|Cup fever hits Swanage in the last round.|
United Services Portsmouth, who won at Swanage in the previous round, beat Ringwood Town 3-1 at Long Lane to make them the lowest-ranked Hampshire club to reach the last 128. Fareham Town travelled to Dorset and bowed out 2-0 at Verwood Town. The only other Hants club to fall was (surprisingly) Winchester City, who lost 3-0 at home to Horndean. I had Winchester down as favourites to go all the way out of all the local clubs in the competition. What do I know?!
All the other clubs I'm following won, so that leaves six in the Second Round Proper on November 22nd. Monday's draw produced these ties:
Horndean v Ascot United
United Services Portsmouth v AFC Portchester
Blackfield & Langley v Bemerton Heath Harlequins
Alresford Town v Thame United
Folland Sports v AFC St Austell
Which leaves me in a quandary as to where to go in the next round! No-one was drawn away at somewhere exotic (I was hoping for a trip to Melksham Town or a picturesque Sussex County League ground - when I say "exotic", it's all relative...), and I've already covered United Services and Blackfield this season. As I say, quandary...
So, I've decided to leave the decision of where to go next to chance, in much the same way as my fellow-blogger Modus Hopper Random would. I'm going to total up all the goals scored by Hampshire clubs this weekend, from Saints in the Premiership, through all six clubs competing in the FA Cup First Round, and down through the leagues to Step 6 (Wessex One and Combined Counties One). As a guide, the total scored last weekend was 53.
I cut up a strip of paper in to five pieces. On each scrap of paper, I wrote one of the home clubs' names. I then put the clubs in to an old tin, shook the tin up, and pulled them out in a random order...
And so, if the total number of goals scored by Hampshire clubs this weekend (including Havant & Waterlooville on Monday) ends in a 0 or 5, I shall go to Follands;
1 or 6 - to Blackfield & Langley;
2 or 7 - to Alresford Town;
3 or 8 - to Horndean;
4 or 9 - to United Services.
If 53 goals are scored by Hampshire clubs again this weekend, I shall be visiting Horndean on 22nd November, but if 54 goals are rattled in, I shall be fighting my way through the Christmas shoppers to USP, and so on...
This is exciting.