It’s FA Cup First Round day, and I am, to be frank, disproportionately excited at the prospect of this afternoon’s match between Eastbourne Borough and Weymouth. The local paper down here, The Argus, has really gone to town on its coverage of it all, primarily because, for the first time, Sussex has four clubs (Brighton & Hove Albion, Lewes, Eastbourne Borough and Horsham) are involved. This, they reliably inform us, is a record. Most of the time, however, the mainstream press stays well clear of non-league football. This is even largely true on FA Cup First Round day, with the headlines being largely consumed by Wayne Rooney’s latest injury (though I still suspect that Russia may choke against Israel, giving them – and, more notably, McClaren – an ill-deserved back door route to the finals of the European Championships) and McClaren himself being “bullish” (“bullish” here being another word for “illiterately and strangely aggressive in trying to justify yourself”), but most of the national press have managed to find a few things to say about this afternoon’s matches. Here’s a quick round-up of what they’ve got to say on the subject:
– The Guardian travels to Ware, and manages to resist a terrible pun in its title (it’s also worth watching the YouTube coverage of their Fourth Qualifying Round match against Tonbridge Angels.
– The Independent managed to spend a full thirty seconds on the phone to the manager of Billericay Town.
– The Daily Telegraph has a nicely-researched piece about Altrincham ahead of their match against Millwall this afternoon, focussing on manager Graham Heathcote’s involvement in their FA Cup runs of the 1970s.
– The Daily Mirror goes for the tenuous link angle, highlighting the link between the famous tea shops of Harrogate and Harrogate Railway Football Club, which runs close to becoming an advert for Yorkshire Tea and largely ignores the fact that they are playing Conference club Droylsden this afternoon.
– Finally, The Sun (sigh) went with the almost predictable jape of dressing the Staines Town goalkeeper as Ali G. Because Ali G comes from Staines. Geddit?