F.A. Cup fever did not come to Shepperton. The magic of the cup is all about Ronnie Radford and Stanley Matthews. Havant & Waterlooville beating York City and Swansea City before taking the lead twice at Anfield. Barnsley going one better and winning at Anfield. Most of all though, it's about your club and once you're no longer in the competition your interest is never quite the same. I watched a bit of Man Utd. v Arsenal, but with Fulham out I really wasn't that bothered who won. We could have been playing a home tie against Southampton, had things worked out a little bit differently (a game I'd always enjoy as my best friend is a Saints fan) but instead we were probably dribbling round cones or having a rest day. Meanwhile Paul Trollope's Rovers were making the most of the conditions down at the Mem by dispatching Saints 1-0 in another performance that belies their league position. Well done to Paul and his team who are now the lowest placed team still in the competition.
I'm gutted it's not us in the quarter-finals. I'd love us to reach another final, it's something that seemed more plausible since we returned to top-flight football, yet has remained just as unattainable (despite a close call in 2002). Maybe next year. For now we need to look ahead to the West Ham match. I don't think having a week off will have helped, but at least the Hammers are in the same situation. It's time for us to put in a big performance, we really need those three points and need to show those teams around us that we're not going down without a fight.
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