Chris O (follow on Twitter: @COakleyFtbl)
Sat 15 September 2007

SPAOTP's Road to Wembley: FA Cup 1st Qualifying Round

Today, Some People Are On The Pitch enters relatively new territory. We don't often cover non-league football, but we're always keen to cover as many angles of the game as possible, so join us now as we embark on a journey that will educate and enthral. This is where we start our Road to Wembley 2007/08.

Following the message we received recently from Sniffer 72, we were inspired to track the progress of a team from the early stages of this season's FA Cup competition right the way through to the Final. So today the journey begins in the First Qualifying Round and we've selected a team at random who we'll follow until they get beaten. Once that happens, we'll follow the winners until they get beaten, and so on.

Anyway, the team we've chosen to begin our quest are Burnham Ramblers and today they travelled to Chelmsford City for what amounted to an Essex derby. Before we give you the result, here's some information about SPAOTP's newest favourite team.

Formed in 1900, Burnham Ramblers spent much of their history playing at intermediate level before gaining senior status in 1985. They can currently be found in the Essex Senior League where their new manager is Derek Robinson. After many of the players moved onto pastures new during the summer, Robinson had to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, metaphorically speaking, and the proof of how difficult his task has been is reflected in the Ramblers' recent results. They've won just one of their first four matches of the season, and at present they lie thirteenth out of seventeen teams.

Still, the league is one thing - the Cup, on the other hand, is another, and if there's one thing you can be sure of, it's that the form book counts for very little at times like this. The question is, could Derek Robinson motivate his team to overcome the might of Chelmsford City?

It wouldn't be easy, especially given the fact that Chelmsford play two levels above Burnham in the Ryman League Premier Division. As it turned out, that gap proved to be far too big for Burnham to overcome and the final result saw the home side win 5-0. A great shame for our first team in the Road to Wembley, but it was always going to be tough beating Chelmsford who are currently second in the Ryman Premier.

So there it is. We must now say goodbye to Burnham and adopt their victors, Chelmsford City, for the Second Qualifying Round. Who will they play and will they get through to the round after that? Stay tuned to find out…

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