FA Cup Second Qualifying Round
Having shamefully missed three rounds already, I skulked onto the FA Cup trail today - at a little seaside town near Middlesbrough.
What a turn-out! The 'Car Park Full' sign was out as we walked up to the ground, programmes were sold out about an hour before kick-off and, as a lad remarked to his Pa as they approached the ground, "I can hear chanting!". It was on the lines of "Super, super Skem; Super, super Skem; Super, super Skem; Super Skem United!" There's something desperately sad about being an away non-league supporter, especially when there's only a dozen of you. Later songs include odes to the manager who, I assume, is in the catering trade: "We want free burgers; we want free burgers; from your v-a-a-a-n,. from your v-a-a-a-n," [sung to the tune of La Donna e Mobile] and "Tommy, give us a chip; Tommy, Tommy, give us a chip ..." Tommy Lawson is his name. The best name on the team sheet, though, had to be Marske no. 9, David Onions. Every FA Cup tie has its tenuous connection with celebrity and this one was no exception. In the Marske side was the son of ex-Premiership ref Jeff Winter. Which probably explains why everyone who passed through the turnstiles was given a flyer advertising his football phone-in on Tees FM.
As for the match, Skem went 2-0 up after 20 mins and that was that really. Vintage way to start the trail, though, especially when preceded [as it was] with lunch and paddling on the beach for Bertie and I.
Footnote: As I was snapping away the fella who was earlier sellling raffle tickets asked if I could send him some pics for the programme and website. So another high-profile media is added to my portfolio. I can see the freelance work pouring in now ... [http://www.marskeunitedfc.co.uk/ by the way].