the real fa cup



“What a f*****g spastic!” was a particularly inglorious shout from the frustrated touchline as W&F desperately searched for a deserved late winner. Not sure the vocal fan will be heading to Aylesbury for the replay on Tuesday, although to be fair I’m not sure the 8 (EIGHT!) therealfacupsters will be heading there either. A sunny Saturday of drinking in North London is a lot different to a cold autumnal Tuesday trip to Aylesbury for the replay.

Notable things about this day: Sulzeer. Is he? Cliches. 100mph. World of Kosher. Cabbies, grrrr. Subliminal clocks. Palm Trees (above). Tracksuit manager or suited manager? Very old man. Pointy foam hands. Cheeky ref.


Cunningly, W&F’s main stand appears to be part of the same building as the next door Rugby club’s main stand, they look like they were a built together as a job lot. As a result, the stand is oddly distant from the pitch and the club roll a cage out to create a tunnel across the tarmac and into the playing area. It’s a few years since I’ve smeared myself in Deep Heat but the memories of yesteryear focused as the players trooped down the ‘tunnel’ and on to the pitch. The smell was deafening. We’d barely finished our pre-match wonderment at what joys the advertised Kosher World had in store when Wingate & Finchley scored and then equally quickly conceded. 1-1 after 3 minutes. Aylesbury’s goal was a scrappy affair, bundled in, W&F’s was a pinpoint cross and header by no8.


After the early thrills the game settled down. W&F were easy on the eye while the Swans of Aylesbury were more ugly duckling, a bit more rural. When a centre half starts a game with a bandaged head, you get the impression he’ll not shirk. He didn’t, neither did Aylesbury, but they were largely second best in almost all departments except endeavour and goals.

I clumsily dropped my notebook and programme over the railings and on to the touchline. I was about to jump over and retrieve them but suddenly had the ludicrous image of being barred from football grounds for invading the playing area. A kindly sub saved me from a ten stretch in the big house and the unnerving possibility of having to remember things about a game in the middle of a drink fuelled birthday weekend.

Wingate’s centre back weaved Leboeuf-esque through the entire Aylesbury team before finally being tackled as he was about to breach his opposite number’s back line.


The Aylesbury gaffer was not impressed with his midfield and told them so. This gaffer was of the modern breed, sharpish suit, polished shoes, crisp and freshly laundered shirt. What sort of gaffer would you be? A frankly startling number of people believed the tracksuit manager was the way forward. What? Who wants to be Neil Warnock?! Ludicrous thought. The next thought was better. With all the gesticulating managers do, one of our number suggested they should have big pointy foam hands to help them get their point across.

After a timely challenge by a defender, a distant voice in the crowd shouts “We love you Neil”. This is followed by a Sid James cackle that reappears at various points throughout the game. But who is Neil? There’s no Neil mentioned for either team in the programme. I’ve just checked the respective websites and, aside from the fact that Aylesbury appear to have only 7 registered players, there is no one called Neil. Did I imagine this? I’m now questioning my sanity.

Half Time Wingate & Finchley 1 Aylesbury FC 1


A very engaging game, W&F should be in front but Aylesbury defended well and looked relatively dangerous on the break. From the club badge to the kosher ads, the star of david on the clock, the name of the stadium there are reminders of where Wingate came from. It is almost certainly the only football club named in honour of an eccentric Zionist who allegedly favoured tying a raw onion around his neck, upon which to snack when the mood took. What he would have thought about this posthumous honour one can only guess.


We moved round to the Harvey Ackerman Stand (right). The second half was a bit more even and W&F looked as though they might rue the missed chances as Aylesbury went close. That is, however, until a composed piece of play from no8 that saw him into the box, stop his run and place a shot across the keeper that went in off the far post (below, left). 20 minutes later W&F shot themselves in the foot again, although to be fair Aylesbury had improved and had several chances to equalise before the no3 did.


Sid James was at it in the main stand again as long balls went in to both boxes and he was joined by several of the home team’s supporters when an Aylesbury defender clearly stamped on a W&F forward. The ref got both barrels for his failure to deal with it and took the odd decision to vocally respond to some touchline grief. Is he supposed to do that?

In the last minute Wingate’s no10 wriggled into the box and looked set to seal the win until the keeper saved, the rebound fell to the no7 who really should have scored but put it too close the defenders who had tracked back and blocked it on the line.

Full Time Wingate & Finchley 2 Aylesbury FC 2.

Post match Simon popped in to the Boardroom to request some teamsheets but befriended the W&F chairman and had some biscuits. The vast majority of therealfacupsters then adjourned to watch Roy Keane applying for his P45 while Ipswich named their North Stand after his far more successful predecessor. Arsenal pulling out a very un-Arsenal performance. A very hot day.

1 Comment
  1. Sounded like a laugh – shame I couldn’t be there…

    Hampton & Richmond Borough v Braintree Town on Tuesday? I missed the Saturday so I need to make up for it!

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