FA Cup, 2nd Qualifying Round – Hanworth Villa FC v Aveley FC
Saturday, 1st October 2011, 3pm
Rectory Meadow
Distance 7 miles, Attendance 197
By rights summer should’ve been over long before this game started, instead Michael Fish, global warming, or David Icke, served us up the hottest October day on record. I know it’s not always so, but to me the FA Cup and sunshine go hand in hand. It is always sunny on Cup Final day, isn’t it? This day was no exception; all shorts and flip-flops.

Weather aside the whole afternoon differed from my usual League fare. I parked by the clubhouse next to the Aveley coach, no-one searched my bag before I entered, there was a heaving pitch side beer garden, behind one goal was a wooded area, there was a stand and a “shelter” not far from the bar to create more noise, children played with balls and bikes, fans and players mingled freely, and when I took my perch for the game it was smack on the centre line between the dugouts; a wonderful location if ever you get the opportunity. Then as an added bonus the former Watford player wasn’t just doing the halftime 50-50 draw, he was leading out the away team.
“He’s here, he’s there, he’s every f***ing where, Micah Hyde, Micah Hyde!” sang the Watford faithful. “At his best, he simply glides through the midfield, feet dancing around challenges as if avoiding broken glass, body swaying elegantly to maintain perfect balance. “, the boys of Blind Stupid And Desperate claimed. Though his speed is on the wane, this superb midfielder clearly hasn’t lost his touch. The problem was that neither his presence on the pitch, nor that of Carl Griffiths on the bench could do anything to prevent little Hanworth Villa from winning the game. Levi King might have scored the only goal of the game but this was a club win from top to bottom. The Villains worked as a team, played to their strengths, and took their fans along for the ride. All for one. One for all.
I may not be there to see it but you have to wish them luck next round.

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