A positive spin-off for Portsmouth and Chichester City's proper run - moments of magic keep FA Cup special

Depending on which radio stations you listen to and which shops you frequent, you may soon hear Andy Williams telling you it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Monday, 11th November 2019, 12:30 pm
Pompey will hope to celebrate a few Cup goals against Harrogate tonight Picture: Robin Jones

And he’s right – though it’s not wonderful for the reasons he claims.

No, it’s wonderful and magical because we have reached the early ‘proper’ rounds of the FA Cup.

I’ve always thought it a little disrespectful to those who put their heart and soul into the qualifying round to suddenly start calling stages ‘proper’ when the Football League lot join in, but that’s another avenue for another day.

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For now, let’s rejoice in the fact that in three weekends’ time Chichester City could be playing Pompey or Sunderland.

My love of the Cup hasn’t diminished from the days when I watched Ipswich, Arsenal, West Ham and Spurs win it at the end of a TV extravaganza even before I’d seen a single game at Fratton Park.

Pompey’s involvement starting in November (and sometimes ending in November) is a positive spin-off of our recent spell in the lower leagues.

But this season the Cup has taken on a new buzz for me, for a team I keep an eye on for the day job – Chi City – have incredibly come through six qualifying rounds and got a bye straight into round two.

So tonight I’ll be there when Mark Chapman & Co present the round two draw live on BBC2 from Oaklands Park.

I’m nothing if not a traditionalist and do firmly believe the draw should be contained within the Jimmy Young show on Radio 2 at 12.30pm Monday, presented by Bryon Butler and conducted by Bert Millichip and Ted Croker, from Lancaster Gate.

But this once I can forgive the Beeb for an alternative method. Magic of the Cup? You bet!