the real fa cup

FA Cup

Groundhog Day For Fulop

Chelsea 7 Ipswich 0 – FA Cup 3rd Round.
On Saturday we nodded towards Danny Baker by agreeing that sometimes it’s amusing to see the underdog hammered in the FA Cup. The irony is not lost on me that those words were uttered by an Ipswich fan who had just asked a Chelsea fan to write a report on this game. These things are sent to test us …

Thank You

We’ve been a bit quiet on therealfacup in recent weeks due to other commitments. Well, this isn’t our real job you know? We’ll be back up and running in the new year when the FA Vase and/or Trophy will no doubt get our attention and we’ll hopefully be spreading our wings further afield.

FFS Use Your Imagination!

The draw for the 9th Round of the FA Cup is here and, for some odd reason there are only two teams left in!! We thought there were 5 or 6 rounds left yet but, apparently, no, it’s all down to the last two already.

Who Are Ya?

FA Cup Second Round this weekend. Here’s a brief look at the main underdogs on show: Droylsden, FCUM, Swindon Supermarine, Swindown Town [wink], Tamworth, Dover and Chelmsford. Want to write for us? See the end of this piece …

Woking Up The Neighbours

Woking 2 Brighton 2 aet
After a valiant effort from the Blue Square South side, Brighton won easily on pens when Woking missed every single penalty. Gus manages, Taricco off, flares, bring back terracing, homophobia, fish and chips and Snubbs pitchside …

We Want More

A quick review of and comment about the non-league clubs in FA Cup action this weekend. Harrow Boro’, FCUM, Dover, Swindon Supermarine and Tamworth.

Cod Army Slap Hutchings Down

Fleetwood Town were left ruing missed chances after a 1-1 draw with ten-man Walsall at Highbury and the Conference Premier outfit should have sent the struggling League One club crashing out of the cup.

Karma Bites Back …

Karma Bites Back As Gills Crushed By Dover.
We love a good cup shock and they were a little short in Round 1. Gills365 man Simon Head puts his misery to one side to give us the gory details.

Dover Ready To Prove A Point

The Gills might be staring down the barrel of a Gooner powered Dover gun in this weekend’s FA Cup Dover shaped gun. But is that the least of their worried? Presenter of the Football Pubcast and editor of indie Gillingham website Gills365, Simon Head, gets frank.

Higgins Double Snookers Robins

Carshalton Athletic will forever wonder what might have been after two stunning goals were not quite enough to beat Chelmsford at a freezing Melbourne Park.


Carshalton Athletic 1 Chelmsford City 1
In a week where modern football’$ headline$ have been dominated by court ca$e$, underhand contract negotiation$, cheating and, quelle $urpri$e, money, we found a pub with a bit of soul and olde worlde warmth and charm …

FA Cup 1st Round Draw

The Not Real bit of the FA Cup hove in to view and we watched with interest. Fat Boy Slim and Hells Bells did the honours … shame they didn’t choose some non-league legends, ho-hum. Vampire Jim cheesed up the ante and it flew past in a second. Here are the ties that interest us, where to go is now the big question. If Carshalton pull off the unexpected, our taste buds and bar billiard buds are duty bound to return. Corby Town .v. Luton Town Harrow Borough .v. Chesterfield Notts County .v. Gateshead Southport .v. Sheffield Wednesday Havant & Waterlooville .v. Droylesden Hayes & Yeading .v. Wycombe Wanderers Dagenham & Redbridge .v. Leyton Orient AFC Wimbledon .v. Ebbsfleet Lincoln City .v. Workington or Nuneaton Town Hereford United .v. Hythe Town Carshalton or Chelmsford .v. Hendon or Met Police Swindonw Supermarine or Bath City .v. Eastwood Town Gillingham .v. Farnborough or Dover Tamworth or Grimsby Town .v. Crewe Guiseley .v. Crawley Town Brighton .v. Woking Rochdale .v. FC United of Manchester or Barrow Carlisle United .v. Sheffield or Tipton Town Leiston or Dartford .v. Port Vale Forest Green Rovers .v. Northampton Town Fleetwood Town .v. Walsall Hartlepool United .v. Vauxhall Motors Full fixtures and results at the FA website and highlights and reviews of previous rounds on the itv FA Cup website

Sheffield = Draw

Modus Hopper Random’s Graham Yapp very kindly offered to write us a match report of the game we wanted to go to but couldn’t get to, Sheffield FC .v. Tipton Town. Here it is!

Lets Get Ready To Rumble

Let’s Get Ready To Rumble!!!! There are four teams left who shouldn’t really be here. By rights and all the hackneyed ‘big club’ nonsense that pervades through all leagues, Tipton, Hythe, Poole, and Leiston are all 6 promotions away from a football league place. Frankly, it’s WAY OFF. But herein lies why we love the FA Cup. They are but 90 minutes away from a shot at the big chaps. If they win and draw (for example) Basingstoke Town (absolutely no disrespect intended) they will be gutted. It’s almost certain defeat without the big pay day they had hoped for. But yet they still will have got to the 1st Round Proper of the FA Cup. The oldest club competition in the world. They should not be down hearted in any way except financial. And even that is no shame because they will have netted a season or mores worth of funding by getting there, a great achievement. So, who are we going to preview this round? Sheffield FC .v. Tipton Town (Evostick Division 1  South 19th .v. Midland Football Alliance – 1st) We have to start with Sheffield FC. We’d so hoped to be able to get up there but circumstances dictate otherwise. We’d happily see either team go through but having spoken to the excellent Ian Feeley of Sheffield in the last round, we do have a soft spot for them. A tie against Sheffield Wednesday in round one would be just reward after the replays they’ve been through to get here but Tipton Town will be crossing everything for a similar local tie against Walsall. And they are certainly not going to be easy to beat. Effectively, only 3 places separate the teams in the pyramid so Sheffield cannot take this for granted but they are difficult to put away. It won’t be lost on either team that they are both among the lowest placed half dozen sides left in and this is as good a chance that either will get to reach the propers in a while. As we said in the last round, Sheffield have made the quarters in the amateur period of the game but haven’t got to the propers since 1880. Tipton’s FA Cup experience is but a few years old and until this season the furthest they’d got was to the 1st Qualifying Round. They’ve already exceeded that by 3 rounds! Their first defeat of the season on Tuesday night couldn’t really have come at a worse time. Until that time they’d won 16 of their 19 games in 2010/11.   Leiston .v. Dartford Primarily known as the main access point to Sizewell nuclear power station, Leiston is also famous as the home of the first ‘free school’ where kids run amok and do as they please. Actually, no, it is just a democratic, curriculum-free process of open thinking rather than set ‘lessons’. We could use this as an Ajax-school analogy of how Leiston play but we’ve never watched them. They sound good though, they sit just off the pace in the Ridgeons League but with many games in hand thanks to their cup exploits. Dartford, on the other hand, we have seen, and they’re a good side. Beaten comfortably in the end last season by Chelmsford, but largely thanks to finishing and lack of experience in big games. They got picked off on the break and then dominated, exuberance and passion not beating good old fashioned class on this occasio. Dartford’s ground was our favourite of last season though and our trip there one of our most memorable. So, in the event of a replay it’s well worth a visit. The quaint quarters of town and theatre school make it slightly more bohemian than you might imagine. Poole Town .v. Hayes & Yeading United (Wessex Premier League 1st .v. Blue Square Premier – 20th) Poole and Bournemouth are essentially two halves of the same town so if Poole can get through then their preferred choice of ties would be against their high Howe-led neighbours. Poole have a decent history in the FA Cup. They have taen QPR and Watford to replays over the years but the zenith was in 1926 when they were beaten 3-1 by Everton and a legendary Dixie Dean hatrick in front of 65,000 people. Hayes & Yeading’s superiority over Poole extends to four divisions, the greatest in the round. It would take four promotions for Poole to get into the same league but, as they are top of the Wessex League and H&Y are only just outside the Blue Square Premier relegation zone, maybe there is hope? Poole are not only top of the league but have a fearsome strike force. Steve Smith and Russell Cook have scored 28 goals between them so far this season and H&Y ‘keeper Lee Harrison might have his hands full. Former Barnet, Fulham, Leyton Orient and Peterborough keeper is nearing the end of his playing career and has already been coaching for 5 years. Now a qualified UEFA ‘A’ coach for, oddly, we thought, for outfield play, he is soon to qualify as a goalkeeping coach. We had hoped to speak to Lee but he was busy doing his other job coaching the Daggers. Hythe Town .v. Staines Town (Kent Premier League 6th .v. Blue Square South 14th) What to say? Does the Hythe manager’s pre-match note sum up modern football or what? The biggest game in the Kent League club’s recent history and ‘the league is the priority but the cup is a great diversion’. *Sigh* He’s right, of course, but with £12,500 riding on the game and a manager’s lot being so short-term these days, should he not be focusing completely on the Cup? As much as we love the FA Cup it’s a fair point, Hythe have the best attendances in the league and they could cope with a step up, particularly if they win their games in hand and go top of the league. Unfortunately for Hythe, Staines have been THE lower league team to annoy the league teams in recent years. Stockport nearly felt their wrath in 2007 and in 2009 they beat Shrewsbury and took Millwall to a replay. If they’re lucky, Hythe could add Staines’ scalp to the 2000 skulls stored in St Leonards church in the town. The rest of the fixtures are on the FA website. If we weren;t London bound we’d be off to Sheffield. If we weren’t, we’d go for Mossley .v. Darlington, Farnborough .v. Dover or Cambridge .v. Lewes. As it is, we’re heading south to Carshalton to watch them take Caroline Barker’s clarets of Chelmsford well and truly to the cleaners. COME ON CARSHALTON! Not a phrase you’ll hear too often!

Luton Draw Inspires Saints

St. Albans could count themselves lucky that they were still in the Cup after Saturday. But would the possibility of a plum tie against local rivals Luton Town have any effect on them in the replay?

Everything But The Goal

Lower league FA Cup football in early autumn. It’s all about mud, scrapping, windswept pitches and getting stuck in, right? Not in balmy St. Albans it wasn’t where we were treated to some superb football, came very close to witnessing an upset and supped ale in the great outdoors. Bootiful.

Hit The North

After getting a bit of grief for our rather South-centric ITV preview in the previous round, we thought we’d redress the balance a little here and head a bit further North in pursuit of interesting games to big-up

Penalty!! 10 Of Them!

FA Cup 3rd Qualifying Round Replay – Kingstonian 1-1 Margate AET Ks win 3-2 on penalties.
It’s been a busy week at realfacup’s semi-detached council flat, what with actual work, battles with content thieves, serious drinking and going to football matches …

Non League Day
Bobby Robson Foundation