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 managed it so far and have really enjoyed doing it. I started with the Extra Preliminary Round, the Preliminary Round before going to the First, Second, Third and Fourth Qualifying Rounds.
We’re now into the proper rounds of this great competition and after going to watch Bolton Wanderers vs Grimsby Town in the First Round we’re now onto the Second Round. As mentioned last week in my special preview called FA Cup 3rd Round Eve you will have known where I was going to be. Yep, like all previous rounds this was no different, so again I kept it as local as possible to the Manchester/Greater Manchester area.
All the previous games that I’d been to had taken place on a Saturday and were all easy enough to get to, both travel wise and without having any other plans on a Saturday afternoon. Going into last weekend was going to be a bit more tricky. Having identified three FA Cups ties to get along to initially, it wasn’t until TV had got hold of some fixtures that I realised no games were on a Saturday. I had three options, Macclesfield Town, Curzon Ashton or Bolton Wanderers. Macclesfield was a Friday night and the other two were on a Sunday afternoon.
Having done Bolton previously, it was easily narrowed down to the other two. I was desperate to get to both but a 12pm Curzon kick off was just to tricky to get to so Macc Town it was. Myself and two friends got tickets in advance to save on any queuing time on the night and so we more time in the pub prior to kick off.
A good little pub crawl in Macclesfield before the game it was too, straight off the train and into the first pub we saw which was a Joey Holts’s pub called the Queen’s Hotel. Considering it was a Friday evening, there were only seven people in there and that included us and the barman, so it was a quick pint and onto the Old Millstone around the corner. This was good lively pub so stayed for a couple of rounds before getting off to The White Lion where we could have stayed all evening if the football wasn’t on. It was nearly match time though and we knew we had about a 20 minute walk to the ground so headed off hoping to find just one more pub on the way. We found The Macc pub and the slowest serving bar staff, or was it just because we were in a rush that they seemed slow? Anyway, we just had enough time for one beer in there and off to the ground literally just in time for kick off.
The game wasn’t the greatest and although there were chances for both teams you never got that feeling that an actual goal was going to come. Macclesfield certainly held their own and didn’t look like a non-league team, Oxford definitely under performed I believe even though they created the better chances. The atmosphere in the ground was good as we stood in a couple of different places but second half we were right behind the Oxford dugout and their manager Michael Appleton.
Half-time in the bar behind the stand was pretty interest mind due, we got in there and it was as if a load of away fans had taken over the home end with all the noise, chaos and rowdiness going on. Turns out when everyone got into the bar ten minutes before the half-time whistle there was no one on the bar and then it all went a bit mental with “fans” demanding numerous amounts of bottles and in some cases crates of beer. The stewards didn’t seem to be able to cope and at times it got a bit out of hand but I didn’t see any damage or violence other than a roof panel falling down.
After the game, we made the long trek back to the train station. The temptation to sneak another beer in was there but it was decided to get a couple of cans and hop on the next train back to Manchester. Great evening out and another round and ground ticked off the list. I can see Oxford getting through when they meet again in the replay.