The BBC may have been trying desperately to make us think there was still some magic left in this famous, old, traditional Cup competition (with a barrage of FA Cup related programmes throughout the week) but I certainly didn’t feel it as I made my way to the station whilst the rain was absolutely hammering it down. In fact I was close to bailing out at one point as I didn’t have a ticket and so had nothing much to lose. However, I knew it was my one and only chance to see my team in action so persevered and thankfully I was rewarded with victory and a place in the draw for the fourth round.
Call me a plastic fan but this was actually my first Leicester game since Crystal Palace away in January 2012 and my first home game since we drew 2-2 with Leeds United on Boxing Day in 2010. Of course the 12,000 mile round trip means it’s not too easy these days to get down to Filbert Way and when I am back there are often other things going on.
As I didn’t have a ticket I was somewhat taking a bit of a risk although I was sure that it would be far from full capacity. As it was, the attendance was 23,212 which I thought was pretty good for a cup game not included in season tickets. I arrived at the ground two hours before kick off which is the earliest I’ve arrived (by a long way!) for well over twenty years. By coincidence the last time I arrived so early was also against Newcastle for a crucial last-day-of-the-season game in 1992.
After asking around I was sent to a few different places in search of a match day ticket before eventually getting lucky in the club shop or the fan-store as they prefer to call it these days! As it was only an FA Cup match it wasn’t considered too important and so tickets were thankfully reasonably priced. £15 for mine and a return to the Spion Kop where I was a frequent visitor in my last regular full season back in 2002-03.
As for the action itself, there wasn’t too much to get excited about until late in the first half when Newcastle had a goal disallowed for offside (very belatedly it has to be said!) before we took the lead moments later when Leonardo Ulloa powered in a header off the underside of the crossbar from a short corner. Leicester were the the better team in the second half and only two good saves from Wood and Vardy by the Magpies keeper Alnwick kept it to a single goal difference.
The opposition were roundly booed by the travelling support whilst our unbeaten run extends to three games which I pray will continue for the next couple of home league games as we fight to climb off the bottom and try to survive this first season back in the top flight.