Posted by sean on November 8, 2009 at 9:51 pm in Bath City with No Comments


Yesterday was truly amazing. Heaving myself from the warmth of my bed in the early hours, before leaving Twerton Park at the hideous time of 7am to make a 9-hour round trip to North Lincolnshire, was more than worth it.

It was the FA Cup. Bath City from the Blue Square South against Grimsby Town, a professional outfit, two divisions higher in the football pyramid. A Grimsby win was inevitable, surely. But this is the FA Cup.

We arrived at Grimsby in the early afternoon after a long journey. After visiting a local fish & chip shop and pub, we made our way into the Blundell Park stadium, where we would witness one of the greatest games in Bath City’s history.

With the home side struggling in the league, talk of a cup upset by City had been rife for the last two weeks. Our faith was rewarded in the 1st half when defender Chris Holland headed in a well-delivered free kick to take the lead.

Holland had previously been 16/1 to score the first goal with many online bookmakers. With ‘Dutch’ being a regular scorer in league games, I was tempted to chuck a tenner on such an outcome, but chickened out for fear of jinxing the result or losing my money. Wish I had placed the bet now.

As the travelling 260 fans outsung the home crowd, City outplayed the home team and it wasn’t long into the second half when they scored again making it 2-0 – an outstanding goal from Darren Edwards.

There is not a word in the English language to describe the feeling I experienced when I saw the ball hit the back of the net. Ecstasy, elation, joy – none of these even come close.

After a nervy final few minutes, the referee blew for full time. Bath City had done it. They had beaten a football league team. A team comprised of fulltime, highly paid professionals. As the home fans left in the drones, booing and jeering their players, the travelling army celebrated in their masses with the players. It was a truly wonderful moment.

The long journey home seemed to fly by. I guess that’s what joy and adrenaline does to you. I finally made it home at 10pm – over 17 hours after I got out of bed. Still, I was able to summon enough energy to watch the highlights on ITV and enjoy a celebratory drink.

This afternoon I went to the Bath City clubhouse at Twerton Park. There we watched the DVD of yesterday’s game, reminisced about the match and congratulated some of the players who popped along. Then, in front of the BBC News cameras, we watched the FA Cup 2nd Round Draw live on television.

Dreams of Leeds, Norwich and Southampton away were high in most fans’ minds. Therefore, it was a little deflating when we were given a home tie against either Forest Green Rovers or Mansfield. Not the money-spinning tie I was hoping for, but a winnable game. Victory in the next round, however, will pave the path to the real big boys – Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal.

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