Conference Premier sides Luton Town and Macclesfield Town caused FA Cup upsets against Championship sides to progress to today’s Fourth Round Draw.
Luton beat Wolverhampton Wanderers by the only goal, in a defeat that caused Wolves to sack manager Stale Solbakken. Alex Lawless was the hero for the Hatters, netting in the first minute of the second half in front of a superb crowd of more than 9600. It is the first time that they have made the fourth round in six years.
As for Macclesfield Town, they produced a stunning late comeback to see off Cardiff City, some eighty one rungs above them on the ladder. Goals in the 85th and 88th minute from Matthew Barnes-Homer sent the majority of the 3165 crowd into ecstasy, and The Silkmen into the fourth round for the first time ever, where they will be hoping for a glamour tie with a Manchester United or City. Macc Town fan and regular guest blogger Scott Knowles (@FragileGang) gives us his “alternative” match report:
Macclesfield Town 2 Cardiff City 1
There is a school of thought developed particularly over recent years that the FA cup doesn’t really matter anymore. That it is of no importance in this age of scrambling madly for a position within the Premier League top four and the potential Champions League place that warrants. That it is little more than a glorified League Cup but one that occasionally involves some of those places with weird names that you’ve never heard of and so can’t possibly be any good.
Maybe that school of thought is correct. Maybe we cling to the FA cup (us loyal few) like the people who cling to vinyl records or ‘pillock’ as a satisfactory term of abuse – a sort of kitschy retro thing we can get all snobby about to maintain our football hipster credentials. Type “FA cup is irrelevant” into Google and you get 24,900 results. The evidence is damning. The FA cup is dead. Let’s move on.
Malky Mackay, a man second only to Sammy Ameobi in the ‘Football names that are fun to say out loud’ list is presumably a member of that school of thought. Such was his commitment to securing a place in the top flight of English football that he tinkered so much it was surprise not to see the Cardiff tea lady playing at left-back during the second half. The result of his tampering (for which he has “no regrets” btw) was his side being ejected from the oldest association football competition in the world. The outcome barely matters – in years to come historians will only see that a side destined to become a Premier League club were defeated by some non-league upstarts – nobody will care that Craig Bellamy and Peter Whittingham were presumably at home watching old episodes of Fun House together and farting into a pillow case.
You want details of the game? There are numerous other places to go for that. I can only speak of my own personal experience – crammed amongst a group of drunken EDL morons who would rather spend the majority of the game boasting about the location of the vagina they were ejected from than offer positive support towards their team (and.. seriously.. what is it about the EDL that they feel the only way they can be patriotic to their country is by abusing those from others?) – but that would be to criminally ignore a fantastic performance from a group of players that, on their day, seem more dynamic and exciting than any bunch Macclesfield have had in a long time. That would be to discount the achievement of reaching the fourth round of the FA cup for the first time in our entire history and by doing it as a non league side. And the latter part of that is important – A Non-League Side.
Relegation from the Football League is often treated like a disaster. Even today it seems the only way we can be relevant again in the eyes of some supporters is to rejoin League Two. But why? To be one step closer to the glitzy glamourpusses of the Premier League? Is that really our ambition? To be the ones at the party stuck hanging around the toilets with Burton Albion whilst your Manchester City or your Arsenal are cordoned off in the VIP section sipping champagne and getting tossed off by a pretty blonde?
As a fan of a side destined to be nowhere I’d much rather be in a nowhere we can be somebody than a nowhere where we just blend in to nothingness. Does that make me a terrible supporter? Yes? So be it. I never claimed to be otherwise.
Macclesfield Town beat Cardiff City 2-1 to reach the fourth round of the FA cup. It was a good day. That is my match report.
Here’s hoping both clubs get good draws in the next round!