I can't help but cast an envious eye over the weekend's FA Cup fixtures. Before I get into my stride I'd like to point out I am not a bitter Sutton supporter, far from it in fact. I don't even harbour a grudge against Carshalton particularly. Seriously, where's the point in that?
We've had our fair share of Cup success over the years and I am grateful for that. However, with the likes of Crawley, Wimbledon, and Droylsden all sharing the media spotlight this weekend it does make you think how different things might have been for the Us. Also competing in the Cup this weekend are the likes of Dover, Tamworth, FC United, Swindon Supermarine and Chelmsford. Of course, I wish all these clubs luck in their matches but I can't help but cast a longing gaze out of my frosty window and dream of Cup glory once again.
I am watching Crawley take on Swindon Town as I write this. I can't help but think that it would be, to borrow a phrase from The Krankies, fan-dabi-dozi if it was Sutton hosting the big game. Ah, The Krankies. They were great on Crackerjack - CRACKERJACK! - weren't they. A little look at Wikipedia tells me that the popular 1970s double act are now both 63 years old. Crikey, I really hope they've given up that gig now.
Fan-dabi-dozi! The Krankies give the thumbs-up to Sutton's bid for Cup glory next season.
Any rate, just imagine if that was us playing in front of the ESPN cameras tonight. Right now I could be hopping from foot to foot on the freezing cold Gander Green Lane terraces desperate for a wee having had two or three pints of tepid ale at the Plough before the match. Ray Stubbs, Lou Macari and John Barnes could be chatting on the pitch at half-time assessing the rapid deterioration of the surface and the drop in temperature, while in the background Jenny the Giraffe waves to the viewers at home. Instead, it's Crawley's Reggie the Red Devil who is enjoying the limelight. Bugger.
So, back to reality. Sticking with the cup theme, I have been lambasted by some folk for saying that the only competitions that interest me are the Ryman Premier League, the FA Cup and the FA Trophy. Well, sorry about that, but each to their own.
The Surrey Senior Cup started to lose it's appeal for me once we'd beaten Whyteleafe to retain it for the sixth season running back in 1987 at Tooting's old Sandy Lane ground. The fact that Ashford Town (Middlesex) won it two years ago suggests to me that even clubs in Surrey aren't that bothered about it anyway.
As for competitions such as the Championship Manager Trophy, well, I think they are just a waste of time. Who can remember who won the Carthium Cup in 2005? Statto from Fantasy Football League, that's who, and perhaps the usual array of non-league anoraks. And who can remember that wonderful motto a few years back which accompanied the Bryco Cup? 'Don't miss it!'...flippin' heck, what a joke. Miss it is precisely what I set out to do.
Anorak Idol: Statto could tell you who won the Hitachi Cup in 1983. What's that Statto, it was Sutton? Never.
Sutton's main focus for now is the Ryman Premier League. The weather may have a big say in the non-league football schedule this weekend but hopefully we'll get a game on at Gander Green Lane tomorrow.
Fair play to Crawley, they've got the Cup weekend off to a cracker. The equalising goal by Matt Tubbs in Red Devils' 1-1 draw with Swindon was superb. Perhaps Reggie deserves his moment on live TV after all.
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