the real fa cup

Holes, Dug By Little Moles

After a summer of podcasting, the ashes of England’s World Cup, bigging up Blackpool and pre-season friendlies, the Real FA Cup is back, back, back! It feels like the first day of term, it’s still summer, been anywhere nice on your hols, got new trainers, how full is your Panini, that new Geography supply teacher is fit, shouldn’t we still be watching cricket? Ahem.

Last season we used the conduit of YOU to decide which games to go to but this season we’re starting off selfish style and we had two themes to follow. The first was ‘debutant team’ and the second was picturesque ground to  take advantage of the mid summer sun.

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Imagine our frustration, then, that tonight’s game in quaintest Surrey will be bathed not in twilight sunshine but grey drizzle. And that equals shit photos.  Oh – and debutant!  Ground-sharing Mole Valley SCR have had to switch their first ever FA cup game, against fellow Combined Counties Premier side Chertsey, to a Friday evening so it will be one of the first games in this year’s tourny.

There’s a buzz about the Cobham-based south London nomads at the moment. Two 4-1 lashings dished out to unknowing CC stalwarts has made the league sit up and take notice.  Bananaskin.  As well-funded regular powerhouses in this league, Chertski should probably take MVSCR as seriously as they did Whitely Bay in the Vase QFs last time we visited them.

We knew nothing about Mole Valley SCR so we gave them a buzz.  Former goalkeeping coach and current press officer Gary Brigden told us the start to the season had exceeded all their expectations, so much so they already have more points from two games than they realistically thought they’d get from 4 or 5.  The raw figures suggest that Taylor Mollatt (assists) and ‘Nemo’ Adams (goals) are the ones to watch but Gary pointed out Matt Kilton (holding) and Jay Holden (scoring) are also two on whom to keep your mince pies on Friday night.

Founded in 1978 by current Chairman Alan Salmon and managed by his son Darren, this is a genuine family club, not one of the cliched family clubs so –called because they don’t have much of a firm, have padded seats and a nice match day crèche.  And deep breath now … born in Carshalton as the scary sounding INRAD they soon moved to Sutton and became Centre 21 FC.

Then they upped sticks to Sutton to become (S)utton (C)ommon (R)oad United and then it was pub-related sponsor frenzy!  In relatively quick succession they were SCR Plough, SCR Grapes and SCR Litten Tree, ‘SCR Kingfisher, Ewell’ and Sutton Common Rovers … until 2 years ago when they moved in with Cobham FC and changed the name again to reflect the new area in which they played.  There is a rather romantic rural sound to Mole Valley SCR and it leapt off the page as we glanced through the fixtures.  Phew … all that in the time it took Bobby Zamora to get into the England squad.

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A Sunday League side just 7 years ago, Gary said most of the lads won’t have played in front of many more than 100  fans before and they were hoping for 200 tonight.  The weather might affect that but, if you’re in two minds, the 2x 4-1s do suggest some truth in Gary’s assertion that “they play good attacking football so fans will have an enjoyable time watching”.  We believe it’s £6 to get in here and the kick off is 7:45, we’ll see you in the bar – and there’s a cracking boozer half way along the not inconsiderable walk between the station and the ground.

Saturday is when most of the schnizz happens and we’ll be heading for Arundel, picturesque, tick, so put on your smoking jacket, get out your slippers, stuff your pipe and kick back with the hoi polloi. Arundel v Hailsham Town promises much in the way of culture, fine wines, the smack of leather on willow, ancient castles and landed gentry, yah. We’ve already bigged up this game here .

A game on which we’re hoping to get a match report from one of our chums (no names, no pack drill, no repercussions)  is Runcorn Linnets v Maine Road.  It wasn’t a game that immediately sprang to mind but when aforementioned chap gave us a bit of recent history and said he was going, our ears sprang up. ‘No one likes to see that’ is the common, feeble and misleading statement when faced with 4 sendings off … come on, you all love it!  Having now read some reports about it, it sounds like a niggly game but one that the ref turned into a farce.  Sounds great!  More!

One of the several early adopters of trust ownership, the Linnets have been fan run since 2006. They also have decent pedigree in the Old Jug, beating Aldershot in the 1938/39 cup before losing 4-2 to Division 1 Preston in the 3rd round.  Founded by a group of Manchester City fans, Maine Road are not in Maine Road, in fact they are closer to Old Trafford but they remain staunchly Citeh, if only in sprit and not in funding.

We have some extra stuff about Leeds Carnegie, Billingham Synthonia, Brian Clough, Greenwich Borough v South Park, Glossop North End’s pies and Saffron Walden Town  on our little ITV preview

The full fixtures are

Photos Courtesy Gary Brigden at Mole Valley SCR

2 Comments
  1. As afficinados of the FA Cup perhaps you can explain why there is a full premier league progamme on the same day as the 2011 final on 14th May?

    Also, as the final is one week prior to the end of the premier league season it is not unreasonable to suggest that one or both of the finalists will field weakened teams. Ah the magic of the FA Cup.

    I think it is a very good thing that you are promoting the Real FA Cup and it occurred to me that perhaps the non league should buy the FA Cup competition (everything is for sale these days and the FA need the money to pay Capello’s highly inflated salary) and they could run it amongst themselves with such innovations as replays in the week following the first match, replays until a winner is found and semi-finals on neutral grounds. Might ring a bell with some people.

  2. Damon Threadgold

    The only reason we can think of is that the Champions League final is on 28th May at Wembley, one weekend after the season has finished. That would mean the FA Cup final being in June and because the 14th is the penultimate weekend of the league season, I assume the FA/Premier Lge came to the conclusion that the two finalists could play their penultimate league fixture in the week before or after the final.

    Cue moaning from Suralex after Man Utd have to play the final, two vital league games and the Champions Lge final in the space of 14 days.

    In the event of a Championship side getting to the final, their final game will be the Sunday before the final. I guess the 14th is the only plausible weekend.

    As we all know, the Champions League final is far more imnportant than anything else in the World, even air.

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