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Cup Final Classic – A Short Story


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The following is taken from a CM0102 game that I am currently playing. The year is 2007 and it has thrown up a fascinating FA Cup Final in England.

The Telegraph Sports Section

Friday May 11 2007

Cup Final Preview

Tomorrow will witness a very unusual FA Cup Final indeed – the first in living memory where both of the finalists come from outside the top division. Birmingham City and Leicester City have both come a long way in this competition and tomorrow afternoon one of these two First Division sides will celebrate their first ever success in this most historic of cup competitions. Both clubs have contested the final in the past – Birmingham were runners-up in 1931 and 1956 and Leicester have lost 5 previous finals, the most recent of which came in 2004 when they suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester United. Not only will the winners taste FA Cup glory for the first time, they will become only the third club outside the “Big Four†of Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal to lift this trophy since 1990.

So how did they make it this far and what can we expect tomorrow’s game to hold? Well the two teams have had very contrasting seasons in Division One. After their relegation last season Leicester have bounced back to the Premier League as champions, finishing ahead of West Brom on goal difference. Birmingham on the other hand have only just returned to Division One after their relegation two seasons ago and finished two places and three points away from going straight back to the Second Division.

Leicester’s path to the final has seen them dispose of Second Division Kidderminster 2-1 at the Walkers Stadium in the 3rd Round followed by an identical scoreline in another home win over Aldershot of Division Three. In the 5th round they had an excellent 1-0 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane and then crushed fellow Division One side Everton 4-1 at home in the Quarter Final. Their Semi Final against Newcastle proved to be a thrilling encounter with the underdogs coming back from a 2-1 deficit to take the game 3-2.

Birmingham have had a tougher journey and have twice come through replays to book their place in the Final. They started with a narrow 3-2 win at Second Division Gillingham in the 3rd Round and then faced Conference side Scarborough in Round 4, coming back from the McCain Stadium with a 1-1 draw. The replay went to extra time before Birmingham finally won 2-1. An ill-tempered 5th Round tie at home to Middlesbrough saw both sides have a man dismissed in the Blue’s 1-0 win. In the Quarter Final they faced fellow Division One side Crewe and played out a 1-1 draw at Gresty Road before winning the replay 1-0. In the Semi Final they faced Arsenal and won a hard fought encounter 2-1 to claim their place in the Final.

For long-serving Leicester manager Micky Adams a win tomorrow would represent the biggest thrill in his career and would be a terrific reward for his loyalty to the club. Birmingham boss David Moyes has only been in charge since February, but he too would be thrilled with an FA Cup win. Whatever happens it will be a day that both managers will long remember but for very different reasons one suspects.

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The following is taken from a CM0102 game that I am currently playing. The year is 2007 and it has thrown up a fascinating FA Cup Final in England.

The Telegraph Sports Section

Friday May 11 2007

Cup Final Preview

Tomorrow will witness a very unusual FA Cup Final indeed – the first in living memory where both of the finalists come from outside the top division. Birmingham City and Leicester City have both come a long way in this competition and tomorrow afternoon one of these two First Division sides will celebrate their first ever success in this most historic of cup competitions. Both clubs have contested the final in the past – Birmingham were runners-up in 1931 and 1956 and Leicester have lost 5 previous finals, the most recent of which came in 2004 when they suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to Manchester United. Not only will the winners taste FA Cup glory for the first time, they will become only the third club outside the “Big Four†of Liverpool, Man U, Chelsea and Arsenal to lift this trophy since 1990.

So how did they make it this far and what can we expect tomorrow’s game to hold? Well the two teams have had very contrasting seasons in Division One. After their relegation last season Leicester have bounced back to the Premier League as champions, finishing ahead of West Brom on goal difference. Birmingham on the other hand have only just returned to Division One after their relegation two seasons ago and finished two places and three points away from going straight back to the Second Division.

Leicester’s path to the final has seen them dispose of Second Division Kidderminster 2-1 at the Walkers Stadium in the 3rd Round followed by an identical scoreline in another home win over Aldershot of Division Three. In the 5th round they had an excellent 1-0 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane and then crushed fellow Division One side Everton 4-1 at home in the Quarter Final. Their Semi Final against Newcastle proved to be a thrilling encounter with the underdogs coming back from a 2-1 deficit to take the game 3-2.

Birmingham have had a tougher journey and have twice come through replays to book their place in the Final. They started with a narrow 3-2 win at Second Division Gillingham in the 3rd Round and then faced Conference side Scarborough in Round 4, coming back from the McCain Stadium with a 1-1 draw. The replay went to extra time before Birmingham finally won 2-1. An ill-tempered 5th Round tie at home to Middlesbrough saw both sides have a man dismissed in the Blue’s 1-0 win. In the Quarter Final they faced fellow Division One side Crewe and played out a 1-1 draw at Gresty Road before winning the replay 1-0. In the Semi Final they faced Arsenal and won a hard fought encounter 2-1 to claim their place in the Final.

For long-serving Leicester manager Micky Adams a win tomorrow would represent the biggest thrill in his career and would be a terrific reward for his loyalty to the club. Birmingham boss David Moyes has only been in charge since February, but he too would be thrilled with an FA Cup win. Whatever happens it will be a day that both managers will long remember but for very different reasons one suspects.

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BBC Radio 5 Live

Saturday May 12 2007

Cup Final Special

MP - Good afternoon and welcome back. My name is Mark Pougatch and you are listening the Cup Final Special here on Radio 5 Live. With just over 30 minutes to kick off the atmosphere inside the stadium is building to a fever pitch as both sets of supporters make their voices heard. I am joined in the studio by two very special guests who will be discussing the chances of both teams. Former Leicester legend Gary Lineker will be looking at his former team’s chances and ex-Birminham and current Preston manager Steve Bruce will talk up the Blues. Gary, Leicester must start as favourites today?

GL – They probably do Mark given that they won the First Division title, beating Birmingham home and away in the process. But as we know anything can happen in a Cup Final and I’m sure that the Birmingham players will be determined to give it their best shot today.

MP – Talk us through the Leicester lineup then Gary.

GL – Well Micky favours a 4-4-2 formation and I can’t see him changing that this afternoon. Goalkeeper Paul Nogan cost the club £5.25M when he moved from Stoke 18 months ago. The central defensive pairing will be Alton Thelwell who joined the club from Spurs on a Bosman last season and he’ll be partnered by Gary Monk who also came in on a Bosman last season from Southampton. The experienced Ijah Anderson will play on the left of defence and former Rangers star Stephen Wright will play on the right.

MP – And in midfield.

GL - In the centre of midfield we’ll see former Man United player Quinton Fortune and young Liam Rosenior. Fortune has come to Leicester via Portsmouth and Chelsea after leaving Manchester and he has been in great form this season. 22-year-old Rosenior joined from Gillingham in February but he’s found the net 4 times in 10 starts so far. Captain Darren Ambrose will play on the left. Now in his 4th season at the Walkers Stadium the 23-year-old shows great maturity and leadership for a young player. Ryan Williams will offer a real attacking threat on the right wing. Capable of both making and scoring goals, Ryan has been a key player for the club for the last 6 seasons.

MP – How about attack?

GL – Leicester have two very experienced internationals up front. French striker Steve Marlet may be 33 but he has had a superb season since joining from Charlton on a Bosman at the start of the season. He’s the team’s top scorer with 22 goals so far this season and this will be his last game for the club as he is going back to France to join Auxerre next month. He is partnered by Irish international David Connolly and the two have formed a very good understanding this season.

MP – Who will be on the bench.

GL – Youngster Marcus Mudd will be the backup keeper alongside defender Andy McKeown, midfielder Lee Wood and attackers Mark Smith and 18-year-old Scots boy John Gallagher.

MP – Thanks Gary. So Steve, what can we expect from Birmingham?

SB – Well David Moyes also likes a 4-4-2 formation. Between the sticks we have young prospect Nicky Hallam who moved from Sheffield United for a £1.3M fee at the start of the season. In central defence we have club captain Stuart Nethercott. The vastly experienced 34-year-old came from Mansfield early in the season and his defensive partner is Leigh Bromby. Surinam international Purrel Frankel offers an exotic presence on the left of defence with Richard Hinds on the right.

MP – And their midfield quartet are?

SB – Experienced Scotsman Paul Sheerin pulls the strings in the centre of midfield and young John Watts provides the power in the engine room. Venezuelan winger Juan Arango is a bundle of tricks on the left of midfield but he can sometimes be a bit too fancy on occasions. The experienced Irish player David Savage plays on the right and his hard working style gives his side a lot of solidity.

MP – And up front?

SB – The strikers have both had a fine season and have scored 19 goals each so far. Richard Walker has had a great season and a half since his move from Kidderminster and Irish international Clinton Morrison offers a real physical presence. Walker is great in the air and he has developed a really good understanding with Clint.

MP – And their substitutes?

SB – On the bench they have young keeper James Spencer, defender Ryan Brown, midfielder Tom Kamara and forwards Johan Absalonsen and Jimmy Corbett.

MP – Well now we know the starting lineups. Final thoughts Gary.

GL - I have to say that defence isn’t Leicester’s strong point but they more than make up for that with their attacking threat. Ryan Williams is a major attacking weapon for Micky and if he’s on his game he’ll take a lot of stopping. Fortune and Marlet are both very experienced and the certainly won’t let the occasion overawe them. Leicester have a strong midfield and a big attacking threat and I think that they’ll prove just to strong for Birmingham.

MP – Steve, your final thoughts.

SB – Well like Leicester, David’s team isn’t the strongest defensively but they certainly offer a threat going forward. If Arango is on form then he could be dangerous but to my mind Paul Sheerin is the main man. He’s a class act in midfield and if he’s given the time to control the game then he could have a field day. The front two are both strong players and Leicester will do well to keep them at bay. I have a feeling that the Blues might just nick this one and I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see a few goals.

MP – Well guys thanks for the fascinating insight into the teams. I believe that the players are just about to make an appearance so we’ll hand you over to our commentary team of summariser Jim Beglin and match commentator Alan Green.

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Thanks Daz

AG – Thanks Mark. Well I must say that Jim and I have been listening to Gary and Steve with great interest as they gave us their take on the two teams. As you can tell from the explosion of noise behind us the players are now coming out on to the pitch to get ready for the presentation to the Royal party. As that takes place perhaps you could give us your thoughts on the game Jim.

JB – Well I have to agree with Gary that Leicester must start as favourites. They beat Birmingham twice in the league this season, 3-1 at St. Andrews and 4-1 at the Walkers Stadium. I also agree with Steve that there could be a few goals in the game as I can’t see either side sitting back and defending.

AG – Well the formalities are almost complete and the teams are lining up for the kickoff. Referee Joe Payen has tossed the coin and it looks like Birmingham have chosen to kick off.

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AG – Well Jim the first 10 minutes or so have seen some positive play from both sides but no clear chances yet. There might be something here though as Fortune picks out Ambrose in the area. A lovely cushioned header from the Leicester captain, Marlet with a great strike and a brilliant stop by Haslam. The ball runs loose though and it’s Marlet again. What a stop by Haslam, somehow getting back on his feet and diving to make a fingertip save. Birmingham try to work the ball up field but the move breaks down and Monk tries the long ball, well controlled by Wright who sends in a teasing cross. Marlet rises highest but he can’t keep his header down. Some nice direct football from Leicester there. It’s Hallam with the goal kick, that’s a long clearance, Walker leaps to get the flick on, Sheerin is first to the ball and he spots MORRISON…what a good finish. Controlled it first time and slotted it past Nogan to open the scoring with 11 minutes on the clock.

JB – Great control from the big man and a very cool finish. 1-0 to Birmingham with their first chance of the game. Slack marking from the Leicester defence though.

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AG – Just on the 20-minute mark now and Birmingham in possession. Sheerin picks out Morrison who moves the ball on first time to Watts on the left. Morrison’s continued his run and Watts has spotted him in the area. Lovely ball into the Irishman who takes it in his stride and hits it first time…GOAL. Nogan didn’t move.

JB – Oh my, oh my. The Leicester keeper was rooted to the spot as Morrison placed a low shot just inside the post. He must have thought that it was going wide as he made absolutely no attempt to dive. Bad mistake by the keeper and 2-0 to the Blues. Leicester have a mountain to climb now.

AG – Leicester restart the game and look to go straight on to the attack. This is a lovely run from Ambrose, can he get the cross in? Yes he can. Marlet powers his header in but too close to the keeper and Hallam beats the ball away. That was a great chance to get right back into the game. Leicester still have the ball though, Anderson in possession, still unchallenged as he moves forward. Great ball in for Connolly. Nice control from the Irishman, he tries to curl it but just too high. That must have shaved the bar and Hallam had no chance. Good skill from the ex-Wimbledon man.

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AG – It’s Savage on the ball now for Birmingham, making good progress down the flank. He’s past Ambrose now and sends the ball in from wide. Morrison leaps, good knock down. Walker shoots…GOAL. Unbelievable – 3-0 to Birmingham with the game less than 30 minutes old.

JB – That’s got to be curtains for Leicester now. Three goals behind after 25 minutes. I can’t see them coming back from this.

AG – And just look at the Leicester bench. Micky Adams is furious with his team. His defence is simply giving Birmingham far too much time and space and they’ve been badly punished. Leicester restart the game and look to make an immediate attack. Gary Monk’s in an advanced position here and he finds Connolloy with a crisp pass. Good feet from the Irishman as he makes room for the shot but Haslam is down smartly to save. Leicester are really applying pressure now. Fortune picks the ball up and he’s making a determined run forward. The Birmingham defence are backing off, almost inviting the South African onwards. And Fortune accepts the invitation as he unleashes a powerful shot and Hallam is at full stretch to turn the ball behind. Williams with the corner, Monk gets above Bromby to make the header but Hallam makes a comfortable save. The keeper makes a quick throw and this is nice crisp passing by Birmingham as they move the ball forward. Sheerin in possession now, looking calm and assured. That’s a superb ball in for Morrison, the big man takes it on the volley and Nogan does well to make the parry.

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AG – Just 5 minutes of the first half left now as Marlet shows some good footwork. Plays the one-two with Connolly and he’s in here. Hits it low and once again Nicky Hallam is down quickly to save.

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AG – The referee is checking his watch now as Wright surges down the wing. Plays it in to the near post and Williams is there ahead of the defence, hits it first time but again Hallam is there to turn the ball over the bar. Williams himself to take the corner but Nethercott is there first to make the clearing header. Mr. Payen blows his whistle to bring the first half to a close with the score Birmingham 3, Leicester 0. Jim, your thoughts on the first half.

JB – A very entertaining 45 minutes but Leicester will be devastated by the scoreline. To be honest they’ve been the best team and created a number of good chances but Nicky Hallam has been on his game. That’s the difference between the teams I think. Leicester keeper Nogan has looked shaky and Birmingham have profited, scoring three times from 4 goal attempts. Micky Adams will have to work miracles to raise his team for the second half.

AG – Thanks Jim. Now we’ll hand you back to Mark in the studio and we’ll be back for the second half.

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MP – Thanks Alan. Well fellas, what do you make of that? Quite a 45 minutes Steve.

SB – You can say that again Mark. I’m still pinching myself to be honest. I can’t quite believe that with only 4 chances, Birmingham are 3-0 ahead. It’s been poor defending from Leicester really and the Blues have taken full advantage.

MP – Would you agree with that Gary?

GL – Hard to argue against it Mark. I did say that defence wasn’t Leicester’s strong point but I really didn’t expect what we’ve seen so far. Keeper Paul Nogan must take some responsibility but he has been left exposed by his defence once or twice.

MP – But Leicester have had their share of chances.

GL – Too true and that’s an encouraging sign. They’ve created some excellent openings and on another day they would have had at least a couple of goals of their own to show for their efforts. But full marks to young Nicky Hallam. He’s only 23 but he hasn’t been phased by the occasion and he’s pulled some fine saves to deny Steve Marlet in particular.

MP – So what can Micky Adams do to lift his team during half time?

GL – Micky and his team aren’t quitters so there’s no way that their heads will go down. He will encourage them to keep coming forward and look for goals, I’m sure. But they have to be careful not to get too stretched at the back – if they give away a 4th then it really is all over.

MP – Steve, what will David Moyes be telling his players?

SB – More of the same boys, would be my message. They’ve got a healthy lead but they mustn’t get too cautious and give the initiative to Leicester. If they keep playing as they have been then they should be able to see the game out OK.

MP – Thanks for those thoughts chaps. It looks like the players are re-appearing for the second half so we’ll hand you back to Alan and Jim.

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Thanks Brian and Terk

AG – Thanks Mark. The players are indeed coming back out. Jim and I are having a look to see if either manager has made any substitutions during the interval but the teams look unchanged as far as we can tell. So it’s Leicester City to restart the game and try to recover from a seemingly impossible situation.

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AG – Well it’s been a quiet 5 minutes at the start of the second half but Leicester are in possession now with Williams on the right hand side. He plays a lovely ball in for Fortune, tries the chip…that’s a superb save by Hallam. He did well to reach the ball and even better to hold on to it. Another Leicester chance goes begging.

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AG – Moving towards the hour mark now and Sheerin is on the ball for Birmingham. This is a lovely mazy run by the Scotsman. Past Williams, past Wright, leaves Thelwell for dead, great skill. He gets to the byeline and sends the ball over, Walker rises…GOAL…4-0 to Birmingham City. Brilliant play by Paul Sheerin and a great header by Richard Walker – game over Jim?

JB – No doubt about it. There’s no way that Leicester are coming back from 4 goals down with 30 minutes remaining. They can start engraving the trophy and putting the ribbons on now.

AG – It looks like Leicester are making a change. The ineffective Rosenior is making way for 18-year-old John Gallagher. It’s a big day for the teenager – shame about the scoreline though. So Leicester to restart once again. Still looking positive. Some nice interplay here. Marlet, to Connolly, to Anderson, on to Fortune. Anderson’s kept his run going, Fortune spots him and lofts the ball forward. Anderson takes it on the volley…GOAL. A stunning finish from Ijah Anderson to open Leicester’s account.

JB – Great technique from Anderson with the volley but Haslam wasn’t very well positioned there I have to say. Maybe some hope for Leicester after all.

AG – Anderson brushes away his teammate's congratulations, picks the ball up and sprints back to the centre circle. He certainly believes that they still have a chance. Birmingham are going to make a change now and Purrel Frankel makes way for Ryan Brown.

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AG – Connolly takes the ball on the edge of the area, great turn to bamboozle Nethercott, he gets his shot in but Haslam makes the save. The keeper kicks long but the ball is returned to the Birmingham half. Anderson picks it up and makes good progress down the flank. Gets his cross in, Marlet with the header but it’s too high. Paul Sheerin doing some excellent work there helping out his defence by putting pressure on the Frenchman. This is a good spell of possession by Leicester and Birmingham just can’t clear their lines properly. Fortune on the ball now, plays it in looking for Ambrose but Hallam comes to collect and makes a good catch. The keeper finds Nethercott, he plays it forward looking for Bromby but young Gallagher reads it well and makes the interception. He seeks out Marlet, he heads it down for Ambrose. Nice ball in for Connolly but he’s crowded out. Manages to find Williams out wide. First time cross from the winger, Marlet gets above Hinds…GOAL for Leicester. A strong header that goes beyond the despairing dive of Hallam and it’s 4-2.

JB – A terrific cross by Williams, whipped in with real pace and a well-directed header by Steve Marlet. 72 minutes on the clock and Leicester really have their tails up now.

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AG – Just over 10 minutes remaining now and Gallagher lifts the ball forward, looking to pick out Marlet. David Savage with the tackle but the referee blows for an infringement. Savage protests that he played the ball but it’s a freekick in a dangerous position. Marlet and Ambrose stand over the ball. Ambrose it is who sends it round the wall but Hallam is down quickly to push the ball away. Monk picks up the rebound, great chance but the defender’s shot is weak and Hallam gets there to turn the ball behind. Williams is about to take the corner but it looks like Nethercott has picked up a knock and will have to be replaced. Yes, the Birmingham captain is hobbling off. Now Birmingham don’t have another central defender on the bench so it looks like forward Johan Absalonsen will be playing as an emergency centre back. The Birmingham defence is still getting re-organised as Williams now takes the corner. Fortune in acres of space…GOAL. Oh this is real drama now. Quinton Fortune was roaming forward totally unmarked and had the easiest of finishes to make the score 4-3.

JB – Absalonsen was still getting himself sorted out when the corner was played in. The Birmingham players aren’t happy but the referee clearly signalled for play to continue so I really don’t see any problem there. Less than 8 minutes left and it’s now 4-3 to Birmingham.

AG – Leicester are in full flow now and Birmingham just can’t retain any quality possession, giving the ball away cheaply and looking almost panicky as their once impregnable lead is being nibbled away. That’s a sliced clearance by Bromby and Leicester have the throw. Anderson sends it down the line for Williams to chase. The winger wraps his foot around the ball but his cross is very long and it clears everybody. But Ambrose does well to chase the ball down on the opposite flank. He sends it in hard and low, Fortune and Sheerin both arrive at the same time and the ball breaks lose. MARLET…the equaliser. What drama we have here as Leicester come back from 4-0 down to square the game.

JB – Unbelievable. The ball broke lose as Sheerin blocked out Fortune and Steve Marlet was there to shoot home through a forest of players with Hallam clearly unsighted.

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AG – Well time is almost up in this extraordinary game and it looks like Leicester have come back from the dead to force extra time. That’s a bit of a wild challenge from Sheerin on Fortune and the referee is reaching for a card and that’s a booking for the Birmingham midfielder. Williams is lining up the freekick, strikes it into the wall, that’s disappointing. But it breaks for Ambrose, hits it low…OH MY GOODNESS. Darren Ambrose, the Leicester captain has scored what must be the winning goal as the final whistle beckons. The Birmingham players are on their knees and Ambrose disappears under a pile of Leicester players as they engulf their captain.

JB – I don’t believe I’m seeing this Alan. This has got to be the most extraordinary comeback I’ve ever witnessed. Dead and buried after 60 minutes Leicester have scored 5 times in 30 minutes. Is there any time left for Birmingham to reply?

AG – Well the referee has finally sorted out the players and Birmingham will restart but that’s it! It’s all over. Leicester City have won the most dramatic Cup Final we have ever witnessed, coming back from 4-0 down to win 5-4. There are players in tears all over the pitch – the Birmingham boys can’t believe what has happened and the Leicester lads are overwhelmed. The Leicester fans are going mad. Micky Adams is going from player to player, hugging them. Now there’s a lovely touch – after comforting his players David Moyes has sought out Micky and the two, arms around each others shoulders, are having a few words together.

JB – What contrasting emotions there must be out there now. Birmingham have gone from ecstasy to agony with Leicester doing the same in reverse. The Birmingham players have now got themselves together and they are going over to salute their fans. And what a response they are getting. The Leicester fans are saluting them too. This is great to see.

AG – Well the game was played in a great spirit Jim, with just the one booking near the end and barely a foul worthy of note. So as Leicester captain Darren Ambrose goes up to lift the trophy and take the adulation of his supporters, we’ll hand you back to Mark and the lads in the studio.

MP – Thanks Alan, although we’re all a bit speechless here I suspect. Have you come down off the ceiling yet Gary?

GL – Just about. I’m not sure quite what to say. Any words you use just can’t sum up what we’ve seen here today. Two teams have given their all and we’ve seen the balance shift dramatically from one to the other and it’s the most enthralling spectacle I’ve seen in a long time.

MP – Is that how you feel Steve?

SB – Pretty much, except I’m not quite as happy as Gary right now. Now who can argue that the FA Cup isn’t one of the most exciting competitions in football. Even with two supposedly poor teams in the final, it dishes up a game like that. Perhaps the quality wasn’t the highest but you can’t argue with the sheer passion and raw emotion that both teams produced.

MP – Well said Steve. How would you sum up the Birmingham performance?

SB – Well the front two were great, scoring two goals each and giving their team what should have been a match-winning situation. Paul Sheerin was immense in midfield and I really feel for the lad with the game ending as it did. The same for Nicky Hallam. He may have conceded 5 goals but he had a really good game. Losing Nethercott was a big blow though - they really missed his presence in central defence. At the end of the day though they just couldn’t cope with the courage and determination of the Leicester players.

MP – Gary, what about the Leicester players?

GL – Shaky at the back but excellent in midfield and up front. Connolly and Marlet were always a handful and Quinton Fortune had a terrific game in midfield. Anderson never stopped running and captain Darren Ambrose had a day that he will never forget.

MP - And so at the end of a quite astonishing game of football we can only acclaim the "never say die" attitude and the fighting spirit of Micky Adams’ Leicester City as they mount the comeback to end all comebacks and lift the FA Cup for the first time in their history. We hope that you’ve enjoyed our coverage and see you all soon – Goodbye.

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I'm really enjoying this.... but:

(1) Has Gary been sacked from MoTD?

(2) Jim Beglin would never be the summariser for the Cup Final.

(3) Five Live change commentators midway through a half.

My prediction: Leicester get it back to 3-3 and take it into extra time. Birmingham take an early lead in extra time, only for Leicester to pull it back again. The Foxes then lose on penalties.

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by binny:

I'm really enjoying this.... but:

(1) Has Gary been sacked from MoTD?

(2) Jim Beglin would never be the summariser for the Cup Final.

(3) Five Live change commentators midway through a half.

My prediction: Leicester get it back to 3-3 and take it into extra time. Birmingham take an early lead in extra time, only for Leicester to pull it back again. The Foxes then lose on penalties. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I must just point out that I posted this whilst Bob was writing the second half. I did come close though icon_rolleyes.gif

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by binny:

I'm really enjoying this.... but:

(1) Has Gary been sacked from MoTD?

(2) Jim Beglin would never be the summariser for the Cup Final.

(3) Five Live change commentators midway through a half.

My prediction: Leicester get it back to 3-3 and take it into extra time. Birmingham take an early lead in extra time, only for Leicester to pull it back again. The Foxes then lose on penalties. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks for the comments Binny. Bearing in mind that it is 2007 -

1. Gary has given up his TV career to concentrate on his role as the face of Walkers Crisps and was making a special guest apprearance.

2. Jim was chosen as an economy measure as the BBC budget has been ruthlessly slashed by the government who have forced a reduced licence fee for the last three years.

3. Another economy measure - they can only afford one commentator.

icon_wink.gif

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