Friday 4th November
Do you dare to dream - AGAIN !
On this day in FA Cup history …. the 4th of November has provided just two games in Chesham Utd's participation in the FA Cup over 130 years, both against sides who are current members of the Southern Premier League. On 4/11/1893 Chesham drew 1-1 at home v Weymouth in Second Round Qualifying and on 4/11/1922 Chesham Utd beat Slough Town 5-1 in 3RQ
There are also two FA Cup matches in Chesham's record books for November 5th, both with the same score line. On 5/11/1924 Southall won 5-1 in a Third Qualifying Round replay, whilst on 5/11/1928 Chesham triumphed 5-1 v Finchley, again in a 3RQ replay. For those seeking hope in omens, the only occasion in the last fifteen seasons on which The Posh have gone out in the First Round was following a 0-0 draw v non-league opposition on Saturday 5th Nov 2005. Peterborough's opponents that day were Burton Albion, now of course of the Championship but back then in the National Conference. Burton then won the replay at their new Pirelli Stadium 1-0 and famously went on to hold Manchester Utd there 0-0 in the Third Round before succumbing in a replay at Old Trafford
Well, back to 2016 and here we go – again! Having previously not faced Football League opposition in the FA Cup since the run of 1979 / 80, Chesham have now repeated the feat in two successive seasons - a truly momentous achievement. Last season’s famous matches at Bristol Rovers (pictured above, image courtesy of Trevor Hyde) and Bradford City are now followed in 2016 by one of the best First Round draws available, a great fixture away to Peterborough Utd who are flying high in Football League One. Follow this link for media reports, and essential travel and match day information
With the game almost upon us the time for words is over. The anticipation as you near the ground, the buzz as you enter, the tension as kick-off draws near, are all almost upon us. Most supporters are simply willing it to be kick-off time - and soon enough, it will be. However, if we take just a moment to reflect during the final hours of preparation, one of our thoughts should be this: it's a rare achievement indeed for a club at our level to reach this stage. To do it two seasons running is huge. These opportunities don't come around often - the great majority of non-league supporters will go a lifetime without experiencing this - so take it with both hands, do whatever it takes to be there and enjoy the day, but most of all be loud and proud for the team for the whole ninety minutes whatever the day brings. And dare we say again, dare to dream?
Be there, be a part of this, make some noise and enjoy the occasion of another great day in the club and the town's history!
Chesham Utd Manager Andy Leese commented:
"Hard to believe it's November and we are still in the FA Cup. Again!
"We have worked hard this week to prepare for the game, and the players are in great spirits as they look to embrace the occasion. It has been a week where we have been able to recover from the heavy schedule of late. We should have everyone available for selection, apart from Brett Longden who is still recovering from his ankle ligament injury.
"We cannot underestimate the size of the task tomorrow. We play a top 10 team from EFL League 1. They have some talented players and real quality across the team that we just don't see across our season. They are full time players for a reason, and they want to progress like we do. I doubt they will take any risks with selection which will test the preparation work we have done. We need to ensure we settle in to the game and play the game, not the occasion. I think we will handle that aspect with the experience we have in the team and the games we played last year against full time opposition.
"It promises to be a great day for everyone involved with the club. The atmosphere around the club has been really good this week, and I can tell you the players and management team are looking forward to the day. In particular the level of support that we know we will get from the terraces. If it's half as good as we had at Bristol and Bradford we will be delighted.
"Please support the lads as much as you can, it makes a real difference. History tells us these days don't come around that often. Let's embrace it as a club and see where it takes us. COYG!