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Sweet FA Cup – How about Plymouth….!

6 years ago
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A group of Newcastle fans came up with a win/win idea, to reinvigorate their love affair with the FA Cup, whilst at the same time raising valuable funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Coinciding with the kick-off of the Premier League on Saturday 16 August, the FA Cup also started on that Saturday with the Extra Preliminary round, the first of fourteen stages of the 143 year old famous Cup competition, with the fourteenth obviously being the final at Wembley.

The four friends (Wayne Soulsby, Mac Crawford, Pete Hind and Malcolm Larkin) started at Newcastle Benfield v Penrith AFC (whoever won that tie, Malcolm and as many of his friends as possible would go and watch in the next round, then the winner of that tie and so on – all the way to the final) to kick off their Cup adventure. They are paying for all of their own travel and costs, with any monies raised going directly to the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Into the First Round proper!

It is difficult to write this in hindsight, after we already know the draw.

I have to admit it’s been a stressful couple of weeks. If it were just me doing this I’d sacrifice whatever is needed to get to the next game, as it was my idea to start it.

However, I have two other mates on this mad journey with me and if not for the last minute reprieve from East Coast trains, there wasn’t any way all three of us could have made the latest game at the weekend.

I’ll be the first to admit the atmosphere between everyone right now isn’t the highest that  it could have been at this stage of the draw. We all look at each other and wonder what the gods can throw at us next.

We laughed ironically when we heard the draw on BBC2 last night – Plymouth! Chin up, we’re English and most of all we’re Geordies… we’re used to adversity! It’s what following football up here brings…

So we left Newcastle for Kings Lynn at 9:30am on Saturday. East Coast Trains had supplied us with travel tickets so all three of us could get to the game, they even put on the train named after Sir Bobby himself which was a great bonus!

We got to Peterborough in record time, this is gonna be easy I thought haha… until we got the local bus to Kings Lynn, behind a tractor!!! We got there though with plenty of time to go before the game started and were ushered through the team tunnel and onto the pitch for photos – this stuff is just surreal, trains being put on for us, pictures in the middle of the pitch!

It was an absolutely CRACKING game, ended up Kings Lynn Town 3-4 AFC Fylde, could have easily have been 6-6! The first half ended with Kings Lynn ahead 1-0 and to be honest we all thought we were headed to the next round with the Lynettes…then probably the best second half of football I’ve seen in a long time kicked off.

Fylde equalising then going 4-1 up in very quick succession. Kings Lynn pulled one back and you just sensed a fightback was on the cards. When the score hit 4-3 you feared that maybe a replay was on the cards or even a winner. The referee sent a Kings Lynn player off after a bit of unnecessary aggression towards the end of the match and the atmosphere now had a real edge – shortly after Fylde were reduced to 10 men too and it became a tense 4 minutes of added time, which to be fair should have been more.

So it ended at 4-3 and we were following AFC Fylde into the first round proper… draw scheduled for BBC 2 at 7pm on Monday night.

Which brings us back to where we started.

A lot of work goes into getting this stuff off the ground, it isn’t just a case of turning up to the games. We contact the clubs we are going to, we write these articles, run twitter and facebook accounts and attempt to raise money for such a worthy cause.

I want, we want, all three of us to be at the next game, so the work begins and we’ve got twelve days to pull it off!

The World was created in 6 and Rome wasn’t built in a day… so at least we have a happy medium.

Please remember we are doing this all in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation. Everything you donate goes directly to them! We are paying for our own travel and tickets to the games.

You can also donate via Justgiving text, simply text FACP76 followed by £1, £2, £5 or £10 to 70070.

We will be keeping people updated with our journey on www.justgiving.com/sweetfacup and via twitter @sweetfacup

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