Stevenage Supporters’ Association - November article
SA has smashed through the 700 barrier
Stevenage Supporters’ Association latest
A surprisingly interesting one this month, considering we’ve only managed to pick up two points from the nine on offer since my last article, but then I guess that’s what a couple of FA Cup games can do for a football fan!
After the pedestrian but convincing disposal of Barnet at Underhill, the arrival of MK Dons at home wasn’t something I was particularly looking forward to and I must admit, as is usual, the pessimist in me expected them to despatch of us with relative ease.
With hindsight however, I think I probably overestimated the threat that the franchise club may pose and had Stacy Long have been wearing his shooting boots after five minutes the outcome of the match might have been a whole lot better than the pretty mundane 0-0 draw we were treated to.
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With the draw for the second round being made before the replay, the nation’s media got themselves a bit over-excited at the prospect of an AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons match up.
The chance to spoil the party obviously struck a chord with the Stevenage fan base with over 850 hardy souls making the trip up the M1 to the imaginatively named stadium:mk, and how I’m sure they don’t regret it.
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The signs weren’t good as injury time passed with us being a goal behind before Darius Charles popped up with a 95th minute equaliser to take the game to extra time and, with no-one having enough to edge it, onto penalties.
A miss from regular penalty taker Scott Laird looked as though it might be the only one of the night before Chris Day magnificently saved the fifth MK penalty to take it to sudden death before Matthew Doumbe stepped up to blaze his spot kick over the bar to send the fans into raptures and the club into a second round tie away at AFC Wimbledon.
The league games this month haven’t been much to talk of with draws at home with Shrewsbury and Southend being separated by an away defeat at Accrington leaving us sitting 11th in League 2.
Other results have been relatively kind, however, and there is still quite a bunch around the lower end of the play-off places so we’ve still got all to play for in the coming months.
Back to the FA Cup though, and a tricky trip to Conference leaders AFC Wimbledon was in the way of a potentially lucrative third round and from the word go, Stevenage dominated the game not allowing their opponents to get into their stride at all.
Aside from a couple of minor scares, the match was relatively routine with Stevenage running out comfortable 2-0 winners thanks to a sublime free kick from new boy Josh Walker and a neat finish from Yemi Odubade seeing us through to third round.
With all eyes on Serge Pizzorno and Noel Gallagher on Sunday evening, I had that familiar feeling that we would get a half decent draw this time around.
Ninety per cent of the time we end up with a duff draw but I don’t think I could have picked this one better myself – No. 48, Stevenage, will play No. 27, Newcastle United.
It’s been 12 years since Alan Shearer carried out the Great St. James’ Park robbery and now we get a crack at avenging that ‘goal’ that never crossed the line, and with Westley having previous when it comes to correcting past injustice there’s every chance we can go and get a result.
I have to say though, I’m mostly looking forward to seeing how much change Andy Carroll gets from man-handling Jon Ashton like he does with those soft Premiership players every week.
A lot has changed since the last time Newcastle came to town, for starters their fans won’t be sitting in a temporary stand with no roof and there’s no question that our ground is fit to hold the tie.
With that in mind, I’m sure that Chris Hughton and Newcastle will conduct themselves with a bit more dignity than Kenny Dalglish did first time around.
As expected, this clash has already drawn a lot of attention and since the announcement the SA has smashed through the 700 member barrier and it seems that every passing hour sees more people sign up in order to take advantage of the ticket priority offered to members.
Again, many thanks to everyone who has joined up to the Supporters’ Association this season, but if you haven’t and wish to take advantage of the benefits package then please visit our website www.sfcsa.co.uk where you can download a membership form or simply join online.
Finally, John Carroll has announced details of SA coach travel for the away games at Port Vale, Bury, Burton and Gillingham and as usual details and booking information can be found on our website.