As the days tick down to the big day the buzz of anticipation from Highgate to Tottenham Hale is almost palpable.
But as excited as we all are about Lewes away, we’ll have to put it to the backs of our minds for the next couple of days and focus on the dreary mundanity of a First Round FA Cup game televised live on Prime Time BBC2.
For one night only, we’re being kicked out of our clubhouse so Homes Under the Hammer presenter Dion Dublin; former Morning Star columnist Alex Scott and Dan Walker off Songs of Praise can talk about Haringey Borough players’ day jobs*.
Our visitors, Wimbledon, arrive in a dreadful run of form. They’ve lost nine out of their last ten league games and, in theory, should be ripe for an upset. Apparently they did beat Stevenage 4 – 0 earlier this week in the Checkatrade Trophy, but given Stevenage shipped 8 against Charlton in the same competition it’s not clear how much of a renaissance Wimbledon’s win represents.
So, in theory, an upset is on the cards? Well, we’re in our own pretty dire run of form, losing consecutive league games to back-markers Burgess Hill, Harlow and Co-Cas, as well as exiting the Trophy on penalties to a terrible Chesham side. The point against Enfield Town was a welcome return to somewhere approaching competence, but we’ll need better than that to get anything against a League One side, even one described by their own fans as “drab” and “lifeless”.
The positives for Boro are the returns of Georgios Aresti from injury and Anthony McDonald from, I dunno, whatever it was he spent the last six months doing. Both of those players are technically gifted footballers who have the tools in their locker to deal Wimbledon a major shock. And little Mikey’s pace caused gave Orient a shock last season so we’ll see whether he can replicate that.
As far as Wimbledon are concerned, I’ve got no idea of any of their players; their strengths; their weaknesses. The fact of the matter though is that they’re all fully professional League One players and to get any result at all, we’ll need to play out of our skins and hope they have an off day.
But there are other factors in our favour; Wimbledon are playing in facilities that are probably more basic than they’re used to, on an unfamiliar surface. The pressure will be on them, not just to win but to win comfortably. And most importantly they’ll be aware that Womble Kebabs are an important part of the cuisine of North East London.
So some predictions then? I’m going somewhat optimistically Boro 2 – 2 Wimbledon, in front of 2,100 fans. Georgios Aresti to put us ahead with a screamer and Mikey to secure us a replay late on.
* All digs aside, Ewe Tea Bee are very excited and fair play to the Beeb their feature on Haringey Borough earlier this week is excellent.