the real fa cup

Oh When The Saints Go Tumbling Out

IMG_7829.JPG FC Clacton 2-0 Southampton – Fake FA Cup Preliminary Round

FC Clacton gained a notable but bizarre Fake FA Cup victory at the Rush Green Bowl, in a match that will ignite controversy over whether Premier League teams are taking this fake competition seriously. The record books will show a final score of 2-0 and the presence of the Essex side in the next round. However, in truth the contest soon descended into farce as it gradually became clear that Southampton had rested their entire Premier League squad of 25 and sent their Subbuteo team, all of whom are over forty years old and relatively immobile.

IMG_7834.JPG It is fair to say that the lower league players struggled to cope with this unexpected challenge. They had trained all week for a confrontation with highly trained and technically adept athletes. Southampton adopted a very defensive approach and hoped that the home side would collapse with exhaustion in the seaside sunshine. With so much time and space, their decision-making faltered and there were no goals in the first half, much to the bemusement of the home fans in the famous “Bus Shelter” stand, some of whom stayed awake throughout.

IMG_7836.JPG FC Clacton manager Andy Taylor read the proverbial riot act to his team at the interval, reminding them of the embarrassment of their defeat in a pre-season friendly with a team of local bollards, and threatening them with further endurance training on the Dunes of Death at Walton-on-the-Naze. This had the desired effect, and left-back James Dunkley was the first to realise that all he had to do was head goalwards by himself and round the goalkeeper. Twenty minutes later, after his thirty-seventh pirouette around the goalkeeper, he eventually prodded the ball home much to the relief of the Bus Shelter faithful.

IMG_7840.JPG Southampton were forced to come out of their defensive shell and the crowd witnessed the first yellow card of the day, and the first ever for a Subbuteo player, as Southampton’s Number 11 blatantly dived in the penalty area. With five minutes to go, Dunkley got his second and sealed the win with a punt from the halfway line. It hit the bar and bounced down, just over the line. Goalline technology has not yet reached the Eastern Counties, and this goal will be talked about for years.

IMG_7805.JPG The crowd decamped from the Bus Shelter to the clubhouse to catch up on the Olympics, and Southampton players, realising that they would be getting a hammering in the media, charmed the locals by posing alongside a replica of The Fake FA Cup. Dunkley thanked his parents. “My Dad, who’s ancient, had Subbuteo as a kid and at half-time I remembered he told me that they couldn’t move by themselves. Thanks, Dad!” Taylor was smiling broadly. “I had a few choice words for the boys at half-time”, he said. “I’m hoping to get Manchester United’s Striker team in the next round.”

IMG_7837.JPG Teams:
FC Clacton: Wootten; Marvell, Dunkley, Springett, Austin; Falla, Keaney, McClean, Condon; Bethel, Grimes
Southampton: Green goalkeeper, Number 2, Number 3, Number 4, Number 5, Number 6, Number 7, Number 8, Number 9, Number 10, Number 11

Words, pictures, FA Cup and SFC Subbuteo team: Graham Yapp.  Graham IS the
modushopperrandom website and you can find him on Twitter @GrahamYapp. Graham is also raising money for Moorfields Eye Hospital via “Hopping for Moorfields”. Pledge creatively, penny-a-goal (which will cost sponsors about £3 come June 2013) or maybe more!

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