Monday, 9 February 2009

Still In The Hat

Only one Fifth Round tie survived the weather on Saturday; seven ties including the game at Bitton succumbed, leaving Bideford AFC and Spennymoor Town to fight it out for the honour of being the first team through to this season's FA Vase Quarter-Finals. Considering how badly Devon had been affected by the snow, it was somewhat of a surprise that the Bideford game went ahead. A splendid effort from volunteers at Bideford ensured the pitch was playable and the home team were rewarded with a 2-0 victory in front of a crowd of 461. Bitton and Glossop, along with twelve other teams will try again on 14th February. Weather permitting.

The draw for the Quarter-Final was made today at the FA headquarters. Understandably inconclusive, the four ties currently look like this:

Whitley Bay / Stratford Town v Biggleswade Town / Market Drayton Town
Lowestoft Town / Hungerford Town v Bideford
Needham Market / Dereham Town v Chalfont St Peter / Christchurch
Bitton AFC / Glossop North End v St Ives Town / Marske United

Talking of the FA, they once again never fail to amaze me with their bumbling ineptitude. On Saturday evening I visited the FA website to see how many of the FA Vase games had been played. They had published a report on the Bideford tie, with some basic information about the game, the scorers, the attendance, etc. But quite amazingly they couldn't even spell Spennymoor correctly, instead referring to Bideford's visitors as "Spennymore". Maybe I should no longer be amazed, as such basic and embarrassing errors seem to be the norm at the FA nowadays.

So for me, and the fans of either Bitton or Glossop, we will be off back to Bitton, or up to my home town Glossop, on 28th February for a Quarter-Final encounter. But first, there is the small matter of unresolved business in South Gloucestershire. In the meantime, I have a very busy week; I will not be able to bring to you my Friday post - I will be taking my 'Wick To Wembley' memorabilia up to The National Football Museum in Preston that day - so the next time I write I hope it will be a match report from Bitton. Fingers crossed.

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