These articles are published in the Slough Town FC programme. The Rebels play in the Southern Premier - just seven leagues below the Premier League. I’ve been supporting Slough since the beginning of time despite now living in Brighton. After nearly 14 nomadic years we finally have a brand spanking new home in Slough.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


It was my mate in the pub that asked the simple question, as I tried to explain that Shoreham’s second FA Cup victory this season meant they were now in the first Qualifying round. Confusing? ‘What’s with all these qualifying rounds, why not round one, two, three’ he sensibly quipped?
Which is just the point Damon Threadgold from the fabulous realfacup made in his article on how to improve the competition. "Change the names of the rounds to be more inclusive. The current 1st round is actually the 7th round of the competition, let's not pretend it isn't. This separatism suggests non league sides don't count and are playing in a different competition just to get into the real competition, a feeling exemplified by the exclusionist colloquialism for the 1st Round onwards, the 'propers'."
So onto round two of the FA Cup and it’s a welcome return to Middle Road, after the Musselmen of Shoreham beat Dorking 4-1 away in the extra preliminary round (see, it’s confusing). Today’s opponents were Walton Casuals who aren’t a punk band from the seventies managed by Jimmy Pursey or an English Defence League splinter group but a team from Surrey playing in the Ryman League Division One South.
The match had been in doubt as Shoreham had to cancel two home games over the Bank Holiday. Not due to the weather but because of 50 caravans encircling their ground!
The travellers were gone, replaced with war planes as Shoreham air-port with its Grade II art deco building hosted its annual weekend air-show.

This is where I could get all clever with war-planes and puns on Hurricane and Spitfires but well, I’m not clever enough for that. Neither was one of Walton Casuals players whose orange clad team-mates were dazzling Shoreham with their football and had taken a 1-0 lead after just 10 minutes. It looked like it could be a landslide. One of them shouted to another ‘calm down, we are 1-0 up’ but I reckon when you are in a such a commanding position you should go for the jugular.
I’ve been to Walton and Hersham many times before. They were the team who scored a last minute goal at Wembley to beat Slough in the FA Amateur cup final in 1973 in front of 41,000. Which is a few more than the 63 in attendance today.
So Casuals are they young Walton upstarts formed by soldiers just after the war who only became a senior football team 18 years ago and been in the Ryman league just seven. Last weekend they turned over their neighbours.
Shoreham compete a level below in the Sussex County League Division One and a new broom has arrived at Middle Road after many a season of flirting with relegation. New chairman, new manager, new players, new bulbs on the floodlights. The place is all spick and span and still does tea in a mug. What’s not to like?
The Casuals goal-fest didn’t come and somewhat surprisingly Shoreham equalized in the 38 minute. In the second half Shoreham looked so much more assured and went in front. The last 10 minutes Casuals rained balls at their goal but to not effect and it finished 2-1 to Shoreham and a trip in the next round to everyone’s favourite pink and navy club Dulwich Hamlet.
Financially Shoreham pocket £1,925 for this round making it nearly three and a half grand so far. Which is not to be sniffed. But do the winners of the FA Cup playing in round fifteen (and with all due respect to Shoreham, I suspect it won’t be them lifting the cup) really need  £1.8 million quid?

Thanks to Shoreham's official photography Mike Dinsdale for letting me use his photos. More action shots here 
Andy the photographer was also there Saturday. You can view his photos here 


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home