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Cherries: Draw could have been worse
Published : 26 Oct 2009 07:00:00
TIMES were when we would all crowd around the wireless on a Monday lunchtime in eager anticipation of the FA Cup draw. Bovril and bread and dripping were the order of the day as supporters up and down the country listened intently to Ted Croker et al amidst the crackle of Radio Two. Those were the good old days, the days when people could almost afford to travel to all four corners of England (and parts of Wales) to watch the greatest cup competition in the world. Nowadays, particularly when it comes to the first and second rounds and if fans have any idea where and when the draw is to be made they probably listen more in trepidation. The end of regionalisation has resulted in the early rounds becoming a game of Russian roulette for the hard-pressed football fan. When yesterdays first round draw was made on ITV, supporters of most clubs were doubtless praying for a home draw, while most non-leagues clubs would have willingly taken a plum trip to Leeds. And having had their fair share of duds in recent seasons, Cherries fans were certainly hoping to avoid the likes of Barrow, Blyth Spartans and Bristol Rovers. The Dean Court faithful were put into their misery fairly early on when they were handed the damp squib of a 500-mile round trip to Chesterfield on November 7. So, instead of three successive Saturday home games, Eddie Howes men now have three consecutive road trips, with sojourns to Bradford and Macclesfield following the jaunt to Derbyshire. It could have been worse. A lot. Take Bath City and Eastleigh, for example. Having swum the Channel to reach the first round, they were handed away ties at Grimsby and Barrow or Chester, respectively. Carlisle versus Morecambe, they were welcome to one another. They always said romance was dead.