the real fa cup

Sawyer Saves Met’s Bacon

Alwyns Lane, the home of Chertsey Town, has never seen a competitive match played on a Friday night before tonight – and they may wish that they had stuck to the traditional Saturday kick off after they were dumped out of the FA Cup by the Metropolitan Police.

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According to one of the Police supporters, one of the Chertsey players is tying the knot tomorrow and has invited most of the team to the wedding so the club requested that the game be rescheduled for the Friday night. Despite the fact that this might be seen as an advantage to the Police team (due to their expected involvement in the Notting Hill Carnival this weekend), one of their fans told me that he thought they’d “been stitched up” in a situation reminiscent of a scene from The Bill.

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Remarkably, the cost of a South West Trains ticket from Vauxhall to Chertsey was almost twice as much as I was charged to get in to the ground to see the game! I arrived in Chertsey with just enough time to avail myself of a fish and chip supper from the local chippie. The fish was outstanding but the chips left a lot to be desired. The ground, buried slightly out of the town centre of a very quiet Surrey town looks old, much of it in a poor state of repair. However, the bar was nice, despite the lack of an inside toilet! They also have a very passable main stand, from which I watched the first half.

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A very turgid 45 minutes passed with little incident of note bar a yellow card for a lunging challenge on a Curfew player early on and some tedious midfield scrapping until the half was lit up by a superb run and shot from Andy Crossley in the Chertsey midfield. Collecting the ball just inside the Met’s half, he cut inside and dribbled the ball past 2 Policemen (probably) before shooting from the edge of the area and was extremely unlucky to see his shot rebound off the base of the keeper’s left post.

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The 2nd half was little different from the first – precious few opportunities came the way of either team, despite some early sustained possession for Chertsey against their rivals from the division above. Just when they seemed to be building up some pressure on the Met defence though, the Police managed to create their first meaningful chance of the game. The ball came in from the right hand side and, after a goalmouth scramble, striker Frankie Sawyer lashed the ball into the net from 6 yards to the delight of the sparse collection of coppers and ex-coppers (I assume – surely no-one supports the Police except other Police?!) around me, one of which it turned out, was his Dad (Superintendant Sawyer maybe?). Later on, another of the Police fans told Sawyers’ father that it was “a great finish” which was over-egging the pudding somewhat, I felt.

The game meandered to a close in the end with Chertsey creating barely any chances to force a replay and the Police ran out 1-0 winners and will travel to Tonbridge to play the Angels in the next round. I’m sure there’s yet another Police joke in there about Angels but its late and I can’t, for the life of me, think of what it could be.


  1. I’d love to see you guys go to watch the Angel when they play the Met Police. They play at the Longmead Stadium which, if memory serves is at the back of Longmead Shopping Centre. Also, the great Roy Hodgson played for Tonbridge Angels back in the day and the not-so-great Ryan O’Connell played against their Under-18 side in a friendly before as well.

  2. Damon Threadgold

    So modest!

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