FA Cup First Round Match Report

The 1st Round of the FA Cup has taken place. Here is a round up of the results, with match reports from games between Division 3, Conference and non-league sides.

Coventry City v Middlesbrough – This was non-league Middlesbrough’s first game and they came up to Division 3 Coventry City. Coventry got off to a flying start as they were awarded a penalty within the first few minutes, which they easily converted. An even contested then ensured and Middlesbrough got a bit of luck as they found an equaliser just before half-time. Middlesbrough then pushed on strongly and could of almost scored a couple of times, as they even skimmed a shot off the crossbar. Coventry stayed with the plan and soon enough got the winning goal, as Middlesbrough were left weak in defence.

Result: Coventry City 2 v 1 Middlesbrough

Wolves v Sunderland – Division 3 frontrunners Wolves took on non-league Sunderland at home. It did not take Wolves long to break down the Sunderland defence and they were quickly 1-0 up. They continued to pressure the non-league side and were duly rewarded soon after with a second. The spectators expected Wolves to keep on and increase their lead, but the team sat back and let Sunderland come at them as they defended their lead. Sunderland could not break down the defence, so it is the Division 3 side Wolves, that go through to the 2nd Round. The featured image shows Wolves scoring their spectacular second goal.

Result: Wolves 2 v 0 Sunderland

Bolton Wanderers v Birmingham City – Birmingham City took on non-league Bolton in the third match and it was clear to see the difference in the two sides. Birmingham immediately took hold of the game and never looked back. They scored three simple goals and although both keepers made some good saves, Bolton were unable to score a goal. Although Birmingham’s performance in the Conference has not been great, they will be pleased to have a convincing win, to see them into the second round.

Result: Bolton Wanderers 0 v 3 Birmingham City

Huddersfield Town v Bournemouth – A thrilling encounter took place between non-league Huddersfield and Conference team Bournemouth. In a close tie, Huddersfield were the first to score, before they dug in with all their might to defend their lead. Bournemouth threw everything at them and it was only down to the Huddersfield keeper and the goalpost that kept them out. The Bournemouth keeper also made some vital saves to keep them in the tie. In injury time Bournemouth won a corner and after a shot was deflected, a Bournemouth player was near the line to tuck it in to level. In extra time Huddersfield broke forward once more and shot but the ball did not cross the line. The Bournemouth keeper went to clear the ball but only kicked it towards a Huddersfield player, who was able to thunder it back into the goal. Bournemouth tried everything to find an equaliser but ran out of time as Huddersfield become the first non-league team to make it into the 2nd Round.

Result: Huddersfield Town 2 v 1 Bournemouth (AET)

Brentford v Ipswich Town – This all non-league encounter was a great opportunity for one of these sides to make it into the second round. Brentford started off the stronger and went 1-0 up just before half-time. Ipswich did their best to fight back but Brentford remained strong. Later in the second half, Brentford found a gap between defenders and duly made it 2-0. Ipswich had a great chance to get back into the game soon after, but their chip shot went over the top of the goal. In injury time, Brentford had another shot which rebounded off a defender and into the goal to make it 3-0, which was a bit unfair on the away team who had played well.

Result: Brentford 3 v 0 Ipswich Town

Derby County v Sheffield United – Derby County from Division 3 suffered a shock defeat against non-league Sheffield United in this classic Cup tie. United took an early lead but Derby used their skill to get back into the match and scored to make it equal. Derby went on to score a second before United got their second to make it 2-2 at the end of normal time. Derby soon went 3-2 ahead in extra time and thought they were through but Sheffield Utd did not give up and scored again to make it 3-3. In penalties Derby went first and Sheffield missed theirs, giving Derby the advantage. But Derby missed their second as Sheffield got level once again. It was all even until Derby missed their 5th, leaving Sheffield with a chance to go through. After a mistaken penalty, Sheffield got a retake and cleaned slotted home to win this thrilling match.

Result: Derby County 3 v 3 Sheffield United (P.3 – 4)

Portsmouth v Blackburn Rovers – This clash of two struggling Conference sides wanting a turn-around in fortunes, had all the makings of a Cup classic. Despite Portsmouth getting off to a better start, it was the away side that scored first. The Blackburn keeper then kept his side in the tie with some incredible saves, until Portsmouth finally found a way around him to make it 1-1 after full time. In extra time, Portsmouth were quick to score almost from the kick off. Blackburn were facing elimination and pushed forward and shocked the home supporters when they got a surprise equaliser. With the game heading towards penalties, Portsmouth had one last chance attacking. The defender needed to block the shot but clipped the attacker, giving a penalty. Portsmouth hammered the ball home to make it 3-2, and with only seconds remaining, it was not enough time for Blackburn to get another chance.

Result: Portsmouth 3 v 2 Blackburn Rovers (AET)

Stoke City v Oxford United – Oxford from Division 3 got off to a lightning start as they grabbed possession from Stoke and raced up the other end to score. Non-league Stoke were shocked by this encounter but prevailed until Oxford doubled their lead later on. A fantastic save from the Oxford goalkeeper prevented Stoke from getting back into the match and Oxford were happy to play out time until the final whistle to record their first FA Cup match win since Year 1.

Result: Stoke City 0 v 2 Oxford United

Burnley v Fulham – There was the prospect of a great game between these two Conference rivals, especially after Fulham beat Burnley earlier in the season. It was a close game although Fulham had the best of the chances after they struck the post. In the second half, Burnley had a good chance to score and the defender kicked out in haste, causing a penalty. Burnley duly scored and then pressed on with their home advantage as they grew in confidence to make it 2-0. Despite Fulham fighting back, time was against them and although they too hit the post, they could not find the back of the net.

Result: Burnley 2 v 0 Fulham

Top Of The Table Match Ends In Draw

The game of the week saw joint division leaders Arsenal take on Everton in a winner takes all match. Arsenal, who had home advantage, took the game by the scruff of the neck as they tore into Everton from the beginning It did not take them long to score, after the Everton keeper was totally wrong footed and watched aghast as the ball slid past into the goal.

Everton were all over the place as Arsenal continued their domination and soon scored a second to move further ahead, as a rebound took it past the keeper once more. It looked like Arsenal would continue their scoring run until a quick reacting Arsenal defender touched a moving ball to give Everton a free kick outside of the area. Despite the distance, Everton converted the free kick to bring the score to 2-1.

Arsenal tried to find a third goal but were beginning to tire after their midweek Cup match. Everton kept the attacks going and soon found an attacker on the edge of the area with the ball. A sublime thunderbolt of a shot left the Arsenal keeper stunned as it flew into the top corner. Arsenal continued hunting for a winner and managed to hit the post twice within minutes, but could not get the break they needed. The 2-2 draw keeps both teams level at the top of the table with 14 points.

The second match of the week saw Newcastle take on Nottingham Forest. Newcastle were the stronger team in the beginning and used that to take a well deserved lead. Notts Forest then began pushing for an equaliser but their attackers could not put a good shot at the keeper. Despite a lot of pressure they could not find a way through. Newcastle nearly found a second near the end of the game but the score remained 1-0.

The third match was a big game between Liverpool and Chelsea, as both teams were mid-table and needing a win. Chelsea started the brighter but Liverpool were dangerous on the counter and scored the first goal. Liverpool soon found a second and Chelsea came close a number of times, including hitting the post before they did manage to get one in the back of the net. Chelsea pressed hard for an equaliser, but Liverpool caught them on the break once more to get a third in the final minutes to close down the match.

The week brought another big tie as Tottenham took on Manchester United. Spurs needed a win and Manchester were looking for revenge after Tottenham dented their title ambitions last year. Spurs got off to the better start and were soon 2-0 up, even after a dubious freekick that had to be retaken. Man Utd needed to fight back and soon they got the goal they needed. They continued to push forward and Spurs could not hold back the tide with only seconds remaining, leaving the score at 2-2.

The next match was between rivals West Ham and Watford. It was quite even to being, until West Ham opened up the scoring. Watford were quick to equalise to make it 1-1. It appeared as if the teams were going to settle for the draw until West Ham pushed forward and Watford attempted a back pass, only for the keeper to fumble the ball into his own net. Watford were furious with going behind and attacked from kick off. A neat little chip saw the ball float past the West Ham keeper and the score was level at 2-2.

The final match of the week was a relegation 6-pointer between Southampton and Norwich City. Southampton got off to a dreadful start as they gave away a series of free kicks, giving Norwich an early lead. Southampton soon got back into it to make it 1-1 before Norwich once again took the lead. Southampton did not give up and soon it was Norwich being careless in defence. Southampton made the score 2-2 and then pushed on against a tiring Norwich to find a winner. Southampton take a crucial 3 points to move up the table whilst Norwich remain nailed to the bottom of the Division.

SubbuteoCLUB FA Cup Official Ball Announced

As with the actual football tournaments around the country, SubbuteoCLUB also nominates special footballs to use in our competitions.

The FA Cup is the longest standing knock-out Cup competition we have and has undergone a revamp for Year 6. This year will see the largest number of teams enter the competitions, including a number of non-league sides, many playing for the first time. Teams from Division 1 and Division 2 will enter in the second round, meaning that teams from Division 3, the Conference and non-league will need to progress through the 1st Round before they can potentially face one of the big teams.

The 1st Round kicks off during Week 6, so to commemorate this historic event, SubbuteoCLUB would like to announce the ball that will be used for the duration of the competition. We have chosen to use the Mitre Ultimax Pro 2, which is the same ball that is being used in the real FA Cup for the 2023/24 season.

We have obtained a replica of this ball in 22mm form and we are ready to commence this great Cup. The 1st Round fixtures can be found on the competition page. We will have to wait until the 1st Round is completed for the 2nd Round draw and Cup holders Nottingham Forest begin the defence of their trophy.

League Cup Quarter-Final Results Are In

The 2nd Legs of the League Cup Quarter-Finals got underway this week as teams looked to obtain a place in the semi-finals.

The first game was Leicester City of Division 3 against previous winners Liverpool. Leicester were 3-1 down from the 1st leg so it was imperative that they scored first. They went close when they hit the crossbar, but it was Liverpool who then found a way through. With a 3 goal advantage, Liverpool sat back to see out the match. Leicester managed to find an equaliser but Liverpool stood tough to make their fourth semi-final in a row.

The second game saw West Ham host Aston Villa after all was equal after the first leg. The game was very close but current Cup holders West Ham took the lead with a tight shot just outside the 6-yard box which surprised the Villa keeper. Villa pushed to make it level but West Ham were up to the job and kept them at bay, even though Villa hit the crossbar. In injury time Villa through all their players forward and the intense pressure paid off as they found a way through from a corner.

In extra time West Ham once again had Villa on the ropes but they could not score, despite a few good shots. In injury time, the momentum was with Villa once more. Despite West Ham thinking they had enough defenders, the Villa player tried a cheeky chip and it paid off as it fell into the goal. Aston Villa go through to their first semi-final.

The third match was an all-London tie between Chelsea and Arsenal. Defending league Champions Chelsea got off to a flying start and were only denied thanks to the Arsenal keeper. Arsenal then turned on the gas and forced a number of good saves from the Chelsea keeper. A Chelsea defender then gave away a free kick and Arsenal found the back of the net.

Chelsea had to score to remain in the tie and it did not take long before they got a free kick of their own. They duly put the ball in the net to make it all even once more. The final stage of the match was close, but Arsenal continued to press and a lucky pass found a striker free. Despite two Chelsea defenders rushing in to try and block the shot, it was not enough and the Arsenal player took full advantage. With only seconds left, Chelsea had one last corner, but Arsenal were able to clear the ball and the game was all over. Arsenal move into their first League Cup semi-final.

The Arsenal player scores the winning goal

The final match of the round saw Manchester City host Tottenham. Spurs were previous Cup holders but they were already 1-0 down to their Division 2 opponents. Spurs got off to a flying start and it was only the goal post that stopped them from getting the equalising goal early in the game.

City were not flustered and began to press on with their attacking. It was near the end of the first half that City got a clear chance. It was not an easy shot but the City player got just enough curve to slot the ball into the net.

The City player scores their first with a left-footed shot

Spurs had to push forward now they were two goals down, but they were caught out when a free kick on the edge of City’s area went straight through to a player. They did not need to take a second touch, as they hammered the ball home. With a 3 goal advantage, Spurs looked for a consolation goal but it was not to be as City go on to the semi-finals.

Semi-Final Draw

Following the last quarter-final match, the draw for the League Cup semi-finals has just been made. The two Division Two teams have been drawn together which ensures that at least one team from Division 2 will reach the final, as Aston Villa face Manchester City. In the other tie, the two big teams from Division 1 meet each other, as Arsenal take on rivals Liverpool.

Aston Villa vs Manchester City

Arsenal vs Liverpool

Inter Milan Win Year 5 European Cup

After a fantastic tournament, the Final of the Year 5 European Cup has arrived. The two finalists are Inter Milan from Italy and Dinamo Bucharest from Romania. Dinamo were the surprise team after beating both Rangers and Celtic from Scotland as well as an unbelievable victory over Bayern Munich. Inter Milan’s journey was almost more difficult as they beat of beating Chelsea, then reigning Champions Liverpool before overcoming Atletico Madrid.

Straight from kick-off Dinamo pressed for an early goal as Milan were content to take their time and absorb the pressure. They did this well and then moved forward to begin their offense. Dinamo panicked and gave away a free kick on the edge of the goalkeepers area. Milan duly stepped up and hammered home the first goal to make it 1-0.

Milan take the lead from a free kick

The spectators were ready for Milan to hold tight but Dinamo found back as they looked for the equaliser. The fans did not have to wait long as a cutting pass caught out Inters defence as they too gave away a free kick. Despite the wall shielding the keeper, it was not enough and Dinamo made it 1-1.

Free kick for Dinamo to equalise

The early pressure from Dinamo was beginning to show, as the players in red began to tire. Milan took full advantage of this as their sticker was soon through with a great chance in front of the goal. He hit the ball cleanly to find the corner of the net.

Inter regain the lead after a shot from outside the area

Things began to fall apart for Dinamo at this point as the players could not keep up with Inters dominance. Inter almost got a third goal from kick off and it was only down to goal line technology that proved that the ball did not cross the line.

Inter’s shot did not cross the line

The disallowed goal did not stop Inter and they continued pushing forward to increase the margin. Once again, the ball was passed forward and a fabulous strike from wide left caught the Dinamo keeper out. The score was 3-1 to Inter and Dinamo were falling apart.

In the dying minutes of the game, Inter continued passing the ball around. It was only a matter of time that they found a way through the dejected defenders and soon enough they made sure of the result with a fourth goal. Dinamo did try and get a second to make the score line a little better but Milan stood strong.

A great strike makes it 3-1 to Inter Milan

The final whistle blew and Inter Milan from Italy take the victory and the European Cup for the first time.

Week 2 Conference Results Are In

The battle to claim a place in the league is hotting up as the Conference teams completed their Week 2 games.

In Conference 4a, there were wins for Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion. After the four teams drew their Week 1 matches, it leagues Bournemouth and WBA top, whilst Portsmouth and Birmingham sit at the bottom of the table on 1 point each. There is everything to play for in the final fixtures, with all four teams capable to grabbing one of the vital top two positions.

In Conference 4b, the teams are in a similar position to 4a, with two teams level on 4 points. In the East Lancashire derby, Burnley took on Blackburn in a vital match after both teams lost their first game. Whoever lost the derby would be in big trouble.

Despite Burnley having home advantage, it was Blackburn who got off to a surprising lead. Burnley were able to even the score, before Blackburn took a surprise lead after their sticker scored a tap in from an unbelievable angle. The the dying minutes Burnley found the equaliser to leave the score at 2-2. Although neither team lost, it gives each team only a single point from two games and a struggle to finish in the top 2.

The second game involved league leaders Brighton & Hove against Fulham. After both teams won their opening game, a win would guarantee a team a top 2 position and a place in the promotion finals.

Brighton got off to the stronger start and they managed to hit the crossbar in the first half, as Fulham found it hard to find traction on the soggy pitch.

In the second half, Fulham pushed forward and it was their turn to come close as they hit the post. Despite good chances at either end, the score finished 0-0, leaving both teams on 4 points.

There will be everything to play for in Week 3 as the final league positions will be decided and the places in the promotion finals completed.

Crystal Palace Retain Top Place In Div3 -Week 4

With the Division 3 – Week 4 results now finalised, it is becoming a very interesting year for the competing teams.

Conference Champions Wolves managed to get their season back on track as they beat Coventry 2-0. The win pushes Wolves back up to joint second in the table as they look for promotion. Coventry are really struggling this year, as they drop to last place in the table. Coventry have some tough fixtures to come, so it is not looking good for them.

Crystal Palace managed a goalless draw with surprise team Hull City. The point was enough to keep Palace in first place, two points clear of the chasing pack. Palace are desperate for promotion after narrowly missing out last year. Hull’s season is going from strength to strength as they keep adding the points to stay in joint second place.

Leicester City suffered a shock defeat against Oxford United, which has really hit their promotion chances. Despite everyone thinking the previous League Champions would be candidates for relegation, the team from Oxford won 2-1, as the 3 points puts them into joint second position in the league. Leicester now sit in 5th place and they will need a good run from now on to stand any chance of a top 2 finish.

In the final match of the week, Millwall played Derby County in a relegation 6-pointer. Relegated Derby started the season in great form, but this has slipped in recent weeks as they tumbled down the table. Millwall are perennial strugglers but a win would really boost their chances. Derby took a 2-0 lead, partly thanks to Millwall’s sloppy defending. Millwall managed to get a goal back and continued to push hard. Derby had a chance to win the game but did not take advantage and then Millwall struck back to equalise. the 2-2 score line means the teams share the points, but it does not really help either side in their bid to retain Division 3 status next year.

East Stand Under Construction

The stadium build has taken a bit of a back seat recently, due to many other activities going on, including playing lots of Subbuteo matches.

Now autumn is approaching fast and there is less opportunity to go outside and get burnt, I mean get a nice suntan, it is a good time to return to the build project.

We have decided to take on the laborious task of painting all the Subbuteo stands grey, so that when we glue the 3D-printed seating, it looks as realistic as possible. We are also painting the stairs a “dirty” yellow, to look like the original White Hart Lanes steps.

This is not the most exciting job in the world and there are a lot of grandstand pieces to paint. This is made even worse by the current cost of grey paint. Yes, we could purchase grey plastic grandstands, but they are also expensive to get hold of these days and we do already have a huge stock of the red/blue ones.

Now we have two grandstands painted, we can start to see who it will look. We do not want to go too far with this job, as we still need to work out how we are going to construct the West Stand, with its two levels of corporate boxes. The other stands will need to be raised somehow to keep inline with the West Stand and make sure that the roof is level all the way around, just like the real stadium.

In the meantime we shall return to the painting job, that will certainly give us plenty of thinking time to try and come up with a solution.

Man City Beat Sheff Wed To Go Top Of Div 2

It was the mid-season for Division 2 as the teams took part in the Week 4 fixtures. The first match was a battle between the teams sitting in second and third places.

Sheffield Wednesday has surprised many as they rocketed off to the lead of the Division, only to suffer a shock defeat against QPR last week. Manchester City had been expected to win the Division easily, but a slow start with a few draws had left them chasing. So there was everything to play for in the big game.

In a close game, City took the lead with Wednesday scoring themselves to make it 1-1. City continued to push for a winner and were rewarded with a 2-1 victory. It leads Sheff Wed freefalling down the table whilst Man City hit the top spot for the first time.

The second game was an incredible match between Charlton and QPR. The sides were evenly matched and looked like they would score every time they attacked. Charlton took the lead twice, only to be pegged back by QPR. In the final few minutes, QPR scored a third goal to take all three points, leaving Charlton in the relegation places. QPR have turned a few heads as they are only 1 point off the top in 3rd place.

The next game was a thrilling encounter between Wimbledon and Aston Villa. Villa were the current league leaders and Wimbledon were bottom, so Villa should have been the easy winners. Wimbledon decided they did not want that to happen and took the game to their opponents. Villa were strong enough to score on the counter to deny the Wombles in a 2-2 draw. A point for each side does not really help either team.

The final match of the week was between a struggling Leeds United and Luton who are looking for promotion back to Division 1. It was a very close game, but one where the keepers were supreme. Both goalies made excellent saves, with one by the Luton keeper (in the photo) being the save of the day. With neither side able to find the goal, the 0-0 gives a point to each team. Leeds manage to climb up to 6th but it leaves Luton 2 points off the top in 4th.

Man Utd Take Revenge On Chelsea

In the big Division 1 game of week 5, Manchester United took on rivals Chelsea. It had been the London team that snatched the league title away from Manchester last season, after a last minute goal against them. United went into this home game seeking to get revenge, especially as Chelsea have not had the best of starts to this years campaign.

It was honours even in the first half. with both teams kicking chunks out of each other but not really troubling the goalkeepers. It was Chelsea who made the first mistake in the second half, as they gave away a needless free kick on the edge of the area. United made full use of it as they scored. Although Chelsea fought back, United pressed for more and found a striker on the edge of the six-yard box. Despite no-one thinking he could score, the forward hammered the ball into the far top corner to make it 2-0.

In injury time, Chelsea let their frustrations get the better of them and have away another free kick. United stepped up and hammered it home to leave the result at a resounding 3-0.

The weeks other big game was between Liverpool and Arsenal. Liverpool had a solid defence but up front they were all over the place, with long balls going too far or missed shots. It was quite a drab game, with Arsenal looking to get back on the counter attack. It was not far from the end when Liverpool’s defence ended up out of position and clipped an Arsenal player on their way back. Arsenal were awarded a penalty which they duly converted. Although Liverpool searched for an equaliser, they ran out of time, leaving Arsenal as 1-0 winners. Liverpool have now lost 3 of their opening 5 games, whilst Arsenal have won 4 from 5 and are pushing for the top spot.

In the relegation 6-point game, Norwich City finally found their scoring boots. West Ham looked a tired side after their midweek League Cup match and Norwich made full use of their rest period. They put two goals past the Hammers, as they finally get their points tally underway. West Ham are now in big trouble, as they only have the same points as Norwich City.

There was nothing to separate rivals Southampton and Newcastle as they played out a 1-1 draw. Surprisingly, Southampton had the better of the play and went 1-0 up. Southampton looked good to go 2-0 ahead but Newcastle found a way to equalise against the run of play. Neither side could score after that, but a point does little favour for either side.

League leaders Everton took on a struggling Nottingham Forest at the City ground. The home team were first to score and they thought they may be able to take all 3 points. Everton were aiming to set a new record of 5 wins in a row from the start of the season but this looked a long way off as they fought back. With minutes remaining Everton found a way through to break Forest hearts. Everton could not find a winning goal so it was one point to each side, as Everton drop to second place in the league.

The final match of the week was between this years surprise team Watford, against London rivals Spurs. In an even contest, both teams wanted the win. Tottenham took the lead and nearly had a second but it flew over the crossbar. The match went into injury time and Spurs were nearly home but Watford had a late attack into the Spurs area. It looked like Watford had a perfect shooting position and a rash Spurs defensive manoeuvre caught the attacker. Watford were awarded a penalty and scored with the last kick of the match. Watford remain in 4th place with Spurs now in trouble with only 4 points from 5 games.