Yes, I know that it’s two days after we blunted the Darts (sorry), but I did warn you that updates may be a bit more sporadic at the moment 😉
Actually, having a few days to reflect isn’t such a bad thing. As you probably all know by now, we made a little bit of hard work of it in Tuesday, though trying to ape the worst excesses TB-era football in places didn’t help. The sense of relief after RB scored in the 87th minute said more than anything.
But hey, we’re through. And as the world and his mistress knows, we’ve got a home tie against St Albans, who as I type this are sitting a lowly, er, top of the Conf South. Now, when you get into the first round proper (and doesn’t that sound nice?), you want a good draw. I’m sure plenty were hoping for an Aldershot, or a Woking, or even Sutton. And while we’ve got a good side to deal with, you can’t help thinking some people are slightly disappointed.
Let’s not kid ourselves here, St Allbran should whip our arses. You don’t get to the top of your table by being shite (OK, there may be the odd exception to this rule, like H&R). As the Thurrock game a couple of years ago proved, CS is a much more sophisticated level. The players have a lot of nous (Thurrock outsmarted us I seem to remember) and there is that level of sharpness that no RP team has.
That said, the FAT is a strange tournament. A cursory glance at the FAT website shows that Grays, Hednesford and Burscough were the last three winners, so it does show that standard of play isn’t that much of a guide. Ask Uxbridge. Better still, ask Sutton. And unlike the FA Cup* the Trophy is a genuinely unpredictable tournament.
* – I have to say, these days the FAC is a seriously over-rated competititon. You could take any of the top 7 clubs in the Prem and get at least three semi-finalists. It’s clearly lost its lustre. Of course, if we ever get into the first round proper, all such thoughts will be conveniently forgotten.
The need of a “big” tie to get people salivating again has been delayed. No disrespect to St Allbran at all, but I wonder how many people really knew what level they were without looking it up? I get the impression they’re more excited about coming to us, when it should be the other way round. I doubt if we’ll get 3k, more like 2.5k at best. Fixtures on the weekend before Xmas are always a pain in the soil vent..
Elsewhere, and just as a trial basis, if you check the front page, I’ve now put up a mailing list. At least this way I don’t have to keep telling people when the next update will be 🙂