January 21, 2009

2008-2009 FA Cup Fourth Round: Map, with fixtures for 23rd to 25th January, 2009; and Gallery (featuring Torquay United).

Filed under: 2008-09 FA Cup — admin @ 10:39 am


Fa Cup headlines: {Click here (FA site) }.

FA Cup fixtures and results  {Click here (BBC/ FA Cup) }.

The FA Cup is officially known as The Football Association Challenge Cup.  It is the oldest football competition in the world.  The 2008-2009 FA cup is the 128th edition.  Cup-holders are Portsmouth FC,  from the south coast of England,  in Hampshire. 

The competition begins it’s Fourth Round Proper on the weekend of 23rd through 25th January, 2009.   

Of the 32 clubs still alive in the 2008-2009 FA Cup,  there are 15 Premier League clubs,  13 League Championship clubs (the 2nd Level),  2 League One clubs (the 3rd Level), z ero League Two clubs (the 4th Level),  and 2 Conference clubs (Non-League, and the 5th Level).   The clubs involved have current average attendances (from league matches) ranging from 75,268 (Manchester United) to 1,814 (Kettering Town). 

Torquay United FC and Kettering Town FC are the two survivors from the record 8 Non-League clubs which made it to the FA Cup Third Round.  I decided to do a gallery of Torquay,  because their’s was the biggest “giant” killing of the 3rd round,  made a little less big because the club the Gulls beat,  Blackpool FC,  are sort punching above their weight.  Blackpool are holding steady in the 2nd Level, for the second straight season,  but can’t even draw over 10,000 if they wanted to…they basically are stuck (for the moment, they hope) playing in half a stadium at the partially refurbished Bloomfield Road.  Nevertheless,  the difference in league placing between Blackpool and Torquay is currently 60 places,  so I don’t care if the two clubs’ crowds are only about 5,700 per game apart…5th Level Torquay beating 2nd Level Blackpool is still a big upset.

To see Torquay United Gallery, including kit history (all kit illustrations copyright: Historical Football Kits site) click on the following title…torquay-united_plainmoor_gallery_with-kit-history.gif

Historical Football Kits site {Click here}.

Kettering Town had the fortune of drawing,  then beating,  the smallest minnows in the draw,  7th Level club Eastwood Town.  Both Kettering and Torquay are in the Conference,  having come to the fifth Level from opposite ends.  Torquay spent for talent last summer,  hoping to get back to League status  {see this (FA site: Lee’s delight at Cup win, 3rd Jan.) }.  So the club should feel very good about the financial gains of an extended Cup run,  they earned it. 

Northamptonshire’s Kettering Town won promotion from the Conference-North to the Conference for the first time in 5 years.  Kettering Town were the first club in England to have a sponsor’s ad on their jerseys,  in January 1976  (it was an ad for Kettering Tyres,  and it was banned,  so they made the writing say “Kettering T”,  but the FA weren’t having it.  3 years later,  Liverpool became the first top-flight club to succumb to advertising on their kit).  Now Kettering Town have taken their current 15 minutes of fame to do a sort of karmic payback on the whole Pandora’s Box of kit advertisements that they opened…{see this  ( site: Kettering chairman supports Palestinian plight, 2nd January.) }.

Torquay have a nice draw…they host Coventry City (in 13th place in the 2nd Level, aka the Championship),  which gives the Gulls the chance of facing a decent-sized club that is beatable.  Kettering Town have a tougher draw…hosting Ptremier League club Fulham.   I am sure Kettering Town wish they were facing Fulham a year ago,  because since then,  Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has turned the Cottagers into a more formidable side,  by far: they sit 10th in the Prem.


The FA Cup Fourth Round kicks off with one match Friday,  a classic Derby,  between out-of-form Derby County (who have sunk to 20th in the Championship),  and steadily-improving Nottingham Forest,  who have fought their way out of the relegation zone to 18th in the Championship,  and have won 4 straight, including all 3 games since Billy Davies (the former Derby County manager) took over as manager on 1st January.  The two clubs,  from the neighboring regions of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire,  are separated by about 15 miles.  The fixture is made all the more intriguing because of Nigel Clough’s recent appointment as manager of Derby County.   This is the son of Brian Clough,  the man who managed both these clubs to their first National Titles.  Clough and his (then) trusted righthand-man Peter Taylor led Derby County out of the Division Two,  and to the Division One Title in a period of 4 seasons (1968-’69 to the title in 1971-’72). 

Clough’s acerbic nature rubbed many in high positions the wrong way,  and after falling out with the Rams’ board,  Clough and Taylor walked in 1973.  Virtually his entire staff,  including his network of scouts,  followed.  And 2 years and two false starts later (at Brighton & Hove,  then disastrously for 6 weeks at Leeds United),  Clough did the whole trick again with Derby County’s biggest and closest rival,  Nottingham Forest. 

Clough took over at Forest in January, 1975,  when the club was in 13th place in Division Two.  They gained promotion two seasons later.  And in the 1977-’78 season,  Clough’s Nottingham Forest became the last English club to win the Championship in their first season back in the top flight.  Nottingham Forest then went on to win the European Cup in back-to-back years,  1979 and 1980.   [ Nottingham Forest are the only club to have won the European Title more times than their National Title. ]  The Brian Clough page in Wikipedia, {Click here}.

Nigel Clough comes to Derby County from 5th Level-leaders Burton Albion.  He spent 10 years as manager there,  gaining Burton promotion to the Conference in 2002,  and leaving the club in a commanding first place position,  when he accepted Derby County’s offer in the first week of 2009.


There are two other marquee match-ups this weekend… Manchester United v. Tottenham,  one of 13 fixtures Saturday;  and Liverpool v. Everton (the Merseyside Derby),  one of two fixtures Sunday. 

For Fixtures, Results…Click on the following .

Thanks to Tony’s English Football Site (for attendance figures)  {Click here}.

Thanks to the Colours Of Football site,  for the kits on the map (well, most of them; a few weren’t up to date, or existant, so I had to use Wikipedia kits). .

Thanks to Historical Football Kits site {Click here}.

Thanks to the FA site  {Click here} (I used their FA Cup banner).

Thanks to the contributors to relevant pages on Wikipedia {FA Cup 2008-’09 page, Click here}.

Thanks to EPL Talk,  for linking up to my last FA Cup post. .

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