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Monday, June 20, 2005

FINAL - AFC Sudbury 2 Didcot Town 3

AFC Sudbury 2 Didcot Town 3


A lot of people over the years have done the Wembley to Wembley trip. Am I the only one to ever complete the White Hart Lane (Haringey Borough) to White Hart Lane (Final) trip?
My confession is that in my youth, I used to be a Spurs season ticket holder and went every week to both first team and reserve matches. It must be over 20 years since I’ve been there and I found it quite embarrassing when on leaving Seven Sisters station, I wasn’t sure which way to go. Instinct took me in the right direction; That and the fact that I had to get away from the truly terrible evangelical singer standing at the top of the station steps. I’m not sure what he was trying to convert people to, but the only way he was going to get me was if he STOPPED SINGING.
I had a mate with me and had warned him that it was a bit of a walk to the ground. I’d forgotten just how far it was, half an hour later as we finally arrived we were just desperate for a drink.
But first of all I had to visit the Spurs club shop. My daughter seems to think that one of the laws of parenting includes buying her a present whenever I leave the house. She asked for a Spurs baseball cap and my old affiliation meant that I was secretly pleased and agreed to buy this gift. The club had an end of season sale on and the cap was very reasonably priced. It is interesting to note that when walking along White Hart Lane, a lot more of the locals where Arsenal tops than Spurs ones, wonder why that is??
The hospitality areas inside the ground are quite cramped around the bars and food areas, it’s really difficult to walk anywhere and that was with only 8 thousand people, goodness knows how they cope when it’s full. When you get into the actual ground itself it is nothing short of immaculate. The seating is pleasing on the eye and the pitch itself was like a billiard table, at least 6 groundstaff ready to pounce on any stray balloon or divot that appeared as the teams warmed up.
There was a lovely atmosphere at this game, I don’t ever remember seeing so many women and young children at a match. We were put with the Didcot fans and I think the entire town must have come to the game on mass. It did make me smile when the young lady sitting next to me, announced after 10 minutes of the match that she was enjoying herself but that it needed some music.
The actual game was a credit to both teams. After a tight first half, Didcot scored on 56 mins as Beavon pounced onto a ball and swept a low shot home. Didcot looked comfortable with their lead until out of the blue, Wardley hit a magnificent 25 yarder into the top corner, a goal to grace any cup final. But just 2 minutes later Didcot scored again as a low cross hit an unlucky defender and crept in for an OG. In stoppage time, the game was made safe as Beavon received a flick on, side-stepped his man and finished well. There was still time for Sudbury to score a penalty through Calver following a trip, but this was the last kick of the game.
Definitely Didcot’s day, the town was even mentioned on the Dr Who episode later that evening.

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