Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yesterday was Cup day both sides of the border as we all know. Both the Scottish Cup and the FA Cup produced a multitude of shocks on varying levels. Sadly East Fife weren't one of them.

It's still hard to get as excited about the Scottish Cup results though as we do for the English ones.

No doubt years of growing up hearing about the "magic" and "romance" of the FA Cup has a big part to play in this conditioning, but all that aside, it's still true!

I had both yesterday's ITV FA Cup Highlights package and the Beeb's Scottish Cup hightlights package to watch and whilst I rushed to see the English version, I still haven't pressed play on the Scottish one. Perhaps wanting to avoid seeing the Fife's Pittodrie horror show has had some effect on my thinking.

It was a day of high drama down in England. In fact, a weekend of it, as it continued with today's games.

Many look forward to the Third Round ties the most. I was also in that category until recent years when the plethora of non league teams in Rounds One and Two delight me just that little bit more.

I still love the Third Round of course and all the shock and surprise and joy that seeing a Club like Stevenage putting out a Premier side like Newcastle brings with it. That's was a well deserved and convincing gubbing.

My interest in the FA Cup though seriously diminishes in each round from the Third onwards. In the Scottish one mind you, it's over as soon as East Fife crash out, so that's my interest over till November.

As it stands today, there's only one non league side left in the competition and that's Crawley Town. They face Derby tomorrow and I sincerely hope for a Derby win.

Part of me would like to see Crawley do well as they're non league and still a small side. Part of me would like to see them go on a cup run with replays to aid AFC Wimbledon's challenge for the Conference title. But with the way they've gone about things, their moneybags approach and the fact that I find their manager, Steve Evans, one of the most unlikeable "characters" in the modern game, I just can't wish them well.

The draw for the Fourth Round is also pretty uninspiring. Very little to get you excited and maybe not too many shocks on the cards. We'll have to see how some of the replays pan out I guess.

One year I'd love to take in some FA Cup ties from the very very early stages in August. Be fun to follow a team from one round to the next. With Stevenage putting out Wimbledon I guess I'll be rooting for them going forward now (and of course West Ham).

Maybe this could be the real year of the underdog. Would make the latter stages a lot more exciting for me anyway.

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