Shoreham’s Callaghan equalized and the Musselmen earnt themselves
another crack of the cup whip on Wednesday.
GOAL! Thanks to official Shoreham photographer Mike Dinsdale
for letting me reproduce his photos