After a weekend of FA Cup excess I returned to the office on Monday, looking forward to my next game, the class of the titans in the Swedish Allsvenskan when 1st place Malmo were due to take on 2nd placed Helsingborgs. Whilst I love my non league games, and all of the quirkiness that comes with it I do enjoy returning to a packed stadium full of atmosphere (you can see why I stopped going to West Ham now!). At 11.30am I had a routine email from Mr Boyes informing me that Lewes had been drawn at home in the FA Cup 2nd Qualifying round to Bethnal Green United or Harlow Town who had drawn 1-1 on Saturday. Now I knew that because I noticed that this was the only replay in London and the South East from the crop of games played on Saturday which was in itself unusual. For a few seconds I contemplated going to the game as it was so close to home but thought a third game in as many days, coupled with my weekly trip to Scandinavia may result in a straight red from CMF and a subsequent ban from the “bottom draw”. And of course this particular Monday saw the long long awaited return of the Inbetweeners on E4. But then my life turned upside down. A simple email from Mr Marber. “Could I just pop along to the game and take a few notes?”. Of course I could. He said an email would follow from Ibbo (The Lewes Manager) with what was required, and he kindly sent a “get out of jail free” email for CMF that read:- “Dear CMF. It is not your husband’s fault that he has to go to football. The Club Board insist that he goes. He has no choice in the matter. He didn’t want to go to a football match on such an important night but circumstances commanded it” She couldn’t refuse, and with a promise of some petrol station flowers, my pink note was duly signed. I then got my instructions from Ibbo. So much for “a few notes”. He even sent me a template to fill in. Of course not knowing who we could play I would have to complete one for each team until it became obvious who the winner would be. Some of the things he wanted were:-
- Formation – 4-4-2, 4-5-1 or 4-3-3
- Attacking corners – Danger Men? Anything special they do – e.g short corners
- Attacking free kicks – anyone with a special shot or talent?
- Defending corners – Any weaknesses? How do they handle different attacking styles? What does the keeper do?