Tag: AFC Sudbury

Match Of The Week: The FA Cup – AFC Sudbury 5-0 Ilford

The earliest rounds of the FA Cup could, for those participating, be considered to have a small amount of nuisance value about them. Clubs seeking to build a little rhythm to their league seasons find that the cup interjects every two or three weeks or so, and those that are successful can find themselves with a backlog of cancelled fixtures that can cause major headaches later on in the season. Set against this, though, are the rewards. Extra gate receipts come in handy for clubs that tend to live a hand to mouth existence for the rest of the year, and there is also prize money on offer for the winners – the winners of this weekends Preliminary Round matches receive £1,750 for their toils and, while this amount of money may seem paltry to a football world in which such a sum would be considered little more than mere loose change, for many of the clubs competing this weekend such amounts may pay the wages for a week or to keep the floodlights on for a proportion of the winter. In the FA Cup, when romance starts to falter, practicalities can usually be relied upon to step into the breach. This weekends new FA Cup entrants come from the fourth tier of the non-league game, as far removed from the likes of Luton Town and Wrexham as, say,...

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The FA Cup Second Qualifying Round: Merstham 0-2 AFC Sudbury

This is the Second Qualifying Round of the FA Cup, isn’t it? By this stage of the competition, we would usually be wearing something approaching our winter woollies and sipping at Bovril which remains scalding hot for three minutes for turning stone cold in the amount of time that it takes to blink, but summer has come late this year, and Surrey is unusually temperate this afternoon. Today is shirt sleeves and ice cold drinks weather. It doesn’t feel right, yet here we are, in spitting distance of one of the southernmost tips of the M25, for a match that will leave the winners two matches from the First Round Proper and one win from a possible tie against a Blue Square Premier side. The biggest clubs may not be taking the FA Cup as seriously as they used to but, for the likes of Merstham FC and AFC Sudbury, this afternoon is a big deal. The money is important – there is £4,500 on offer to the winners this afternoon – but the publicity that an FA Cup run brings can be a life-changing event for a club of this size. Strong reputations have, over the years, been cemented by jabbing bigger clubs on the nose in this competition and the creation of a club’s legacy can carry almost intangible benefits to smaller clubs. An FA Cup run...

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