1 Leg On The Cup: The Road To Wembley (via Nantwich)
Throughout this season Tony 1 Leg and Johnny the Rhino have embarked on their own personal “Road to Wembley”. They’ve been blogging throughout and you can read all about their adventures right here on The Football Pubcast website. Coming next week will be their take on the 4th Round clash between QPR and Chelsea – but for now we’ve got some serious catching up to do!
And we’re back in the room……… lots has happened since my last post back in September with Step 2 on the road to Wembley as Trafford FC beat Cheadle Town 3-0 in the preliminary round of this year’s cup. Myself (Tony 1 Leg) and a friend of mine Johnny the Rhino are 1 Leg On The Cup & we are 2 fat blokes from Manchester attempting to follow the FA Cup from start to finish in this seasons tournament. I have been blogging each game as we go but I’m sending the Football Pubcast guys a couple of ‘catch up’ posts before they very kindly post Step 11, QPR v Chelsea for us.
After Trafford’s win they received a home draw against Northwich Victoria in Step 3 of our journey- the 1st round qualifying. A sunny Saturday on September 17th & the highlights of this day were Wayne Riley’s fantastic free kick & Vic’s captain, Kyle Armstrong’s penalty securing a 2-0 win for the Vic’s and I got both goals on video for YouTube! We also picked up a new blog & twitter follower -Kevin McGrath, Trafford’s man-of-the-match centre half. However the best thing about the day was a mad row with a Vic’s fan who told us, when talking about Raphael Evans the Northwich centre half: “Kicking isn’t his strong point!” so after we point out to her that kicking is a fairly important part of any footballers game she took a cheeky photo of me at half time & sent it to me later!
Step 4: 2nd round qualifying – Northwich Vic’s at home to local rivals Nantwich Town. Another sunny day on Sat 1st October and the stand out memory of this game has to be Jim Rushe! Jim is the chairman of Northwich and after we had met him at the Trafford game, he had promised to look after us if the Vic’s got a home tie. He truly did just that. We were amazed that a chairman of a football club was treating us like we were distinguished guests of some importance instead of a couple of fall down drunks following the cup! Such a shame what’s happening at Northwich at the moment and we wish Jim & everyone at the club our best wishes. Nantwich won on the day 2-1 meaning we were off to the Weaver stadium in 2 weeks time.
Step 5: 3rd RQ – Nantwich v Kendal Town. This was the first “scary” tie for us because we had declared right from the start that we would go to any replays on this cup run & if this one ended in a draw Kendal is a long way to go from Manchester for a mid-week game! The team sheet for this game showed 51 year old Dabbers manager & ex-Northern Ireland international, Jimmy Quinn on the bench. Even though changes were made he didn’t grace the grass at any time which was a shame. The Dabbers came from a goal behind to win 2-1 on the day but imy lasting memory will be the Rhino almost missing the game. He had turnstile issues and no amount of Lurpak was going to help squeeze him through the gap & into the Weaver Stadium!
Step 6: The 4th and last of the qualifiers. Nantwich drawn at home again against Nuneaton Town with the chance of a big money game for the winners in the 1st round proper, but another scary game for us if it’s a draw! Word seemed to be spreading about us by now & BBC Radio Manchester invite me onto their Friday night non-league show the night before to give them a status update. Local online Cheshire based RedShift Radio must of been listening as they had me on their show too! The game was a very nail biting 1-0 win for the Dabbers who had to hold on with 10 men for the last 15 minutes under constant pressure from the Nunny boys. The whole market town of Nantwich celebrated when they found out they would be playing the MK Dons in the 1st round proper of the cup and that’s where 1LegOnTheCup was going next. Things for us suddenly got a massive boost courtesy of the FA & Budweiser!