the real fa cup

Awards – The Big One!

IMG_4262.jpg Traditionally some weeks (months) behind the rest, therealfacup glory in being shoddy. So, here’s part one (of two) of our stab at the best The Real FA Cup had to offer in 2010. Actually, in truth, we were waiting for the last non-league side to fall and, last weekend, they fell at the hands of the Champions Elect.

Awards Part One: Team Of The Tournament.

Like other awards ceremonies, ours will be at a glamourous venue, feature superstar presenters and guests will get free goodie bags!! *Cough* So, on some date soon, in a pub room in suburban London we’ll give a hearty realfacup welcome to Charleen Theron, Thierry Hendry and Sepp Blotter from Dopplegangers Lookalike Agency. Ticket holders will receive a FREE Pot Noodle and a *subsidised* can of Skol Super!!

Back on 14th August 2010, 400 teams were due to kick off the tournament. Two teams were booted out before the World Cup Jabulani was cold and Calne Town followed soon after for fielding an ineligible player. The initially vanquished side, Corsham Town, went through and were promptly beaten again in the next round! Knocked out twice in one year. Ouch.

Fans of bigger sides will probably never know what seemingly small things enter into club folklore during these rounds of the FA Cup. From Hythe Town and Tipton’s record breaking runs to the 1st Round to Buxton beating Telford (Was that a Buck Off?) on penalties with just 9 men and Crawley* visiting The Theatre Of Dreams, so much excitement has been had by so very few and we’ve shared some of it along the way. Now it’s time for you to choose. Below is our short list of five of this year’s Premier non-league teams who caused some havoc in the cup and if you have any better video clips post some links or send us the file so we can embed!

Tipton Town:
While not guilty of tickling Goliath’s toes like the others, Tipton are here for longevity and slog. Drawn away at Alvechurch they won 5-0 before beating Stratford and Norton United to reach the 2nd Qualifying Round for the first ever time. Next they knocked out Market Drayton and Radcliffe Olympic before then slaying the oldest, if not biggest, club in the world, Sheffield FC, to reach the hallowed land of ‘The Propers’. In their ninth FA Cup game of the season, Tipton Town faced League 1’s Carlisle United for their first ever shot at a giant killing and found themselves 4 down after 19 minutes. Welcome to the promised land! Never mind the result, how proud are you, Tipton fans?

Hythe Town:
Our next nomination got a thumping in Round 1 too. The starting place for Brentford’s former Reading, Brum and Ipswich forward, Nicky Forster, Hythe Town will probably be the other romantic’s choice of winner. They too started at the start, 7 rounds they played in too! Beat that Crawley! In the early rounds they despatched 4 teams from the same level of the pyramid before surprising Concord Rangers two leagues above them. Then they took on the might of the Blue Square South, three tiers higher. Beating Staines Town 2-0 might not sound fantastic but the electronica themed number that saw it witnessed what can only be described as a ‘massive shock’. Not only was it the biggest scalp in Hythe’s history, they did it in some style and quite comfortably. They also managed to be the first Kent League side to reach the 1st Round proper in over 50 years!

Next up, Dover’s 7 game run to the third round was exciting as hell and fuelled by schadenfreude. Having put 5 past Erith Town and, perhaps surprisingly, another 5 past loftier League-mates Farnborough, the 1st Round proper of the FA Cup threw up the kind of chance for revenge that teams can only dream about. We’ve written about this before so won’t bang on but stealing not one but two managers before the season has started is poor form and Gillingham found their reward was Davy’s Locker. League 2’s Aldershot followed by the same 2-0 scoreline before the valiant efforts of the Whites was brought to a juddering halt at League 1’s Huddersfield Town. To make it this far without Crawley’s money (that’s not to say Dover are poor, by any stretch) and beat two league sides is the stuff fans will remember forever, particularly the Gillingham game.

FC United of Manchester:
FC United Of Manchester managed 6 rounds and 7 games, one of which saw them beat Cup shock regulars Barrow and a team 4 divisions above them. Though it took a desperate rearguard action and a slightly fortunate late winner, FC United had taken the game to Rochdale for the entire first half and took a deserved 2-0 lead. Dale woke up and forced themselves level before Mike Norton made himself a hero by bagging the 90th minute winner that, quite literally, saw Spotland erupt. In the 2nd Round they took Brighton to a replay but that was their lot.

Swindon Supermarine:
Six rounds and seven games in, Swindon Supermarine finally got some recognition in the 2nd Round when Colchester dragged their sorry League 1 carcass past the Southern League side 1-0. It’s not that Supermarine hadn’t paid their Cup dues to get there, it’s just despite already having beaten two sides above them in the pyramid they were overshadowed by bigger stories in each round. They were one of our upwardly mobile picks for the 2nd Qualifying Round (scroll down) when they played a downwardly mobile shambles of a club, Weymouth.


Coming in part two, the more esoteric side of the FA Cup, the best goals, nicest pie, flashiest boots and best man-and-dog combo.

*Yes, yes, yes, blah, blah I know we haven’t included Crawley. We’re not being intentionally exclusive, they may have been the story in either good or bad ways but the five teams we’ve listed not only punched further above their weight but also did more than Crawley, objectively and subjectively.

  1. Hythe town-lovely club, lovely people. Come back to Hereford anytime

  2. Welcomed by everybody everywhere we go. Come back, you’re always welcome. Make a whole season’s worth of money in one game. FCUM. Fan owned – built by the fans : for the fans. We don’t work for sky sports any more. FCUM. An IPS company. Community Shares still available.

  3. There can be only one Club worthy of the Vote.

    Hythe Town FC

    Get your fingers going on your Keypads you real Supporters and vote for a real Club.
    Hythe Town FC.

  4. Vote for Hythe Town.

    A real Grass Roots Football Club.

  5. FCUM Making friends not millionaires

  6. Nobody like FCUM. FCUM I say.

    Well done Hythe, proper club.


    • Nobody like FCUM apart from majority on here. Hmmmm – sounds like sour grapes, Bob


  8. mikeyp, you’re not going to make many friends with an attitude like that are you!

    • Club statement mate…whats not to like?
      Think about it. We make friend, not court the money of wealthy asset strippers.

  9. Hythe FC “Small in stature big in heart”

  10. sorry Tarbuck..not sure what you mean

  11. Hythe very small town with a ‘big-hearted’ football club, there’s only this team to back!

  12. Hythe Town all the way. A fantastic achievement to get so far!

  13. Hythe Town, wow! what a Run! they would be very worthy winners!

  14. Hythe did so well – no big money backers, no chips on the shoulder. If the FA Cup is about underdogs’ over achievement and playing with a smile, the team of the tournament has to be Hythe Town.

  15. All clubs would be worthy winners but I voted for FC United. From watching their comeback away to Norton & Stockton Ancients through to knocking out a good Barrow team to that win over Rochdale – magical moments one and all.

    I remember jumping all around a hotel room in Dundee when Sam Ashton saved that last minute penalty away to Brighton. My season so far has included trips many matches in Europe; my highlights are all linked to FC’s FA Cup run.

  16. FC United of Manchester the best!

    With best wishes from Ukraine,


  17. FC united “it`s all about the fans”

  18. The club didn’t exist 6 years ago, has to be FCUM.

  19. We are D-O-V-E-R.. With Adam Birchall also winning the FAC golden boot.

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