Where's The Tea Hut reflects upon local football South West style with a few trips further afield. Keep the faith & stay safe.

Monday, 25 October 2010

FC United

Sunday 24th October
FA Cup 4th Round Qualifying
FC United of Manchester 1 Barrow 0
*Played at Gigg Lane, Bury AFC
Attendance: 3,263
Admission: £8 Main Stand (no moving around)
Programme: £2
Tea hut purchase: £2.80p for a horrible meat & potato pie
Parking: Side street off Manchester Road, 10 minutes walkI've already mentioned my bad cold on here so I won't go on about it only to say I'd suffered all week and had to cancel yesterdays planned match 'Trafford v Clitheroe'. However, Sunday brought a nice sunny sky and fresh optimism, it also brought one of the best ties of the FA Cup 4th Round Qualifying stage, this is the last round before the Football League sides enter the fray. I wrapped up well, pulled off about a yard of kitchen roll and took my chances in the great outdoors.The Match Shed was pointed in the direction of Bury, Greater Manchester, home of the celebrated Black Pudding and Gigg Lane, football residence for 'The Shakers', Bury AFC. It is also the current home for FC United of Manchester, they rent the place for most of their home games. Perhaps FC United might have been doing a bit of 'shaking' themselves, the opposition today were the FA Trophy holders from the Conference Premier Division, Barrow. Hardened cup fighters whose players and fans have a reputation for playing it hard and fast. A side not to be taken lightly despite some recent poor league form. An added bonus regarding this Sunday afternoon fixture was finding out who the winners would be playing even before they kicked off, as the Match Shed approached the East Lancashire conurbation I got the draw for the FA Cup 1st Round Proper on the radio. Apart from Southport v Sheffield Wednesday, it all seemed rather dull, then up popped the opposition for the winners of FC United v Barrow, it was Rochdale away at the splendid Spotland Stadium.This was a real incentive for todays teams, FC United would have a great local derby and a guaranteed share of a big gate, possibly even TV revenue, whilst Barrow joint manager Dave Bayliss was a Rochdale player and a great 'Dale' fans favourite for many years, he would relish a return to his old stamping ground with his Barrow side. It was all to play for. I got the impression there was going to be a decent crowd for todays game when I passed by the pubs spilling dozens of punters onto the pavement, as I walked up the street to the ground a couple of Manchester taxi's zoomed past with the windows down, they were both full of boozed up chanting Barrow supporters, letting all the passing folk in red, white and black this was not going to be the usual type of encounter for a FC United home game. I counted around half a dozen coach fulls of cup crazy visitors parked near the ground. The approach lane to the turnstiles offers something you dont often see at non league encounters, stalls of traders selling FC United t-shirts, flags, hats, programmes and banners, you could even get a commemorative special t-shirt especially identifying todays 'historic-titled' game.There were plenty of interested customers as well, they mingled amongst the traders whilst camera crews filmed them and interviewed people. Its all done as part of the FC United community project. The club are eagerly saving up as much cash as possible to fund the purchase of their own ground which is planned for Newton Heath, the suburb of Manchester where the original Man United started up. Good luck to them too. There is a real all-in-it-together feel to the FC United profile, something which should be respected, although they do seem to get quite a few knockers from rival supporters. There was a definite buzz to the match build up, this was obviously a really major game for the home side, the chance to play in the 1st Round Proper was having a big effect on the atmosphere.Once inside the stadium I realised I had made a major boo-boo in not remembering this was a football league ground, I was hungry and needed something to eat but what I was faced with was a crappy old Tea Hut sanctioned by Bury Football Club at ridiculous prices. Burgers were well over 3 quid a go, my cheapest option was a Meat and Potato pie at an outrageous £2.80p. It was slid over the counter in its plastic wrapper, it had the name 'Wrights Pies' on it, it was molten hot and looked like cardboard. The wrapper identified its origins as some industrial estate in Crewe, oh dear.Needless to say, 40 minutes later, when it cooled down to non surgical injury status, I found out what I already knew, it was utter crap. Dry paste like potato mush inside stodgy dull pastry, no meat to be found at all, it was horrendous! Frugal Glenn kindly pointed out that he'd bought the very same Wrights Pies down at the market, although they weren't any good he'd been sucked in by a 'four for a pound' offer, thats a nice Tea Hut profit isn't it! I thought about a cup of tea but at £1.80 a tea bag, they could shove it! I'd forgotten how rubbish so called professional sports stadiums can be, having to sit in the same seat in a tired old stand all the game when normally I can move around where I like is a real negative, I know that with big crowds it has to be this way but it doesn't make for a pleasant experience, I wouldn't want to come here again any time soon. Hopefully they can get that Newton Heath project sorted out, I just feel that Gigg Lane is a pretty dull venue.The fact that the non stop singing, chanting and all round FC United support never once relented from start to finish made sure this match had a great feel to it despite the poor surroundings, I have to say the Barrow fans played their part as well, the massive blue and white flags waved behind the away end complimented the massive selection of red, white and black banners placed by the FC United fans all over the empty stand which was opposite the Main Stand. Some fantastic pieces of work which certainly gave an almost European feel to the proceedings. I think they were even letting flares off in the second half? The stakes were sky high and tension was at fever pitch, could FC United make it through to that dream game at Rochdale? Would the strong Barrow side be too classy and powerful to hold back? It was all set up for a ding-dong classic. In reality we got a pretty dull first 45 minutes. I'd say Barrow edged it in that first period, they started very defensive, very careful, very watchful, gradually they pushed forward and had at least 2 clear cut chances to take a lead, they missed them, the one involving Barrow's Nick Chadwick following a badly misplaced back pass from Jimmy Holden was an absolute sitter. FC United held their own but lacked that final touch, however, they did create some openings and Jerome Wright had a good effort which was only inches wide.To be honest I expected Barrow to kick on in the second half and stretch the home side via some experience and creativity, it never happened. It was FC United who started to build up a momentum, more and more tackles were won, more and more ground was taken, more and more width was applied, Barrow were under pressure and starting to look very uncomfortable. The noise and racket from the home fans grew and grew and they all went mad when Carlos Roca stabbed home a 78th minute game-breaking opening goal. Barrow looked dejected and the blank empty stares of the players didn't bring much optimism for a fightback, they were already out of this cup tie irrespective of the 12 minutes left on the clock. The scenes of unabandoned joy at the final whistle witnessed a piece of FC United history, what a great victory for them, I bet there will be thousands of them at Spotland for that big game against Rochdale, what a wonderful match to look forward to. As for Barrow, all they had to look forward to was that long trawl back up the M6 as the sun went down, perhaps the sun was already going down on their season, the poor form in the league and this crushing defeat to lower opposition (in league placings) was worrying enough but it was the manner in which they lost this game which was alarming, a shame for the tremendous numbers who made the trip, they need to sort it out fast.


Mike said...

Thanks for your kind comments about FC United. We're aware that where we've come from as fans raises some people's hackles, but we're here and we're enjoying the non-league football experience. I believe we make more friends than enemies as people encounter us, and I'm hopeful that we can present friendly, affordable and accessible football in our new home.

The Bury tea concession was flogged off a few years back when they were desperate for money, so it's not directly their fault. I haven't used those facilities since being fleeced at the first game we played there.

Anonymous said...

Two points to pull you up on.
1 we don't do our own catering, so your comments regarding the catering have nothing to do with the Shakers and we'd kindly like to remind you not to sour our name with such poor standards.

2. We are Bury F.C. there's no amateur or Athletic, it's just plain old F.C. thanks.

Now that's out of the way, what's with slating Gigg, but praising Grotland?

Shaun said...

This post has been added at the foot of my report from Bury v Southend the previous day.

Cheers Uwdi, SS

Anonymous said...

shut up you bore lol know-one acctually cares! it is his oppinion and he is using whit in his writing- making it a lot more interesting to read and i found it very enjoyable- just like your club is amateur so is he in writing things, i suppose he must do it for fun so calm yourself down!! lol. if you don't want people to think the food is crap- get it sorted, simple lol these people are guests, what happened to trying to make it a more enjoyable experience when they go instead of having a bitch fit?

If you read the first comment you will find that he agrees so sort it out and no-one will complain, simples :)

Anonymous said...

Know-one cares you bore lol! It's his oppinion. He writes with whit and everyone else enjoyes it, including me!

Just as your club is amateur this is an ameteur site so take a break and calm yourself down!

Instead of having a go at people for expressing their oppinion on your crappy excuse of a caffee or whatever, why not sort out the situation and make it more welcoming for people to go to? Also if you look above your comment you will find that person agrees aswell.

I would'nt mind going to a few games as i find all this interesting and i have never been to this particular ground but im affraid i will NEVER attend as it seems so hostile. you set a bad example for outsiders. I'd also like to point out the fact that i am neutral when it comes to football or non league teams but enjoy it, And i have formed formed an oppinion.

very well written- everyone else enjoyed it! :)

Anonymous said...

Two points i'd like to make

1. No-one cares

2. No-one cares

It's interesting, a good read, full of whit and personal oppinion- whats wrong with that? Just calm yourself down!

You sour your own name by selling food you would'nt sell to Frugel Glenn, and the bloke who wrote above your comment agrees so you can't realy argue with majority can ya? lol just get it sorted and i'm sure you will be up there with the likes of Manchester United one day lol unlikely but by making it a nice place i.e not selling dog slop would be a start lol

Thankyou- Good read- enjoyed it :)

Uwdi Krugg said...

Thanks for your comments and gestures everybody. I take note of the points made about the Tea Hut being run by an outside business. However, it is still in the Bury ground and the club still have a degree of responsibility for what goes on, morally, economically and legally. Its Bury (and FC Utd) supporters being deprived of a decent quality facility, I would support your cause to get something more reasonable sorted out for the future.

*Thanks for the match-link on your excellent site Shaun.

Me again! said...

Guys, we can't do ANYTHING about it. We have a contract with Lindley catering and have to honour it. We've been trying to get rid of the clowns for a few seasons. Telling US to sort it won't get anyone anywhere, please feel free to complain like hell to lindley catering though.

Once again WE ARE NOT AMATEUR. Bury FC is a professional club currently sitting in 3rd spot in League 2. If you're in the area come on down on a matchday, its a great family friendly club. Bring your own grub though ;)

I agree the article is well written and funny, but it grates on me when I see us being called amateur, especially after we have battled harder than most to stay both in the league and in existence. I suppose its the same feeling the writer gets when he has to sit down at a game!

EL said...

The main thing here fellas is, its the authors web site, its the authors opinion but more, me, him or her dont have to read it.
If you dont like what someone thinks you cant just expect them to say "oh yes you are right, I will change my opinion".

Free speech, we all think differently, all have OUR opinion.

I have been to Gigg Pane,(yes spelt right) and it certainly is, Dick Turpin and his band of merry men running that place. I have nothing against FCUM or Bury, but to sell a Pie for that price and a cup of tea for the equivalant of what Tetley's pay for a field full of tea leaves, is not right. Annonymous you can not argue against fact, the fact is Uwdi is absolutely right, you are having a go because........well who know why.

Fantastic Blog, fantastic views, fantastic written discriptions and you get my vote all day long. Trouble is I get on here and spend hours on this blog at work, your no good for South Yorkshire productivity.

Keep it up Uwdi.

Uwdi Krugg said...

Thanks for that EL

Hodders said...

Needless to say that compliments are in store for you concerning the 'freshments heads up Uwdi. I'm probably heading to FCUM's next game at Gigg Lane on Saturday so will likely head for a black pudding barm at the market, or go for the FCUM run burger van, thus ensuring the money goes to the club.

DieGlazerDie said...

I have been going to FC since 2005 - I got fleeced once for a pie & a tea & never went back - the way to sort it Shakers is not to patronise the tea hut until Lindley buck their ideas up. Sitting there saying there is nothing you can do is cobblers - if there was nothing you could do about the parlous state of football in this country I'd still be at OT.
(Abbey Hey charge £1 for a pie & 50p/mug of real tea - same pie, same tea - boycott the tea hut till Lindley drop the prices & get some proper scran in.)
Grotland offered FC their place for £2,000/game - why do you charge us £5,500/game?

Southport Bill said...

Got to agree with it being rather a dull stand because it is in the shade most of the afternoon, its the FC United fans that brighten the place up though.