the real fa cup

Burnham 2-5 Bishops Stortford

Burnham 2 – 5 Bishops Stortford
FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round 2011/12

“Mike Ashley, Jimmy Carr, Ulrika Jonsson.  Your boys took a hell of a beating today.”

There was going to be rejoicing on the streets of Bishops Stortford tonight after The Blues overcame The Blues in the FA Cup Third Qualifying round.  Four and a half thousand pounds was at stake for this tie as well as avoiding a Blue Monday for the losers.

For those of you unfamiliar with the geography of the western home counties you may be confused into thinking that Burnham is actually in Slough.  A big mistake young man.  Sir John Betjeman famously once said “Come friendly bombs, fall on Slough” whilst sitting in the The Old Five Bells in Church Street in Burnham* It is a village in its own right, with 11,500 people populating the leafy streets.  It is a perfect slice of England, one of those places that all Americans think we English live in.

Back in the late 1960′s and early 70′s you would often see the legendary Sid James, Charles Hawtrey and a young Barbara Windsor (She changed her name from Deeks to Windsor after Bernard Breslaw once saw her naked and remarked that her breast looked like the Queens castle*) around the village as it was often used as a location for filming of the Carry On series.  On breaks from the set they would often sneak down to The Gore and catch a game as The Blues played in the Hellenic League.

Today it was my turn to sneak into the village, passing Rogerham Mansions, Dunham Road and of course Much-snogging-on-the-Green, before I turned into the “ample car park”.  Well, that is the last time I listen to Richmond Red.  The car park was full, although after some truly dreadful attempts to turn the car around I found a space.  In fact I found THE space.  Closer than any other space in the whole of the footballing world.  In fact I could have jumped from the car into the ground, above the turnstile.

But I didn’t do that.  That would be just silly.  Instead I paid my £8 and went and found the sunny side of the street.  Ian Walker is the manager these days at Stortford.  However, it was good to see that as time has passed he has decided to stick with THAT haircut.

The visitors were running the show and it was only a matter of time before they opened the scoring.  When Gayle slotted home a penalty after thirty minutes it seemed like a just reward.

“Third goal of the afternoon for the visitors scored by Gayle”. Yep, I had managed to miss two goals with my attempts to park my car, taking my total to an impressive of 8 for the season so far – my missed goals and not Gayle’s I hasten to add.

picture-0321-1.jpg The second half saw a threatened comeback by the home side.  Some comedy defending that Charles Hawtrey would have taken inspiration from allowed Jordan Dowdican to pull a goal back and you had the feeling the next goal would win it.  Not literally of course as that would be ridiculous, although saying that I am sure Blatter and co must have considered it at some point as a replacement for the Gold/Silver goal.

The goal, or goals came with twenty minutes to go when Stortford’s Bukare, or Cum On as he is called by some team mates (Bukare = Bukake, one for the adults to look up) scored twice to make it 5-1.  Burnham pulled one back when Ashley Smith’s cross floated over everyone’s head and into the net.  But it was too little too late, and even a Sir Geoff Hurst look-a-like on the touchlines, chomping on a large cigar, saw the game was up and left.

Burnham’s adventure was over for another season and the ghosts of the Carry On team would have to make their way back to Pinewood for another season, safe in the knowledge that they would be Carry(ing) on Regardless next week in the Evostik South League.

* A bloke in said pub told us this so it is possible it may not be true

All words and pictures by Stuart Fuller. As ever, if you want the full, classic 12″ version of Blue Monday, as well as a jukebox full of football, head over to Stuart’s encyclopaedic site The Ball Is Round.

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