This blog provides a small selection of Tweets from around the country highlighting memorable FA Cup 2015-16 moments for a variety different clubs and fans.
Some have focused on a last minute winner or an incredible comeback, others have enthused about an outstanding word-class goal, whilst others have reminisced about their journey watching the FA Cup from the Extra Preliminary Round back in the middle of August right up to the Final itself nine months later. Whatever the memory, the 2015-16 FA Cup has seen a plethora of wonderful moments and adventures. Enjoy.
Don’t Leave Too Early
@townsendaround highlights Jordan Rose’s last second equaliser for National League South outfit Whitehawk in the Second Round against Dagenham and Redbridge from League Two, a goal that gave the East Sussex non-league side hope of a first ever Third Round tie which would have meant a trip to Goodison Park against Premier League side Everton. Alas it was not to be for the Hawks who went down fighting 3-2 after extra time at their Enclosed Ground.
Relive the dramatic moment here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxpgHjsClWQ
@jackstarmer remembers way back in the Extra Preliminary Round in the middle of August when East Midlands Central League side Radford, competing in the FA Cup for only the second time in their 56 year history, came back from two goals down with 10 minutes to go at home to Sleaford Town from the Premier Division of the United Counties League, to win the tie 3-2. Two goals from Joe Meakin and a Carey Knight effort gave the Pheasants their first ever FA Cup victory.
See highlights of this terrific come back here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muwzB4cHJJE
@Nikhil_Saglani suggests Karl Oliyide’s late winner for Isthmian League Premier Division club Wingate & Finchley in the Second Qualifying Round to despatch Concord Rangers from the higher National League South is his favourite FA Cup story.
That 2-1 win for the Blues took them to a record equalling Third Qualifying Round appearance, but they couldn’t repeat the Second Round feat, going down 3-1 to another National League side Weston-super-Mare.
Karl Oliyide wheels away after scoring the winner against Concord Rangers (Photo by Martin Addison)
@ChrisArthurG believes Liam Dolan’s injury time equaliser for Southern League Division One Central club AFC Rushden & Diamonds at Barwell in the 4th Qualifying Round epitomises their FA Cup story.
This second equalising goal took the sides back to the wonderfully named The Dog and Duck Ground for a replay where the winner would create FA Cup history by making the First Round for the first time ever. Unfortunately for The Diamonds it was The Canaries of the Northern Premier League Premier Division who progressed following a 1-0 win.
Liam Dolan celebrates his late, late second equaliser for AFC Rushden & Diamonds (Photo by Malcolm Swinden Photography)
@nicknack21055 remembers a spectacular equaliser from the unlikeliest of sources earning United County League Premier Division side Holbeach United a dramatic injury time equaliser against National League North side Worcester City in the Second Qualifying Round.
The video of this extraordinary feat by goalkeeper Ricky Drury was seen worldwide by millions and highlighted in one beautiful moment what the FA Cup means to hundreds of clubs and thousands of fans outside the spotlight of the Premier League. View the video here:
Journey of a Lifetime
@BeautifulGame15 has seen at least one FA Cup match in every round of this season’s competition and so they have plenty to choose from for their favourite FA Cup story, so much so that two matches stand out in their mind.
Of course, you’d remember where your journey started and theirs began at the Old Spotted Dog Ground to see Essex Senior League side Clapton, entering the FA Cup for the 120th time, lose 2-1 to Stanway Rovers from the higher Eastern Counties League Premier Division.
Here’s the opening goal, a penalty converted by Craig Hughes despite the Clapton Ultras doing their level best to put him off: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZZJhmynyqU
But equally in their memory is the challenge of the last remaining non-league side in the competition, in fact the sole surviving non-league side in the Third Round. National League outfit Eastleigh were competing in the Third Round for the first time in their 121 year history and were pitted against four time Cup winners Bolton Wanderers, languishing at the bottom of the Championship and beset by financial troubles. On a rain sodden day, with the groundsman producing miracles to get the Ten Acres pitch playable, the Spitfires more than matched their League opponents, taking the lead thanks to an own goal early in the second half and only being denied at the death by a Darren Pratley strike. A 3-2 defeat in the replay denied the Hampshire club from facing another former FA Cup giant in the shape of Leeds United.
Watch the heart-breaking first match here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2T4Js8hdJU
@HeedSaddler has spent the 2015-16 season filming FA Cup matches for Cancer Awareness
Eight films have been created all together and will be merged to form one collective overview of the 2015-16 FA Cup experience. The first film covered Heaton Stannington v Norton & Stockton Ancients in the Extra Preliminary Round, a tie won by The Stan 3-1, made more memorable being as it was their first FA Cup tie for almost 40 years. Watch the video here:
FA Cup Football Family
@EBStatto remembers National League side Welling United and their efforts to equal their best ever FA Cup run when facing League Two club Carlisle United. Unfortunately it was not to be for the Wings, and Carlisle will remember the generosity of their non-league opponents as much as the 5-0 win
Over £500 was raised at the game for the Cumbrian Flood Relief. A report of the game and the camaraderie of the FA Cup football family can be read here: http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/dec/06/welling-united-carlisle-united-fa-cup-match-report
Homage was paid to FA Cup history as the highlight of this season’s competition for @csfc1863 was when the BBC elected to broadcast the Second Round draw from the clubhouse of Civil Service FC, one of the 15 clubs who entered the first ever FA Cup in 1871.
It was a fantastic link to the rich history of the FA Cup and a wonderful choice of club whose special affinity with the competition was to enter it as a one-off in its centenary year in 1972. Read all about this special occasion here: http://www.civilservicefc.com/club/News/view/905338
Finally, it’s not a story from the 2015-16 season, but it is one that shows the power of the FA Cup to enthuse fans from all over the world. @sockalexis2003 came to the UK from the USA in 1976 as part of a teacher exchange programme and was based in Southampton, the year the Saints won the FA Cup for the first and so far only time.
Smitten by the romance of the FA Cup, 40 years later the Saints still have loyal fans on the other side of the Pond. Here’s the Bobby Stokes goal that won the Cup and their everlasting support that day:
These are just 10 special memories of the 2015-16 FA Cup out of the millions that could have been shared. I’d like to personally thank everyone who provided me with their cherished memories of the last nine months and I look forward to many more wonderful memorable moments to come in future years of this famous, emotion inducing competition.