|It's the March To The Arch at Sholing FC.|
To the M11, the superfast motorway to that there London. Around the M25, the Highway to Hell, thence to junction 12 and the M3. Tootling through Surrey at 70mph, being overtaken by impatient stockbrokers in their BMW and Audi convertibles, all lined up in the outside lane, nose to tail, in a hurry to go wherever it is that the people of Surrey go on a Saturday lunchtime.
From the flatlands they came, where a molehill looks like Everest, one hundred Fenmen, four hours on the road, driving to Southampton to cheer and wave on their team in the quarter-finals of the FA Vase. Two rounds from Wembley. Everything to play for...
|Foxxy and Woofy shake hands pre-match.|
Sholing FC (1) 1 v 0 (0) Wisbech Town FC
Saturday 8th March 2014
FA Carlsberg Vase Quarter-Final
Attendance: 426 (looked more than that!)
Colours: Red and white stripes / black / red and white stripes v Yellow / green / yellow
National Grid reference: SU4610
|Wisbech's Woofy the Fenhound wanders around the pitch to meet up with his fellow fans behind the goal.|
I started following Hampshire clubs in the FA Vase at Hythe & Dibden back in September. Then via Bracknell Town, Kidlington, Odd Down (Bath), Moneyfields and Sholing, then missing a round, it's back to Sholing again for a quarter-final tie - the first Hampshire side to get this far since AFC Totton in 2007. The Boatmen's big rivals from the west of the city went on to reach the final against Truro City. Can Sholing do the same?
Here's a short report from Saturday...
|Shadows tell the story of the big crowd at Sholing on Saturday.|
|A familiar sight over the last few seasons - Lee Wort celebrates another goal.|
Sholing's Ultras were in fine fettle. All their songs had been polished up for the big occasion:
"We are Sholing, Super Sholing, We're from Sholing, No-one likes us, We don't care..." I think that's how their favourite chant goes.
|Despite appearances to the contrary, this Wisbech defender was booting the ball out of play, and not Marvin McLean.|
|"...and in the Bundesliga, it's Borussia Monchengladbach 1, Augsburg 0..." Reading out the half-time scores at Sholing.|
I don't know if Wisbech's mascot was actually called Woofy the Fenhound (I made that up), but he should be holding his tail aloft, erect and proud. His team played well and could have easily won. That didn't happen though.
Hampshire's Sholing are in the semi-final draw with Leicestershire's St Andrews, Sussex's Eastbourne United Association, and Durham's West Auckland. We'll find out tomorrow morning who their opponents will be over two legs on March 29th and April 5th. Good luck to them.
[Edit: Sholing have been drawn at home to Eastbourne United Association, travelling to Sussex for the second leg]
|The Sholing Ultras' stand, as seen through a goal net.|