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Cup Magic And Odd Songs
Let's pretend By: Eric Hitchmo 04/12/2011
Milton Keynes H
03/12/2011   (Click date for match details)
FA Cup 2011-2012
L  1- 3
MCLEOD '87
Attendance: 2608  (912 Away)
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It was a disappointing end to our latest FA Cup campaign at Underhill as impressive League One high-flyers MK Dons sent us packing. 3-1 sounds a tad harsh on a spirited Barnet performance but I've no doubt that our visitors were worthy winners.

There is always a tad more excitement when it's The FA Cup. It's a little hard to explain, but there's always that little bit of magic in the air when the world's oldest cup competition rolls into town. A fair crowd of 2600 was in attendance with just over 900 from Milton Keynes. More on them later.

The first half was a very even affair with goalmouth action at a premium. Our newly built defence was faced by a standard of opponent that they will not have come up against just yet, but they held their own admirably. Dean Brill was called into action a couple of times to make some smart saves. Barnet were purposeful going forward too, but were really limited to half chances. The best chance was to fall to the usually reliable Izale McLeod who found himself in behind the Dons defence with perhaps more time than he knew what to do with. He took his shot early, a firm drive which slashed wide of the mark. A big chance, and we were going to struggle to get many better.

For me, it was a rare foray back to the East Terrace. The old place hasn't changed much, with a tepid atmosphere and largely dreadful banter being exchanged over the divide where the away fans were stood. The average age of the visiting individuals closest to us appeared to be about 14, so I guess it shouldn't have come as a surprise that high brow wit was not on the top of the list of priorities as far as these exchanges were concerned. Much of their vocal repertoire appeared to lay claim to most of Wimbledon's history whilst denouncing the existence of AFC. I suppose after seven years of hearing jibes about how they were formed, you would expect them to have such retorts. I shan't get into the politics of Milton Keynes Dons, as it has been done to death by nearly everyone, however the cheek of chanting about winning the FA Cup makes them even less endearing to the football world. I also struggled to detect any irony in their accusation of Underhill being too large for our club's needs when 15,000 empty seats are a regular occurrence at Donsland. The cheek of it. It's a strange and slightly eerie thought that we were one of several clubs touted to fulfil this franchise fantasy in Milton Keynes.

As the end of the first half approached I was most agrieved to find us going 1-0 down as I was returning from a comfort break. Therefore I cannot describe what happened, though the official site describes it as a "fierce drive" after a "delightful move" which rings true of the Dons' quality around the pitch. They were impressive in pre-season and were similarly so on Saturday. They tightened up in the second half and despite the introduction of Ricky Holmes after an injury lay-off, we were being kept at arms length and with some ease.

We remained solid throughout but if anyone looked most likely to score, it was the visitors. A ruled out offside goal produced the chanting highlight of the day. Barnet's reply of "Let's pretend we've won the cup" following the Dons fans chanting "Let's pretend we've scored a goal" bought a chuckle to faces on both sides of the divide. Indeed, they were to double their lead with ten minutes remaining following an incisive breakaway, but it followed an attack which really, really should have led to an equaliser. Izale McLeod broke clear against one Dons defender. He had Holmes to his right and Baseya to his left but put his head down and took it on himself. His shot was comfortably blocked with better options on, and thirty seconds later we were heading out of the cup for another season. There is no doubt that Izale is class. Absolute class. However, at times he is nothing short of infuriating, and this was another of those moments.

McLeod would get on the scoresheet against his old club however with three minutes left to play and a sudden glimmer of hope appeared. In football these things tend to be just glimmers however, and it was dashed within a minute as MK re-established their two goal lead. Disappointing though it was, it can't really be argued that it wasn't deserved. They carry on to face Premier League QPR in the third round while our focus switches to a far more realistic route to Wembley in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on Tuesday.

That will be fun.




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All Articles By This Author:

Date 
24/04/2013 Farewell
19/04/2013 Underhill
03/04/2013 Away
02/02/2013 Questions
21/12/2012 Miserable
07/11/2012 Corner
21/10/2012 Win
15/10/2012 Burst
08/10/2012 Glimmer
04/10/2012 Same
12345678910...


Other Articles By Category


Date 
24/04/2013 Farewell
19/04/2013 Underhill
03/04/2013 Away
02/02/2013 Questions
21/12/2012 Miserable
07/11/2012 Corner
21/10/2012 Win
15/10/2012 Burst
08/10/2012 Glimmer
04/10/2012 Same
12345678910...

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