Three Guys One Cup: An FA Cup Odyssey

Three men vs. every round of the FA cup. Will Quorn FC take a bite out of Basford United?
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Three men vs. every round of the FA cup. Will Quorn FC take a bite out of Basford United?

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Firstly, we’re not three men violating the best china. If you were hoping for that, you’re in the wrong place…
We’re two young chaps who work in advertising agencies and one other bloke who works for a publishers. Collectively we have far too much time on our hands and an unhealthy obsession with futile football trivia.

But what we really are is three men on a mission. A mission to witness every single round of this season’s FA Cup, following the winner of each round to the next until we reach the final at Wembley on 17th May, 2014.

But we’re not expecting a walk in the park. They’ll be times when regret completely takes over. Times when Vauxhall Motors run out chips before half-time. Times when the toilets at Sutton United are out of order. Times when we'll be driving back from a Wednesday night replay in Carlisle, arguing about whose idea the whole thing was

But my god it’ll be worth it.

Because it’ll be an adventure with the journey completely out of our hands, leaving us at the mercy of those FA Cup draws. It’d be selfish to keep this escapade to ourselves, so we’ll be publishing all our match reports – below is a little taster – and sharing pictures from the games at threeguysonecup.co.uk 

Preliminary Round Replay

Quorn vs Basford United

Tuesday evening saw the first real test for the Three Guys as we turned up at Farley Way for the first replay of the journey. Many have tipped us as fair-weather football fans, unable to cut it ‘on a Tuesday night in Quorn’, but we were here determined to prove our critics wrong.

It felt like a bit of a homecoming as we entered the ground where our road to Wembley started. We now knew not to catch our ankle on that tricky turnstile, make eye contact with the ticket vender or make veggie-related puns. So we ordered the usual and settled down for kick off, excited to see how Basford held up under the glare of those Tuesday Night Lights.

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After an hour of bugger all happening aside from Holby City coming on in the club house, temporarily dividing crowd allegiances, Basford made a move to draw first blood, bringing on fresh legs, arms, chest and head up front. Although he spaffed his first chance to score, his inclusion encouraged both teams to try some ball-on-net action. Then on 72”, a quick ball over the top wrong footed the defender in the box, who clipped the heels of the Basford striker. Clipped ‘em good. Martin ‘Gandhi’ Carruthers stepped up, just as he did in the first game, and converted the penalty like a footballing Bureau de Change.

The bulb in one of the floodlights, as well as all Quorn heads, had gone.

Basford’s ‘Run to the Corner’ tactic backfired when deep, deeeeeep into injury time a dramatic header from Liam Read brought a last gasp equaliser. Strangers were hugging, tears were shed and one of the Three Guys lost a hat as cries of ‘Oh for fuck’s sake, I want to go home’ were heard from the Basford keeper. Extra time awaited.

Everyone was tired, including the ref who started to let the players catch the ball and play on. At least two definite handballs went unpunished and several more called for. Both teams nearly had a chance to steal it approaching the 117-minute mark. Jim Dodds kept calm to deny the talented Basford right back, before Dom ‘The Orthodontist’ Brennan nearly triggered this season’s first pitch invasion. But it was soon obvious only penalties would settle this.

Player after player, including the now more enthused Basford keeper, stepped up to slot home their pen in front of a tense crowd. Such is the nature of penalties, one team will always come away head in hands, and it was Quorn FC who felt the full wrath of the shootout lottery, losing 5-3 overall.

Rightly so, the entire Basford team pretending for a moment they’d won the Champions League and sprinted the width of the pitch in unison.

Their collective mouth salivating at the thought of the next round – at home to NPL Prem Division side, Matlock Town on Saturday 14th September.

Keep it locked on the Three Guys for the outcome.

Man of the Match:  Jim Dodds. A true captain’s performance in a very defensive game.  This man wears his heart on his sleeve at all times, even when wearing vests. Solid throughout Quorn’s cup run and fully deserves his commemorative 3G1C porcelain mug.

Cup Cuisine: The very unorthodox Sausage ‘cob’. The usual hotdog format has been abandoned by Farley Way in favour of shoving as many sausages in one roll as possible. Huge fans of this tactic and it will be sorely missed. We’d also like to make a special mention for the tuck shop Topic, which spawned heavy rumours that you can get a Fuse or Opal Fruits if you get down early enough.