Not just for us but for lots of clubs I suspect.
The FA Cup is something of a magnet. The prize money on offer can encourage some clubs to go top heavy on their budgets at this early stage of the season meaning that as the disappointments start you can see budgets cut back and players become available.
The preliminary round last week contained some interesting results, including Northwood – without a win at the time – beating league leaders Uxbridge (including several ex-Northwood players) 1-0 and Edgware brushing past Raunds 5-1. A couple of other ‘eye catching’ scorelines included Colliers Wood FC beating Faversham 7-6 and Needham Market struggling past Ipswich Wanderers 10-1.
Browsing through the results in the preliminary round you notice a number of other familiar names already out of this year’s competition, including Slough Town, Burnham, AFC Sudbury, Wingate & Finchley, Wembley, Leatherhead, Tooting & Mitcham, Farnborough and Kingstonian.
For us we look forward to welcoming Waltham Forest to Chestnut Avenue on Saturday after Forest, who play in Ryman 1 North (a division below us), beat Wellingborough away 2-0 in their replay on Tuesday. Waltham Forest’s record this season shows they are unbeaten albeit with 5 draws in their 7 games. That proves this game should not be taken likely and in that vein we need to take the game very seriously and therefore Gordon went to watch the match at Wellingborough instead of going to the Staines match.
Interestingly I understand that Waltham Forest have just released our ex-player Rob Courtnage, and I understand they are a team full of youth and pace so losing Carl Martin again yesterday is a blow.
It is important we progress in the Cup for all the obvious reasons including prize money, confidence and potential press coverage. Everyone wants a good cup run and Gordon will be the first to admit that our recent record is most disappointing. Recent performances in the Cup, Potters Bar, Burnham and Histon are all too familiar.
So no excuses a good performance needed next Saturday – and we won’t think any further than that for now.