fAABI FA Cup 2018/19

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Funded by...

An application was made to to the National Lottery Awards for All programme, and we were fortunate to receive some funding to hold this event to run for 6 months from January to July 2019. The funding covered the use of equipment, venues and refreshments for the sessions. We would like to thank the National Lottery for their support and encouragement!

Match reports...

3rd Round Report – Session 1

fAABI is excited to announce the results of the first session of Subbuteo, which took place at fAABI’s Head Office in Cavendish Square from 6pm to 8pm. Some matches were nearly too close to call, others were clear victories- but all were exciting to watch nonetheless, providing a great atmosphere for fAABI beneficiaries to unwind and enjoy competing against each other.

The games kicked off with a tense match between the Bolton Wanderer’s (Alan) and Walsall (Ben). Despite Walsall giving their best effort, the match ended in Bolton’s favour- securing a 1-0 lead. Next was Millwall (Bharat) up against Hull City (Steve). After admirable efforts from the defences of both teams, the match ended in a draw at 0-0, which meant it was up to a penalty shootout to determine their fates. Hull City emerged victorious, scoring 2-1 against their worthy opponents. Gillingham (Alan) were up next, against Cardiff City (Bharat). A strong effort from Cardiff City, but Gillingham gave it their best and finished at 1-0. The match between Brentford (Ben) and Oxford United (Steve) kept everyone fascinated, but despite a spirited Brentwood fightback, ultimately Oxford United took home the victory, finishing at 2-1.

The final two games were played as ‘doubles matches’, where Sheffield Weds (Steve & Ben) suffered a disappointing defeat against Luton Town (Bharat & Alan), who called it at 1-0. Last but not least, a match that kept everyone on their toes, with the first appearance of a premier league team in the cup- Manchester United (Steve & Bharat) against Reading (Ben & Alan). Coming too close at times, the audience must have feared a draw- but ultimately Manchester United proved their capabilities and finished with a brilliant goal, leaving the match at 1-0.

3rd Round Report – Session 2

Results of the second session of Subbuteo are in! 

This week, Everton (Alan & Bharat) and Lincoln City (Steve & Jen) kicked us off. The fans witnessed a lot of back and forth, and the two teams ended the game tied at 1-1, leaving their fates down to a penalty shootout – Jen duly stepped up to the mark and delivered the win for Lincoln, emerging with a glorious cup upset! Next up was Tranmere Rovers against Tottenham Hotspur, and much to the delight of some audience members, Tottenham unfortunately lost 1-0. All players are anonymised to protect the guilty! A northern contest was up next, with Preston North End playing against fierce competitors Doncaster Rovers, who won 2-1 In was this match that saw the best goal of the night, with a smooth passing move between Jen and Bharat, finishing with a shot being blasted beyond the reach of Steve’s goalie. Unfortunately this was a consolation goal for Preston and two seconds later the final whistle blew, leaving Doncaster to progress to round 4. The final match was another northern affair between Newcastle United and Blackburn Rovers. The pre-match interview with the Newcastle manager resulted in a quote “I would love it if we get to round 4”. Despite Newcastle’s admirable effort, Blackburn secured a 1-0 victory, resulting in a somewhat dejected Newcastle manager!

3rd Round Report – Session 3

fAABI is back with the results of the third session of weekly Subbuteo matches! 

Tensions were high and competitors were strong, but victories were clear…

Chelsea (Alan & Steve) and Nottingham Forest (Bharat & Jen) kicked us off this week. After a long match of back and forth, Nottingham Forest proved their supremacy, and stole the game at 2-1. Next up was Crystal Palace (Alan & Bharat), who suffered an unfortunate 3-2 defeat against Grimsby Town (Jen & Steve). Derby County played against Southampton next, and despite being fierce competitors, Derby County were unable to stand their ground against Southampton, who stood their ground at 1-0. Accrington Stanley and Ipswich Town played the last match of the third session, but our players weren’t to be underestimated… Accrington Stanley secured the last victory of the night, but cutting it close at 2-1.

Join us for Subbuteo next week, where our contestants will continue their efforts to emerge victorious and enter the draw for the 4th round of the FA Cup.

3rd Round Report – Session 4

Results for session 4 of Subbuteo, which took place on Monday 25th March, are out…

Bristol City were up first, against Huddersfield Town. After a tense match, Bristol City scored the winning goal.

Newport County and Leicester City were up next… Another tense match that was ultimately called by Newport.

Fulham were victorious in their match against Oldham Athletic, keeping the 1-0 gap throughout the game. Shrewsbury Town secured their triumph with an epic goal against Stoke City… who were courageous in spite of their defeat.

3rd Round Report – Session 5

fAABI is back with the results of the fifth session of weekly Subbuteo matches! Tensions were high and competitors were strong, but victories were clear…

Unfortunately there were no reporters this week, so all you get are the results!

3rd Round Report – Session 6

fAABI is back with the results of the sixth session of weekly Subbuteo matches!

Tensions were high and competitors were strong, but victories were clear…

This week, Sheffield United kicked us off against Barnet, and a quality move a shot from Jen sealed the win.

Next up was Norwich City against Portsmouth… Alan stood rooted to the spot as Jen saw Barnet through to round 4. Bharat and Ben went to penalties to decide the outcome. Bharat kept his nerve to edge the game, but not before Ben saved a penalty!

By popular demand Jonathan and Steve were asked to play an exhibition match… and came head to head as Fleetwood Town and AFC Wimbledon. Goals-a-plenty ensured with Jonathan staging a late comeback…but in vain!

A draw for West Bromich Albion against Wigan Athletic meant it was left to penalties again for Wigan to emerge victorious thanks to Alan…

Another draw this round for Middlesbrough and Petersbrough United! Just before the penalties, Jen asked what ‘sudden death’ penalties were. Ben duly informed her by winning 1-0!

Liverpool, much to their dismay, were dumped out of the cup with Jen and Alan defeating Ben and Bharat as the Wolverhampton Wanderers on penalties!

The last game was a triple-sided game, with Steve, Jen and Bharat as Aston Villa emerging gloriously victorious against their crest-fallen opponents Jonathan, Ben and Alan as Swansea City.

That completes the matches in the 3rd round of the Cup. The 4th round matches commence…

4th Round Report - Session 7

The fourth round of the cup got under way this week with 6 matches, with teams looking to progress to the last 16.

Steve and Alan representing Bolton Wanderers got taught a lesson in sudden death penalties by Hull City’s Jen and Bharat.

Jonathan’s Oxford United became a little disunited when Ben’s Gillingham scored the decisive goal.

A big upset here with Bharat and Steve (representing Man Utd), equalising late on against Ben and Jen playing for Luton Town, only to lose 2-1 on penalties. Man Utd go out…

A comprehensive victory for Alan and Lincoln City, with a bullet shot from distance finishing off Jonathan’s Tranmere Rovers.

When Jen is in this mood Ben and Jonathan were always going to be up against it. Despite Ben saving a penalty for Blackburn Rovers, Jen and Alan’s Doncaster triumphed 2-1

It’s certainly not grim in Grimsby, with Bharat going 2 goals up against Steve, representing Notts Forest.

A late consolation goal didn’t change the result and it’s Grimsby in the last 16!

4th Round Report – Session 8

The next 6 matches of the fourth round of the cup were played this week with some hard fought games and the odd cup upset.

The Saints went marching in first, with Southampton up against Accrington Stanley. After a goalless game, Alan scored the deciding penalty.

The minnows of Newport County captained by Jen had the edge against Ben’s Bristol City – Penalties did it for Jen, who is rapidly turning into the penalty queen.

A high quality game saw a spectacular goal by Ben’s Fulham cancelled out by some quality flicking by Bharat. Fulham were victorious in the sudden-death penalty shoot-out.

An epic penalty shoot-out saw Jen’s Man City trading blows with Alan’s Blackpool, and after 8 shots each Man City scraped through 5-4.

When Ben was offered West Ham as his team to play for, he politely declined(!) and chose to play instead with Brighton. Alan saw the Hammers through however, after the customary penalty shoot-out.

Steve (playing Burnley) was 1-0 up and comfortable, when in the last minute a foul gave Jen the chance to blast a free-kick passed 3 defenders into the back of the net.

That meant a penalty shoot-out, and that meant only one winner…(!) Watford duly progressed to the last 16.

4th Found Report - Session 9

FOURTH ROUND MATCHES – Remaining 4 games

Leeds Utd with their rich footballing heritage, were represented by Alan. Alan clearly felt at home close to his roots and navigated Leeds through Bharat’s Barnet to progress to the 5th round of the cup.

Jon took part in his first Subbuteo event and got off to a great start with a 1-0 win, representing Norwich City. Ben’s AFC Wimbledon still have to rely on past FA Cup glories.

The real test for any fAABI Subbuteo player a penalty shoot-out with Jen – the penalty shoot-out Queen! Jen’s Wigan prevailed 2-1 against Jon’s Peterborough. Henceforthwith ‘The Posh’ duly exited the cup whilst Wigan look set for a great run.

Here’s a clip of Jen’s controversial winning goal. The ref said “Saved – No goal!”, but VAR said “Hole in the net – Goal!”

The last two clubs from the midlands in this year’s cup played each other in this encounter. In the full size version of the game, it’s been a good season for Wolves, and this is being reflected in our miniature version of the game, with Ben and Jonathan seeing them through against Steve and Bharat’s Aston Villa.


Alan was again representing ‘The North’ when Hull played Gillingham. However he must have got those foreboding feelings when the game went to penalties and he was facing Jen… It was one of those epic shoot-outs, with each player taking 7 shots. Eventually, with the light fading and all small children soundly asleep in their beds, Jen scored the winning goal. Here’s a clip of Alan’s penalty being saved by Jen’s goalie and then the post!

The tale of this match was an ill-timed substitution. Bharat had to go at half time and Steve took his place. Therein lay the tale. After some cracking goals, Ben, Bharat and Steve’s Luton Town were 2-1 up against Jon and Jonathan. It should have been plain sailing but for Steve giving away a stonewall penalty (just to clarify folks, Steve writes all the match reports, so no-one is being vilified unfairly here!)… Anyway, long story short – Steve lets in the penalty and the games ends 2-2. Steve then misses his shot in the ensuing penalty shoot-out, and promptly fails to save against Jonathan. Come back Bharat – all is forgiven!!

So we now have our first 2 cup quarterfinalists, Gillingham v Lincoln City… Joins us at our next session on Monday 3rd June, where we will find who the other 6 quarter-finalists will be. The games to be played are:

5th Round Report - Session 10

FIFTH ROUND MATCHES – Remaining games

This week we discovered who would make the 2018/19 fAABI FA Cup quarter-finals

Alan and Bharat played out this battle of the North, where stoic defences held firm, forcing a penalty shoot-out. Bharat emerged victorious, so it’s not too grim in Grimsby as they progress their legendary cup run!

Steve, determined to see his beloved Southampton win the cup once again, scored early on as a helpless Jonathan and Ben were left watching in wonder at the seer brilliance of play and the Saint went marking in! In a throw-back to the days of McCalliog, Channon. Stokes, Osgood and McMenemy, Southampton were unstoppable. Although Steve reminisced for too long and lost his concentration in the final minute as Ben took a sharp chance to equalised for Newport.

And so it came to pass the game went indeed to penalties, and with the sun shining on the righteous, the Saints finally went marching in to the quarter-finals!

A bad year for Fulham was compounded when they were knocked out by Manchester City, who keep their hopes of an extraordinary quadruple alive! Alan and Steve combined to create a guilt-edged chance which

Alan slotted past an observant (but not diving) goalkeeper held by Jonathan. Jonathan magnanimously acknowledged the quality finish, whilst also musing on his casual goalkeeping…

We offered Crystal Palace supporter Ben the opportunity to play for West Ham, which was an interesting discussion. Suffice to say that Ben chose Watford…

Bharat took West Ham and the game was decided by an entertaining shoot-out. It was also controversial as Bharat was sure he saved a spot kick. VAR was needed as it all happened too fast…

However, the slow-motion action replay revealed Bharat did in fact save the ball, but on the way out of the goal!

A great year for Norwich City was undermined when an own goal saw them lose against Leeds United. Alan offered his commiserations to Ben (whilst celebrating enthusiastically!), as Leeds added to the strong northern contingent progressing through to the quarter finals.

What a game to finish with! Bharat was unstoppable, latching onto lovely passes by Steve. Twice he found the bottom left corner of the goal as Jonathan’s keeper watched on, mesmerised…

With some amazing goalkeeping by Bharat against the ensuing onslaught by Jonathan the game should have been up, but with two minutes to go Jonathan scored what should have been a consolation goal…

And then, with the final kick of the game a Wolves forward hit a lucky shot, ricocheting against at least 2 defenders for the ball to sneak in past a confused Wigan keeper.

Wigan (Bharat and Steve) were clearly unsettled and promptly bottled the penalty shoot-out. Wolves emerged victorious as the only team from the Midlands to remain in the cup.

So we now have our quarterfinalists…

Joins us at our next session on Monday 10th June, where we these ties will be decided!

Manchester City v West Ham United

Leeds United v Wolverhampton wanderers 

Gillingham v Lincoln City

Grimsby Town v Southampton

Quarter Finals - Session 11

Eight teams battled it out in the 2018/19 fAABI FA Cup quarter-finals this week. Four were victorious and four will have to wait for another chance to play in the semi-finals.

An opening doubles match-up saw Jen and Ben looking after the Saints with Bharat and Alan (mainly Alan!) getting close to their Northern roots, playing for Grimsby. It was a midfield sort of affair, with precious few clear cut chances, and the inevitable penalty shoot-out ensued. Jen and Ben emerged victorious and the Saint went marching in to the semi-finals.

Bharat, playing Lincoln city had two penalties after some over-enthusiastic defending by Ben’s Gillingham. Ben’s keeper came to the rescue on both occasions however as Gillingham maintained a miraculous clear sheet! Lincoln also needed to defend stoutly at corner kicks with some close shaves in their own goalmouth, and did so successfully. The penalty shoot-out didn’t bode well for Lincoln though, with the two previously saved attempts. Once more Ben’s goalie did some 00-scale heroics and for the first time in history, Gillingham reach an FA cup semi-final.

Jen enthusiastically offered to play for West Ham, and faced Alan’s Manchester City. One thing Alan needed to avoid was another penalty shootout with the shoot-out queen. He didn’t manage to avoid this however and so it came down to shots! It was controversial as ever with one of Alan’s shots needing to be referred to the Video Assistant Referee. The issue was did Alan shoot before the referee said “shoot!”? The Video Assistant Referee rules in Alan’s favour and the goal stood. The judgement was that he shot after the “Shh…”, but arguably before the ‘oot’…! However you can be your own judge by watching the clip yourself

This was all in vain however as Jen eventually emerged the winner 3-2. Manchester City exit the cup, and West Ham are still on track for re-living former glories!

Jonathan and Jen teamed up for Leeds, playing Alan and Ben representing Wolves. This proved to be a dream team set up for Leeds with some great passing and build up play. Eventually Jen split the defence with a what can only be described as a defence-splitting ball, and Jonathan berried the ball in the back of the Wolves net. This proved to be the winner and Leeds find themselves back in the big time!

So we now have our semi-finalists…

Joins us at our next session on Monday 24th June, where we both semi-finals and the final will be played.

Gillingham v Southampton

West Ham United v Leeds United

Semi-finals and Final - Session 12

The semi-finals of the 2018/19 fAABI FA Cup saw some great action and a couple of stunning goals. The final was end-to-end with a late twist and penalty drama!

Semi-final 1

Gillingham 0 v 1 Southampton

The Mighty Gills of Kent took on the Saints of Hampshire. Steve and Alan (playing Southampton) were aptly pious and devout in the application to the task in hand, and a splendid through ball was converted ‘on-the fly’, leaving the hapless Gillingham goalie no chance. Jonathan and Ben tried in vain to recover, but to no avail, and it was A Wembley destiny for Southampton.

Semi-final 2

West Ham United 1 v 0 Leeds United

Ben, being a Crystal Palace fan requested he play for Leeds rather than West Ham, and joined Alan (our resident Northerner) seeking to relive the glory days of Lorimer, Bremner and Hunter. It transpired that the rumours ‘Norman Hunter bites yer legs’ were mostly unfounded in this match, and West Ham took their opportunity to progress to the final. Some opportune inter-passing between Jonathan and Steve culminated in a fine goal and despite some close attempts at the other end, the Hammers will be blowing their Bubbles down Wembley way!


Southampton 1 v 1 West Ham United (Southampton win 3-2 on penalties)

This time Ben played avoided playing for West ham by teaming up with Steve to represent Southampton. A fine goal saw the Saints off to a great start and by the time Jonathan and Alan had recovered it was nearly half-time. A really promising West Ham attack was developing, but Ben intercepted the ball in the penalty area and shepherded the ball out of play with some deftly placed flicks. The second half became become ever more open with four end-to-end moves happening within the space of 90 seconds. Eventually something had to give and it was Alan’s pinpoint ball to Jonathan’s striker that saw West Ham pull level. The final whistle blew, signifying the 2018/19 fAABI FA Cup would be decided on penalties.

It was tense, with all players scoring their first shots, however it was Ben who broke the deadlock with a fine save, and then an unstoppable penalty kick to win the cup for Southampton! The Saints marched in and burst the West ham bubbles! The Southampton players celebrated early into the evening (but not late as we had to go home!)…

A special thanks to all who took part is the matches over the weeks, especially Jonathan, who volunteered whenever he could make it to referee, coach and play the ‘odd’ match when needed.

The final table of all the games played went down to the wire, with Jen pipping Alan on goal difference. Her prize is to look after the FA Cup trophy until the next time…

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