It’s the preliminary round of the FA Cup today and as promised we’re off to Trafford for step 2 of our cup run. I’m told there’s another team that play in Trafford somewhere but it must be some sort of pensioner’s team or summat as they play in ‘Old’ Trafford…
Just a few “thank you’s” before i waffle on about today’s game, big thanks to the Football Forum for letting me spam all over their ‘Domestic Cup’ pages we now have a few followers from there.
The guys at the Football Pubcast are as mad as a bag of clown shoes! Great website and podcast even though they’re from that London! The Pubcast team are now following us and putting our blog on their site… cheers guys!
Finally, thank you Jenson Button for ripping up the streets of Manchester on a rainy bank holiday Monday…. just AWSOME! Loads of stuff on YouTube if you missed it and I got to say thanks to the little guy who tried to help the Rhino get a better view!
The Sat-Nav told us we had reached our destination, as i looked up we were outside the Aldi in Flixton town centre. We decided to ask someone who looks local for directions (how does someone “look” local??) “excuse me mate, where’s Trafford’s football ground?” with a puzzled look on this blokes face i knew we had made a mistake and sure enough he answered “your miles away, it’s on the main Chester Road but they’re not playing today it’s Internationals this weekend, England played last night & Rooney got a couple!” So after a couple of phone calls we arrive at Flixton golf club because Trafford FC is right next to it!
After Cheadle had put 8 past Chadderton in the last round & Trafford only winning 2 of their opening 6 fixtures, on paper it looked like a more evenly balanced cup tie than the teams league positions suggested, even one of the Trafford subs was either going to play… or get married! Now that’s dedication! To be fair the lad has the same answer to both questions… “wanna play the second half?”… I DO…. “wanna marry this girl you knocked up at xmas?”… I DO.
KICK OFF!.. the Trafford men in all white start to knock the ball about between themselves in a training session-like but within’ moments they’ve cut through all the green shirts and striker Matt Landregan fired just wide from close range, this sent the Cheadle dug out into an outburst of shouting “face the ball..A?” – “close him down..A?”
We now have a new obsession, why do all footballers & managers shout things in question form? Last season we was focused on how many miles referees cover running backwards in a game but now it’s this strange behaviour, even when it’s tactical advice it becomes a question.. “you’ve gotta’ be quicker than that Macca’……. concentrate A?”
With 10 mins gone Trafford, who are bossing the game get a corner, the Cheadle defence only half clear it and Liam Murray crossed the ball back in for Nia Bayunu to power his header home. Built like the proverbial brick shit house, centre half Nia’s goal makes it 1-0.
As the game goes on the Rhino has noticed that Cheadle’s midfield just haven’t turned up as their defence are just booting the ball forward like an under 11’s team would. “i see they’re using the Wimbledon approach, only Wimbledon were GOOD at it!”
Cheadle’s first chance came just after the half hour mark and that was only because Trafford keeper Tom Read fumbled one of the up-field punts but he gathered it up easily at the second attempt with only McDonagh challenging for it.
Totally in control, Trafford have chance after chance mainly coming from the very impressive left winger Kamahl Whight. Whight was duly snapped just before half time by the Cheadle defence and was subbed with about 5 mins left in the half. HALF TIME 1-0
We head for the snack bar for a pie (reviewed on the pie-ometer page) and i get involved in a conversation with a club official about a wasp sting on his leg for some reason??? He tells me how much it hurts then shows me the back of his leg! I then roll up my jeans to show him a very battered false leg and tell him “that’s how i lost mine! It all started with a sting” leaving the bloke close to tears i head off back to the stand for the second half…
The Second half started with Cheadle actually trying to play through the middle but Trafford’s Simon Gallanders seemed to be everywhere and snuffed out most attacks. Cheadle hit the bar from 25 yards out with an hour gone and were looking better all round. “Let’s keep going….A?” was the cry from Waldorf & Statler in the Cheadle dug out but on 71 mins substitute Tom Bentham, on for Landregan, volleyed in a great goal for 2-0. At this point the Rhino tells me “how many players do you think go off with a groin strain?” pointing at the Trafford physio.
With 10 minutes or so left Cheadle are throwing everything they have at Trafford, the ball is blasted at point blank range into defender Nia Bayunu inside the box and the ref blows for a penalty! For the first time in the match we hear from the home bench…. “you’re havin’ a tin bath ref.. A?” lol lol even he’s at it! Adam Roberts stepped up to take the kick & i video’d it (here) needless to say it’s still 2-0.
With only a couple of added-on minutes to go Cheadle are leaving bigger gaps in their defence than in their midfield, Scott Cheetham on for the now hobbling Kamahl Whight, sends the ball in from the left for Tom Bentham to try and get on the end of, and the lanky blond striker obliged with a glancing header for 3-0. Moments later the ref blows and Trafford will now host Northwich Victoria in 2 weeks time on the 17th. For the first round qualifying in the FA Cup. FULL TIME 3-0
Meanwhile under Fern Cotton’s bra…
…as you would expect there’s not much to talk about, a bit like the club house at Trafford. Only 3 pumps on the tiny bar, the rest of the beer selection is in bottles & cans. There’s about 30 people inside the place so it’s now packed. A couple of Becks each and we get a spot next to my very own toilet (well I fit both categories)
We was ready to settle in for a couple of hours and get the locals drinking the new JD & Fruit Shoot wonder juice when the big lad reminded me that we would be back here in 2 weeks for the Northwich game so we should drink up and go to the pub down the road. This turned out to be sound advice from my logistical genius friend as it was 2 for 1 in the local although we did have to smuggle in our own Fruit Shoots, i know… most people sneak the JD in & just buy the soft drink from the bar but the bar maid didn’t seem to mind but it might be worth calling child line as she told us “my kids drink that stuff all the time!” unless she’s holding out for stardom on the Jeremy Kyle show…