FA Cup First Round

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 to attend as many rounds of the FA Cup 2016/2017 season starting from the very beginning. I’ve gone more than well so far, having been to the Extra Preliminary Round, the Preliminary Round as well as the First, Second, Third and Fourth Qualifying Rounds. It’s now time for the First Round proper and with all the League One and League Two teams joining the competition, the non-league boys will certainly be looking to take some scalps.

You can’t beat a good cup upset and that is what the FA Cup is really all about and I’ve seen many over the years watching this great competition at grounds and on Television. Saying that, thankfully I haven’t really witnessed any cup upsets in the six games I’ve been at this year as I have been ‘supporting’ the local home team I’ve been to watch. It was no different this time as once again I kept it as local as possible to the Manchester/Greater Manchester area.

There were really only two options and distance wise there was nothing in it really from where I am based. Both Bury and Bolton take just a short tram or train ride to get to from Manchester city centre, so there was only one other question that needed to be asked. Having been to both grounds previously I was happy to go to either game, but I had to ask my friend whose a Bolton fan if he was available and if so, did he fancy it? He was and he did so Bolton vs Grimsby Town was decided. The best bit about this though was that I then convinced my wife to drive us and while we were at the game she could have an afternoon of early Christmas shopping at the Middlebrook Retail Park next to the ground. I must say it was good planning all round, however I’ve not checked our joint bank account as yet.

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Into the ground and time for a sneaky Guinness (from a can) before kick off as we took our seats in the home end behind the goal and just above the level of the cross-bar. Bolton were easily the better team first half and took their recent form and performances in the league into this game. They weren’t outstanding as such, just controlled the slow pace of the game and never really allowed the away team to get into it. Bolton took the lead through Liam Trotter, who was once at loan at Grimsby, when he headed in and gave Bolton a deserved lead after twenty.

Lofty ahead of the second half

Another Guinness (from a can) and then back for the second half and both teams came out a bit more lively, as Grimsby definitely came more into the game as they tried to press for an equaliser. It wasn’t to be though as everything they did try to create seemed to be cut out, blocked or cleared by David Wheater, who I thought had a great game. Not from a footballing point of view, but he certainly did everything that was asked of him and enjoys, by winning numerous tackles and headers to stop Grimsby.

That was compared to Bolton’s forward Proctor who just seemed to mis-control anything that seemed to come to him and had a really poor game. Phil Parkinson realised this as well and hauled him off with about twenty minutes to go, with the home fans seeming pleased with the decision too. Grimsby kept trying in front of their very noisy away support of about two thousand, but nothing came of it and Bolton are into the next round of the cup.

Lofty and Lofty junior were pleased and they’ll be hoping for another home tie in the next round.

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