the real fa cup

Dynamo, Corinth & Emley


The Dynamo Derby.
There’s a number of clubs around Leicestershire with the suffix ‘Dynamo’, most of whom seem to have been named after the famous Moscow team of the 50s, or at least with a nod to them. The Loughborough version certainly were, they were formed by a group of lads from Loughbrough Grammar in 1955.

The Moes of Loughbourgh take on the perhaps more illustrious Shepshed version in the Evo-Stik Division 1 South league next Monday night. On Saturday, however, they first have to decide who takes the place in the FA Cup Qualifying rounds.


Shepshed weren’t called ‘Dynamo’ until 1994 but the massively elaborate ‘D’ on the club badge suggests that, like Loughborough, they owe more than a little to Russia. Moscow Dynamo have toured the British Isles a number of times but the 1954 visit seems to have made a lasting impression on this part of central England.

An early stop on the Martin O’Neill managerial train, Shepshed have twice got to the first round proper and their FA Cup record is significantly more impressive than the home team. We’re sorely tempted to go to this but it’s a right palaver and we should be encouraging you Leicestershireians to go on our behalf. Any budding journos out there fancy sending us a report and a couple of photos?

Lingfield v Corinthian Casuals
In their various incarnations, Corinthians, Casuals and Corinthian Casuals have a stellar FA Cup record for an amateur side. Before the merger that brought about CC, Casuals first troubled the historians with a 13-1 defeat at Aston Villa in 1890. Corinthians were regulars in the propers in the 1920s, they beat Norwich 5-0 in the 3rd round and lost to Newcastle, Man City and WBA. After the 1939 merger, they took a while to get going but had some good cup runs in the mid 60s, getting knocked out in the 1st Round proper by Watford in 1965/66. After another lean decade or so, the early 80s saw another spate of cup runs, the highpoint being a 0-0 home draw in the 1st Round against big but doldrum dwelling Bristol City.

Set up as a ‘friendly only’ team in 1882, Corinthians were renowned for not competing for cups or in any organised league. Given the Corinthian roots, there is no small irony in the amateurs still holding the record of inflicting Manchester United’s heaviest ever defeat, 11-3 in 1904. They also hammered various FA Cup winners around that time in friendly matches and could easily have been the best team in the land. They are also the former home of legendary mantelpiece jumper, CB Fry, who also dabbled a bit in something called cricket, football, rugby union and the dark solitary art of the long jump.

Lingfield, more famous for its racecourse, are currently at their highest ebb, lording it above their historical standing in the football pyramid. They’ll be praying for a result in 90 as they once lost 12-11 on penalties in a Cup final that saw 9 misses in the 32 taken penalties. 1-0 winners over Sevenoaks in the previous round they also recently beat the visitors in the last Cup match we went to, Hailsham Town, in a Sussex League match.

PLEASE NOTE: This game has switched venues due to Lingfield sharing their ground with the cricket club and the pitch not being available just yet. Details below.

Paulton Rovers v Larkhall Athletic
One of last season’s major non-league successes in the FA Cup, join in this round. Paulton Rovers strode through the tournament and on to live TV in last season’s 1st Round proper. Unfortunately for them, they came up against an in-form and resurgent Norwich City. Over 2000 fans crammed in to Athletic Field to see a rather disappointing 0-7 reverse that ended neutrals hopes of a cup shock. A little bird tells us there will be TV cameras there this year too.

Larkhall smashed 5 past Gillingham Town in the previous round but have vengance on their minds. They were knocked out of the FA Cup by Paulton Rovers in 1978. And they’ve started the season well too, along with the cup win they’ve won 2 and drawn 1 of their league games.

Wakefield v Ashington (&) AFC Emley v Northallerton
We’ve done a wee round up of these two games in our piece for ITV so we’ll try to take a slightly different tack.

Let’s get the history lesson out of the way. Wakefield is not a football area. It is staunchly oval in it’s ball shape preference. As a football club, Wakefield have existed for about five minutes, although if you look at the record books it will say ‘since 1903’, which was when Emley were founded. Huh? Yeah, well, Emley is a village about 10k outside Wakefield and they had a football team that started doing rather well for themselves. When the FA changed its ground grading regulations Emley’s didn’t pass muster, so they had to upgrade or move. With funds tight the former was difficult and so they opted for a move (perhaps considered temporary at first) to the big town.

As time moved on, the Wakefield influence grew and, without a football club to speak of, the town’s name was soon adopted into little Emley’s brand of goodwill. Wakefield & Emley. ‘&’, you see, inclusive. Then it was Wakefield-Emley, perhaps implying even stronger links. But it wasn’t enough for some of the Emley old guard and, perceiving ‘their’ team to be slipping away, in 2005 they’d had enough. AFC Emley was born to bring Emley back to the village people (?) and football back to the village.


So why should we care? Well, that’s up to you but before all this happened Emley stepped up to the FA Cup in 1997, breathed warm breath on it’s shiny surface and gave it a little polish with it’s sleeve. Ahhhh, yes, it’s romance time. After some thrills and spills in the Prelim and Qual rounds, notably humping Durham 0-5 away and a penalty shoot out victory over Morecambe after a 3-3 draw, ‘Little Emley’ snuck past Lincoln City. Having garnered a 2-2 draw at Sincil Bank, Emley took Lincoln ‘back’ to Huddersfield’s larger ground, again matched the league side (3-3) and then beat them on penalties too. Emley had also borrowed Huddersfield’s ground for a 1st Round game against Bolton a few years earlier, so you can see  why the ground issue arose in the first place.

The draw for Round 3 sent the village of Emley on a fantasy journey to West Ham’s Boleyn Ground. The match was, quite rightly, expected to be a walkover but (and you know what’s coming else I wouldn’t have mentioned it, right?) Emley had other ideas. Actually, it was probably West Ham’s complacency that started it because after easing into a 1-0 lead through England’s slimmest midfielder called Frank, the Hammers got a bit lazy. This did nothing but give Emley a lift and, after a few scares, the hairdresser snatched an equaliser. Things were starting to look decidedly dodgy for West Ham, they were giving up chances but also having some of their own. With just 8 minutes left weighty Welsh legend John Hartson spared some blushes and kept the bubble inflated.

Of course, it’s going to take a lot for these two separated entities to meet in the FA Cup this year but … WHAT’S THAT? The next round has already been drawn, you say? Oh yes, of course it has but surely these two haven’t been paired? Oh yes. It may not quite be MK Dons v AFC Wimbledon but it could well be as lively.

We’ve neglected the other two teams in these two ties somewhat, sorry to Northallerton and Ashington but, sorry, we got a bit carried away with that last bit. Ashes winning Geordie boy Steve Harmison played for Ashington before concentrating on a line and length. Ashington was a well-known pit-town north of Newcastle. It was well known but outside the north east that is probably not now the case. But it was famous and it was famous for two things. 1. Pit. 2. Very good footballers. Ashington was a veritable hotbed of pit folk getting jiggy in the harsh winters and churning out offspring of unquestionable talent. Of late, it’s a bit sparse, Eduardo crippler Martin Taylor being the biggest but back in the 50s and 60s the creme de la coal were Jackie Milburn, Bobby Charlton and his bro’ Jack. Newcastle legend, Man Utd legend, World Cup legends, Irish legend … there are many more but our hands would start to hurt from all the typing.

Tunbridge Wells v Dulwich Hamlet
Where would we be without a little bit of Dulwich. But for Champion Hill, it’s splendid bar and half decent team, this would probably never have happened. So, they need a mention. As well as our local side and starting point, Hamlet are a starting point for many a current pro’. Wolves’ George Elokobi, Norwich’s Simeon Jackson and Burnley’s Leon Cort spring to mind. Carl Asaba had a spell, Peter Crouch spent a few months there on loan and villain du jour Marlon King also donned the pink and blue quarters (stripes this year, very disappointing). If you want to see a budding star, have a peep at Gavin Rose’s youth influenced outfit.


This game has an ‘old’ feel to it. Both clubs have been around for donkeys years and their most successful season in the old jug coincides. In the 1930/31 season, Hamlet got to the first round, going down to Newport County. Tunbridge beat the easier opposition, Kingstonian, in the same round before going down 4-2 to Carlisle in Round 2. Tunbridge’s Culverden Stadium is one of the many sloping pitches you’ll find around the country’s non-league sides but one of the more charming and set quite firmly in the Kent countryside.

The Rest
Here’s the full list of FA Cup Preliminary Round Fixtures so you should have no trouble finding a game. Expect to pay between £5-8 at most of these games. The vast majority have a club bar, which is usually cheap but, like facilities at big grounds, they vary wildly.

We’re off to Lingfield (or rather Corinth) this weekend for some wholesome fayre. If you already have plans for the bank holiday or you already have a game to go to, why not check out Non League Day next week. Saturday 4th of September is an international weekend, so no BIG games, and one chap had the idea to persuade fans of higher league clubs to go and try out their local sides. You’ll find an interactive map to locate your nearest team.

So, if you’re in Leicestershire, there are a plethora of clubs, if you’re in South London, check out Dulwich, Sutton United, Fisher, Tooting & Mitcham … if you’re a Geordie why not give Ashington a look, or Whitley Bay or South Shields or North Shields. Chances are you’ll find the bucolic atmospheres at some of these clubs very appealing, you’ll find them friendly places, they’ll be cheaper and you might be surprised at the quality of football on show.

Go on, go on, go on, go on …

And don’t forget our mini preview on ITV Sport online. It’s not just a summary of this preview, there are a few dsifferent game on there as well.

Leave a Reply

Non League Day
Bobby Robson Foundation