Spyin Kop - Liverpool vs Havant and Waterlooville - FA Cup 4th Round - 26/1/08

Posted by Welshred on January 24, 2008, 08:59:56 PM

The FA Cup. The most famous cup competition in the world, a cup which attracts millions and possibly billions of viewers around the world for each round. It’s the cup that enables non-league clubs the chance to play some of league’s football’s bigger clubs. Since the turn of the millennium many people, including pundits, have argued that the cup has lost some of it’s romance – especially with Manchester United deciding to play in a competition in Brazil in 2000 instead of the FA Cup and many Premier League sides putting out weakened sides against lower league opposition.

Liverpool’s opponents in the FA Cup 4th round will argue against that. Their route to Anfield started in the second qualifying round, where they played Bognor Regis Town – winning 2-1. Next to fall were Fleet Town, falling once again 2-1. Then it was on the first round proper, where York City were conquered by a goal to nil. In the second and third rounds Notts Count (1-0) and Swansea (1-1 and 4-2 in the replay) were vanquished. Taking a look on the team’s fixture list on the clubs official website, it reads “26 Jan (Sat) FAC Liverpool (4R) 15:00 Still can’t believe it.” Havant and Waterlooville play in the Blue Square south Division, the league below the conference and are the lowest ranked team left in the FA Cup proper, and this weekend they’ll all be plying their trade at the home of 5 times European Champions and 18 times League Champions Liverpool in front of a sold out Anfield. Like it says on their fixtures, can anybody believe it?

Currently they are sandwiched between Braintree Town and Thurrock, lying 12th in the Blue Square south Division, and I’ll admit that I know diddly squat about them, apart from what I’ve seen on the highlights from their previous exploits in the cup.

Liverpool FC v Havant and Waterlooville
Capacity: 45,276
Referee: Phil Dowd
3.00 kickoff

To learn a little bit about them, surf over to http://www.havantandwaterlooville.net/club/history.shtm where you’ll find the club's history page. For a little scan through though, this is Havant and Waterlooville's honours:

First Team Honours (1998-present)
Conference South Playoff Semi-Finalists 2006/07
Winners of the Russell Cotes Cup 2003/04
Winners of the Southern Combined Counties Floodlit Cup 1999/00
Winners of the Southern League, Southern Division 1998/99
Runners up Hampshire Senior Cup 2001/02
Runners up Hampshire Senior Cup 2000/01

FA Cup 1st Rnd vs Southport 2000/01
FA Cup 1st Rnd vs Dagenham & Redbridge 2002/03
FA Cup 1st Rnd vs Millwall 2006/07
FA Cup 4th Rnd vs Liverpool 2007/08
FA Trophy Semi Final vs Tamworth 2002/03

Reserve Team Honours (2000-2005)
Winners of the Suburban League Shield 2004/05
Runners up Suburban League Southern Division 2004/05
Runners up Capital Reserve League 2000/01

Youth Team Honours (2002-2005)
Winners of the Hampshire Youth League Division One 2002/03, 2003/04, 2004/05
Winners of the Hampshire Youth League Cup 2002/03, 2003/04
Winners of the Hampshire Youth Cup 2002/03
Winners of the Hampshire Youth Floodlit Cup 2002/03

So to the questions, where I ventured onto the Hawk’s website, www.havantandwaterlooville.net, and emailed their program editor Simon Lynch, and also got a response from board member ketchup. Also for you Spyin Kopites there’s an extra special section at the end. I’ll keep you guessing ;)

1 - I've lined out a little history on the Hawk's from the clubs website, however not many people will know much about Havant and Waterlooville, maybe you could tell us a little bit in your own words?

Simon - Well, this is now our tenth season as a merged club, and what a way to celebrate! I started watching the Hawks in their second season, when we were in the Southern League Premier Division, since then it's been a bit of a roller-coaster in terms of managerial changes (I think we've had five different managerial teams), league placings (anything from mid table obscurity to third place in the Southern League, and a scraping into the Conference South), and cup performances. Prior to this season we'd only got as far as the first round of the FA Cup, and our best cup showing would have been our semi-final appearance in the FA Trophy. In fact the only trophy we have won is the Southern Combined Counties Floodlit Cup!!

Ketchup - Havant is famous for having made the parchment that the magna carta was printed on , and Waterlooville got its name from where Wellington's triumphant army rested on their way back from defeating Napoleon apparently

2 - You currently lie in mid table of the Blue Square South division (The league below the conference for us Reds who don't know), what were your league ambitions at the start of the season?

Simon - We we're everybody's favourites to win the league at the start of the season, but our away form as put us way off the pace. At home we're a match for anyone - just ask Swansea!

Ketchup - Our league ambitions for this season were to win the league!!! After losing out in the play offs last season, with, on paper, a far stronger squad, hopes were high, but for whatever reasons the side didn't really gel in the early season, resulting in the manager Ian Baird claiming that he couldn't take the club any further and knobbing off to our local rivals Eastleigh for an alleged huge pay packet. Then the F A cup started and we haven't really had a chance to look at the league properly since then!!!!

3 - Alternatively, what were your FA Cup ambitions? Did you ever envisage progressing this far to face Liverpool?

Simon - We play this little game at the start of every FA Cup run, when we imagine who we'd get in each round of the competition. Usually someone like Sweary Les will come up with some pie in the sky thing like, 'We'll play York in the First Round, Notts County in the Second Round, Swansea in the Third Round and then Liverpool in the Fourth Round. No-one ever takes any notice of him....hang on, maybe we should listen to him more often!!!

Ketchup - Our FA cup ambitions were pretty much as they are every year, get to the first round proper and draw the biggest league one side away!!!! So obviously when came out away to York City only a few of us who fancied a weekend away on the pop were genuinly excited !!!!

4 - I'm sure the club has earned a fair amount of money from this cup run, what will it mean to the club? Will it change the ambitions for future season? Possibly a push towards gaining promotion to the conference?

Simon - This means everything to the club. The money is earmarked for covering our only open side of the ground, investing in a community scheme and hopefully gaining promotion. However, this fixture isn't all about money - it's about prestige. We're playing arguably the greatest club team in the world - we could have drawn clubs with higher attendances, but I don't think we'd have got the same respect as we already have from the Liverpool fans.

5 - What is the capacity of Westleigh Park? What do you think the players will be feeling playing in front of 40,000 plus at Anfield?

Simon - Our capacity is about 10% of Anfield, and you could probably fit it inside the Kop end twice over! However it's our home and I love the place. For our players it'll be a dream come true for many of them, especially Rocky Baptiste, a lifelong Liverpool fan.

Ketchup - The capacity of West Leigh Park is 4800.

6 - A simple question really, but are you looking forward to visiting Anfield? What are you looking forward to the most?

Simon - And a very simpe answer - yes! It's been 19 years since my last visit to Anfield - I've got an unbeaten record there, after a 0-0 draw when I was supporting Coventry City in the 1988-89 season. There are many things to look forward to - the Shankly Gates, seeing a full Kop End, listening to You'll Never Walk Alone. For a fan of a non-league team it doesn't get much better than this.

Ketchup - What are we looking forward to at Anfield, basically the final whistle with our dignity still intact!!! Also YNWA, seeing how our make shift defence deals with Torres, Crouch, Kuyt, Carraghar!!!! And showing you all that some fans know how to behave properly

7 - Who are your most important players? Tell us a bit about them.

Simon - It's probably the spine of the team. Keeper Kevin Scriven is, if I'm honest, too good for us and our level of football, Neil Sharp is one of the most consistent centre backs in the non-league and prior to his knee injury was playing some superb football, our new captain Jamie Collins is an inspiration to everyone, and the evergreen Rocky Baptiste up front has formed a good partnership with Richard Pacquette over the last 3 seasons. Also a special mention to little Alfie Potter on the left wing, on loan from Peterborough - watch out for him, he'll be a star one day.

Ketchup - Our important players? obviously Rocky Baptiste and Richard Pacquette up front, hopefully Neil Sharpe in the middle of our defence will be fit and, for me, our most influential player is skipper and midfield general Jamie Collins, imho, we’re a far better team when he's in the side. Also watch out for Kevin Scriven, known to the Hawks faithful as Scrivs the wonder goalie!!!

8 - Have you got any young, up and coming players who may make that push to league football within the youth ranks?

Simon - Unfortunately we don't have a youth team as such, but we have an Academy set up by Stu Page and Ollie Jones, which is in it's first season and shows tremendous promise. Of the youngsters in and around the first team, we don't have many teenagers, but there's a young lad called Michael McEnery who got injured at the start of the season, and before that was tormenting defenders in pre-season. He could go far.

Ketchup - up and coming players, little Alfie Potter on the wing on loan from Peterborough but again in my opinion will play on numerous occasions at Anfield in the league.

9 - What line-up do you think you'll put out against us?

Simon - We're very much a 4-4-2 side with no frills. If you were to push me for a starting eleven it would look something like this:
Kevin Scriven, Jay Smith, Justin Gregory, Charlie Oatway, Phil Warner, Neil Sharp, Mo Harkin, Jamie Collins, Richard Pacquette, Rocky Baptiste, Alfie Potter.
Subs: Tony Taggart, Tom Taylor, Shaun Wilkinson, Jamie Slabber, Tom Jordan

Ketchup - poss line up

subs .Sharpe/Jordan, Taggart, Oatway, Slabber, Taylor(g/k)

10 - Are there any chants/songs that us Reds should listen out for?

Simon - The obvious one is our anthem, Under The Moon Of Love, the Showaddywaddy song. We picked that up from when we played some team in our first merged season, and the linesman had a Showaddywaddy-esque quiff. The song went up in honour of him and so it stuck!
Other than that we do have a wide repertoire of songs, which isn't bad for a team with such a long name!

Ketchup - obviously "under the moon of love", if we get to 15 mins at 0-0 you might a burst of 0-0 to the Havantville, most other chants based around the usual suspect using Havantville.

11 - And finally, care to predict a score?

Simon - Blimey! I don't know. As long as it's not a cricket score I'll be happy. Mind you, we all said that at Swansea, so dare we think the impossible...? As Rocky said in the last round 'They won't like it at our place' - maybe, just maybe, you'll find out!!

Ketchup - predict a score, um, i dunno 6-1? And Torres will get your consolation!!!!!!

Thank you very much to Simon and Ketchup for their set of answers, I hope you enjoy your day at Anfield very much, and that the Hawks put up a good fight in front of the Kop in what will surely be a day to remember. Is the romance of the cup dead? I don’t think so, not whilst it’s still capable of throwing out draws like this!

Now, for your surprise. Usually for Spyin Kop we only have access to the fans, however with Havant and Waterlooville being some way away from the Premier League and RAWK member “A Day 2 Remember” knowing him, I’ve managed to get a couple of questions across to the Hawks goalkeeper Kevin Scrivens. So, here they are as well!

1 - At the start of qualifying for the FA Cup what were the clubs ambitions? Did you even anticipate reaching as far as you have?

Scrivens - The main ambition for the club was to reach the first round proper and play against league opposition. Obviously when we got drawn away to Notts County people expected us not to win that game. After we caused an upset to win the game the feeling amongst us all was amazing. The when we saw the Swansea draw in the 3rd round, no one would have expected us to get a result there, and when we took them back to our place and won, it was the biggest achievement for our club

2 - When you were 3-1 up against Swansea, with their player waiting to take the penalty, what were your thoughts and emotions?

Scrivens - I was thinking on where he was going to place the penalty and thinking that if I got to it we would have that two goal advantage going into half time

3 - Was the possibility of such a big game to come in the 4th round enough to spur you on during the Swansea game? How did you feel when you saw that Liverpool were drawn out of the hat as possible next round opponents?

- Yeah, just the chance to play against Liverpool we knew would be a great motivator. To hear that we had the chance to go to Liverpool was amazing, to have a chance to go to a club of that stature was a once in a lifetime chance and a dream come true for me.

4 - What were your emotions when it was obvious you were going to progress to face Liverpool, and after the final whistle?

- Pure joy! When the whistle went everything went mad and we knew that we were going to face Liverpool and go to Anfield and play in front of such great fans!

5 - Have you noticed any difference to how the team is being supported locally? Apart from the national press being interested in the club?

- Yes, after the Swansea game there have been a lot more fans then we usually get. I am happy to see that people in the area are supporting the local club and glad to see that many of them will be coming to Liverpool for the day

6 - Did you ever dream that one day you could be playing at a stadium like Anfield, or against a club like Liverpool? What are you looking forward to the most about the game?

- Never in a million years do you think that you get this opportunity to come to a club like this and a ground that is so special to English and World football. I can't wait to come out and have a chance to play in front of “The Kop”, this will be a dream come true. Walking out at Anfield will be breathtaking, when we are in the tunnel and see “This is Anfield” above the walkway and finally see everyone and hear the noise; I know it will be a day that we cherish for the rest of our lives. Liverpool are a legendary club with legendary fans and have the most famous stand in football…need I say more

7 - Finally, care to predict a score?

- Obviously I would like to keep a clean sheet, so I can get my bonus! But realistically I would like to try and keep the score down to a bare minimum...I think I will sit on the fence for this one, I just hope everyone enjoys the game

Once again thanks very much to Kevin for his answers and I hope that he enjoys his day out, don’t forget to clap the Kop when you’re going into the Kop goal Kev! Remember that any abuse that you get is pure envy, as you are fulfilling every Red’s lifelong dream!

© Welshred 2007

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