Hello, my name is Ian and after doing my (preview/review) blogs on this site covering all the games of Euro 2016. I decided to start a new project. To try and attend as many rounds of the FA Cup 2016/2017 season starting from the very beginning.
It may surprise a few of you, but as most people were getting ready to watch their team start their league campaign last Saturday. The very lower teams were out there on the 5th, 6th and 7th August trying to qualify from the Extra Preliminary Round and that’s where I started.
Before I give you a review of my day out though, I thought I’d outline all the other actual rounds there are before we even get to the First Round proper at the beginning of November:
Preliminary Round Saturday 20th August 2016
First Round Qualifying Saturday 3rd September 2016
Second Round Qualifying Saturday 17th September 2016
Third Round Qualifying Saturday 1st October 2016
Fourth Round Qualifying Saturday 15th October 2016
For this particular round I opted to find a very close fixture to me and fortunately there were a few options, but the closest seem to be a fixture in the Manchester suburb of Chorlton. I know the area very well, but I’d never been to the Recreation Ground where West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC were playing AFC Liverpool.
I had hoped to get to a local pub for a quick beer or two before kick off, but it wasn’t to be. In the end I just about got there in time. Although I could of actually missed that, but thankfully the assistant referee spotted a whole in the net which meant kick off was slightly delayed whilst they repaired it.
After paying a fiver to get in, I got myself a beer and sat in the stand behind the goal just as the players came out. It was a very warm day and after my 20 minute plus walk after getting a lift, I needed a bit of shade. Not too much happened in the first half but I thought AFC Liverpool (playing in purple) had slightly the better of it early on, with a couple of half chances and most of the play.
At half time I went for a bit of a wander around the ground, I reckon there was maybe 200 people in the ground watching. I could be wrong and it was probably less but that is what it seemed like. There was definitely quite a few travelling fans as well, which is great to see at that level when two teams from the North West Counties Football League meet.
Whilst taking a stroll around the ground watching all the substitutes warming up in the heat, I received a text message off a friend. He was at Yaxley FC watching them play Huntingdon Town FC in the same round of the FA Cup. He however had seen six goals in his first half with all of them going to the home team.
I hoped for goals here then in the second half as I went back to the same stand behind the goal near the club house. I grabbed another beer and sat back and waited. Again like the first half it was pretty even for the most part of it. However Liverpool started to look a little tired after a lot of running and the home team tried to take advantage. They got into some very good positions in the last 15 minutes but unfortunately the attempted shots and chances were tired efforts as well and the gamed finished 0-0.
Being the Extra Preliminary Round I didn’t know the exact ruling so was unsure if it was extra-time, straight to penalties or a replay. Both teams gathered in the middle and for a second it looked liked they were sorting out who was taking the penalties. It wasn’t to be though, I was informed they were just cooling down and having their end of game chat outside as the changing rooms were now roasting hot. It was in fact a replay which takes place at AFC Liverpool’s ground tonight at 7.45pm.
Good luck to both teams tonight! It’s time for me to start looking up a fixture to go to now for the Preliminary Round on Saturday 20th August. Oh and that Yaxley game by the way… It finished 12-0 to Yaxley.