Bowman on the Road: Crawley Town, Whitehawk and I all face tough FA Cup replays
Owing to dreamy FA cup timings on Saturday Sussex football fans had the opportunity of watching two matches with out long haul travel and greatÂ expense.
Never ones to miss an opportunity John Bryan and I filled our boots.
First up was a trip to the Checkatrade (Broadfield) Stadium for the midday kick off of Crawley Town v Bristol Rovers.
After a quick beer in Reds Bar we paid £10 for a place on the home covered terrace and took our places. I visited the snack bar and was tempted by the 'Drummy' Kebab at £3. Well, the new owner is from Turkey so why not. And it was pretty good to be honest!
Dermot eluded to it being a tough afternoon in his programme notes but was looking to launch a sustained FA Cup campaign much like when the club went to Old Trafford in 2011.
The atmosphere around the ground was electric buoyed on by a load of Pirate's fans in the covered away terrace. After a breezy start by the home team Rover's won a contested free kick around 20 yards out. Brown coolly smashed it home into the bottom corner, keeper no chance.
The game then opened up into a free flowing and entertaining affair and Clifford brought the hosts level late in the first half.
League one Rovers then took over during a pulsating secnd period but couldn't break down a stubborn defence and goal keeper. It all ended square with both teams now needing to do it all again in Bristol on November 15 7.45pm kick off.
We then got back in the old 206 and headed south to the Sussex coast to watch Whitehawk FC v Stourbridge FC of the Evo Stick North.
Parking can be a problem but owing to having a small vehicle I managed to squeeze in right near the turnstiles.
The Enclosed Ground really rocks on big match days. There might of only been 800 people but judging by the atmosphere generated it could of been 8000.
When the Ultra's are in the mood to party there isn't a non league ground in the with a better vibe. Perhaps the old girl is looking a bit tired and a little bit scary in places but when the home covered stand literally sways to the Ultra's there isn't a more exciting place to be.
Then Glen Southam had all home fans in delirium with perhaps the FA Cup goal of the day.
From 25 yards he latched onto the pass and then unleashed a power drive top corner and in off the underside of the bar. It was Roy of the Rovers stuff. But Stourbridge weren't there just to make up the numbers and gradually got into the game. It made for a very exciting afternoon as the two teams played in a different way.
Stourbridge calm with the ball and happy to knock it around waiting for chances. Whitehawk powering forward quickly happy to use the obvious pace and strength of Hawks legend Danny Mills. The visitors were rewarded with an equaliser mid way through the second half and that's how it stayed. One one. A really fascinating, exciting game of football with every player giving 100% effort to the cause. Great value for the £12 entrance fee.
Like The Hawks and CTFC both now facing tough FA Cup away days November 14 and 15 yours truly has some tough arrangement's to make.
I desperately want to bring you both games but have to ask my boss Jenny for two consecutive half days out of the office, take a look at the Bowman budget, get the old 206 revved up and have that discussion with Mrs Bowman. Hopefully it will be green lights for go, Birmingham and Bristol here we come.
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