Friday, 21 September 2012

Gainsborough Trinity v Chester FC - FA Cup Limber Up

Chester FC finally join in with the excitement of the FA Cup when they travel to Gainsborough Trinity in the Second Qualifying Round tomorrow.

"I don't remember playing the first qualifying round?" queried a baffled Blues boss Neil Young.  "And isn't Gainsborough Trinity a polytechnic University?  Sure it was sixth choice on my UCAS form when I applied for my combined football and trains management BTEC."

The Seals will be hoping to progress to the next round so that we can all once again go through that crushing experience of hoping that we'll draw a big club, or maybe at least Wrexham, before being massively disappointed with an away tie against some remote outfit no-one knows anything about.

Like Gainsborough Trinity.

The hosts have had some high-profile names hang out round the club.  In the early eighties they were managed by Famous Neil Warnock, whilst in 2009 Brian Little was appointed as manager, despite a CV which most recently included Tranmere Rovers and Wrexham.

"Anyone who's taken jobs at those places needs a bit of a boost," said Gainsborough chairman and zoo animal Peter the Swan.  "We took pity on him - imagine spending three years of your life in Tranmere only to wind up in Wrexham... talk about out of the frying pan into the deeply depressing barely-Welsh quasi-wasteland."

Chester have had to wait a couple of years to have a run at the FA Cup due to some stuff about missing deadlines or not doing some paperwork or something.  But Young believes that this time out from the competition will only make his side hungrier.

"Yeah, we can win it.  You don't know what you've got til it's gone - we're bang-focused for this," insisted Young.  "As long as we can avoid the tough draws, such as the 92 League clubs taking part, we'll be alright.  Alternatively, we can do what we did in the FA Trophy last year - play an average Conference side who are still part-time, then come away all teary-eyed at running them close."

This was a reference to last year's defeat at Ebbsfleet, who used to be Gravesend & Northfleet.

"That used to be a risible fixture in the calendar, of course," recalls club historian Jazz Drummer.  "Nowadays, it seems that we're happy to be patronised by clubs like that praising us for almost not losing to them.  It's the beauty of the cup!"

Young has indicated that another trip South, like that Ebbsfleet hike, is to be avoided at all costs.

"I know I'm turning full-time and everything, but I'm just not keen on the travel," explained Young.  "Basically, any tie that an Exile can smugly declare as 'brilliant' is not welcome round Youngy's gaff.  In fact, the idea of it is stressing me already.  May just play the kids tomorrow."

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