United’s Wembley Dream Lives On
By Jim Hollands
My dad laughed as we came away from the Pilot Field in 1948 after
watching a Rye United team including Bill ‘Blower’ Pierce and ‘Pickles’
Igglesden carry off the Hastings Charity Cup and I asked him if Rye
would ever play in a Wembley final?
He wouldn’t be laughing now!
After Saturday 22 January it became a distinct possibility and Scott
Price’s boys are beginning to believe they can do it.
What a convincing performance they put on, after a 250 mile journey,
to see off Staveley Miners Welfare F.C. in what was truly an ‘away’
match in the Fourth Round Proper of the The FA Carlsberg Vase.
One goal each to Peter Tuppenny in the first half, and Scott Ramsey
(penalty) and Sam Cole after the break, secures their spot in the
Fifth Round Proper of The FA Carlsburg Vase. They are now one of only
sixteen clubs left in the competition out of the hundreds who started
out in the preliminary rounds last August.
The Sussex County League side are the only team left in from Sussex
“We’ve come a long way, a 500 round trip, so a bit into the unknown,”
Rye manager Scott Price told a Football Association reporter after
“In the first half, we were a little off the pace, but I though in
the second half we were excellent. We did our homework and picked
out a few players we needed to stop and we did that.”
As a Fourth Round winning team United will receive £1200 from the
FA Prize fund. If they win again in the Fifth Round a further £1300
Away Again in the Fifth Round
The Draw for the Fifth Round took place at Wembley on Monday 19 January.
Yet again Rye were pulled out of the hat as the away team, this time
against the much fancied Hemel Hempstead side Leverstock Green. The
match will be played on Saturday 12 February.
Leverstock Green are a very old club, formed in 1896.
They play in Molten Spartan Premier Division of the South Midlands
League and currently hold sixth position in the table with games in
hand. They are a good outfit and come with FA Cup as well as FA Vase
experience, and as a higher level club than Rye, entered the Vase
one preliminary round later than the Sussex County League side.
One boost to Rye confidence is the fact that United have already disposed
of the South Midland League leaders, Chalfont St Peter, in a second
round replay. They will not be put off by playing away, because of
the arson attack on their club house they had not played a competitive
match at home this season by the time of the Fifth Round.
1. Chalfont St Peter 23 20 1 2 61 15 61
2. Tring Athletic 23 17 2 4 51 23 53
3. Royston Town 24 16 1 7 53 31 49
4. Colney Heath 24 14 3 7 55 42 45
5. Hanwell Town 25 13 3 9 55 49 42
6. LEVERSTOCK GREEN 21 11 4 6 53 34 37
The game on 12 February will be the most important match that Rye
United have ever been involved with. To reach a Cup Final at Wembley
Stadium is a dream that every player has, but very few achieve, especially
in the Non League echelons. There is still a long way to go and three
teams to dispose of before the red and black colours of Rye United
can march onto that sacred lush, green turf.
The Full Fifth Round Draw
1. Whitley Bay v Dunstable Town
2 Coalville Town v Holbrook Sports or Lancing
3 Torpoint Athletic v Billingham Synthonia
4 Poole Town v Spennymoor Town
5 Leverstock Green v Rye United
6 Leiston v Long Buckby
7 Kings Lynn Town v Gresley or St Neots Town
8 Stansted v Dunston UTS
All ties must be played on Saturday 12 February 2011 with replays
on or before Saturday 19 February 2011.
Rye’s Port-A-Cabin Club Rooms
The portable buildings that Southern Water have arranged for Rye United
on long-term loan, have arrived and been put into position by volunteers
with the aid of the ground floodlights after daylight faded !
Chairman, Clive Taylor, is masterminding efforts to get the ground
up and running and allow United to play numerous home fixtures that
have been building up through the first half of the season, to be
played at The Salts. Unfortunately, despite completing the job, the
wet weather caused the home match on 15 February against Shorham to
be called off.
Despite this, the delay was only for a few days as United returned
to their own ground for a County League match against Hassocks on
Wednesday 27 January. It was a closely contested game but Rye were
finally beaten 1-2, their first home defeat in any competition this
season (They have played all their home matches except for this one
on other grounds).