FPC FC at worldNET 2006

Spirits were high as the opening day of the Worldnet festivities happened to coincide with the gaffer's 21st birthday, so his usual air of authority was shattered as his team ran amok with schoolboy pranks and worse. The first mishap of the day was the bus turning up half an hour late, but there were few complaints about getting time for an extra pint in the bar!

As the FPC bandwagon set off on its journey, it quickly became clear that some members of the team wouldn't be making it out on the town for the evening's planned celebrations, with John Hendry in particular, guilty of slurred speech and clumsy movements. It is yet to be confirmed whether or not the big galloot was drinking on the bus or not.

The driver was quite clearly delighted to see the back of the FPC troops as he made the drop-off at Bodington Hall, with the offer of taking the offending Mr Hendry back up the road with him quickly declined.

Once the boys had checked in, they made tracks to the Bod Bar to wait for star striker Davie Tonner, who had rather wisely chosen to body-swerve the minibus carnage. Upon his arrival, the first two things to come into his sight were a shower of Airdrie supporters drinking Buckfast ........and Chris Miller. To say his weekend didn't get off to a flier is a shocking understatement.

As the lads prepared to take Leeds by storm, news filtered through that John, who had been suspiciously quiet for the previous hour, was on his way to A&E after coming off second best in a clash with a window. What actually happened isn't clear, but apparently it might be an idea to ask the boy Cunningham, because he'll tell you.


The night rolled on to Yates' and then the Baja Beach Club and, as ever, neither venue was a disappointment. The only downer was the absence of Topper's Chinos and the famous Derek Wilson's shower dance.

I have to confess that the details for the rest of the night are slightly sketchy, but by breakfast time the next day, Frazzle and Mitch looked like they had spent six months in a concentration camp and there were clumps of hair throughout the corridors in the Boddington Halls. Take from that what you will.


SATURDAY

Not the sort of start manager Fraser would have looked for with the first match of the tournament just over an hour away. Shockingly within 30 minutes the players had congregated in team HQ for the weekend, a gazebo draped with yards of claret and amber fabric. While the shelter came in useful, the same could not be said for the team in the first match of the group against RC Lens. The French side certainly looked the part yet they did spurn a few chances in the early stages. However, the French went ahead as the Corner boys struggled to deal with a ball into the box from the right flank. Lens doubled their advantage 6 minutes later from a header. The second half saw a much improved performance by the team however this didn't translate into any goals. Davie Tonner, had the Corner's best chance with a header.

Leeds United had already been in action earlier in the day with a 5-1 drubbing for their trouble from Watford. So despite the defeat in the first group match, the Corner were confident and rightfully so. Davie Tonner netted an impressive brace as the Leeds defence were exposed for pace.

A bursting run from Joe Lynas led to an impressive strike. Brother Barry also made his way onto the score sheet with a close range effort. As impressive as FPC looked the last 10 minutes of the match were disappointing with the team happy to play out the game rather than adding to the tally. That said the comprehensive 4-0 defeat of the local side made for a winner takes all match against Watford.


Early skirmishes in the match suggested that the game would be close, however, five minutes in the Corner were one down. An error at the heart of defence saw a slack back pass turned passed goalkeeper Graeme Farmer. FPC created a few chances but by half time had failed to make the breakthrough despite Joe Lynas' trickery going forward. The second half was to prove a bridge too far for the Corner as Watford began to stamp their mark on the game. Poor defending cost the side dear. Corners and set pieces had been a problem throughout the Saturday. Watford's second came from the side being unable to clear their lines. An aerial ball into the box was poorly dealt with giving the onrushing striker a chance - which was duly dispatched as the Corner collapsed.

The 3-0 defeat at the hands of Watford meant that the Sunday would be spent in the Plate competition, for the fifth year running. Last year, the side managed to get to the quarter final. Expectations were still high on the Saturday night as the team head to Leeds city centre for the highly rated team meal.

SUNDAY

Saturday night had been a real game of two halves for the side. Whilst some of the players decided to get a good night's sleep before 'the most important day in FPC's history. The remainder decided to enjoy the delights of Leeds city centre for the second night.

So, the 9am start would prove to be testing enough for a few players without the addition of an excellent Huddersfield side in the first round of the Plate competition. The two evenly matched sides exchanged blows. With Joe and Barry Lynas sharing the best of the chances. Only the linesman got the Corner into extra time though after Huddersfield netted with just 2 minutes of normal time remaining. The golden goal period reverted to a midfield battle as penalties loomed large. Not the most ideal of situations considering that last year the team were put out by Stockport County on penalties. However, things looked bright as Huddersfield missed their first penalty which was drilled over the bar and while Ross Mitchell missed the second Corner attempt, Gavin Hepworth only had to score the 5th to put the Corner through unfortunately the captain's effort was saved. Into sudden death where it would be a Graeme Farmer save that would give FPC the chance to go through to the final, Barry Lynas though was the man who cemented the passage to a 2nd round match against Welling United.


Welling had been disposed of by the Corner last year in the 1st round of the Plate but their results over the course of the tournament looked fairly impressive. The match was tight but it would be the Corner who would take the lead through veteran who made the most of an excellent corner swung in from the left by Michael Anderson. The poor defending return with another mistake letting Welling back into the match just before full time. The golden goal period saw chances for both sides but it would be Tony O'Neill, arguably the team's player of the tournament, who would put the Corner into the quarters as he bundled the ball over the line following a melee in the box.

Dundee United were the opposition for the quarter finals. Following a day of relatively disappointing performances we began to see the real FPC. Fast, flowing football saw the Corner sweep aside their Tayside opponents with two goals either side of half time. Davie Tonner and Joe Lynas added to their tally with well taken strikes. While Gavin Hepworth made up for his penalty miss with a booming header from a corner.

However, it was Michael Anderson's top corner free kick which will live long in the memory.

With the Terrors disposed of the Corner bandwagon and gazebo rolled on to a semi final match with Doncaster Rovers. The Corner started brightly with plenty of room for Davie Tonner and Joe Lynas up front but also for Malcolm Boyd and Barry Lynas on the wings.

However, when all seemed to be going well for the Corner until an enforced break in play. When the game restarted Doncaster were in the ascendancy and with just 3 minutes remaining the Corner defence collapsed. A darting run down the right hand side and quick cut back saw frailties exposed again. Into extra time for the third time now and while the Corner looked the most likely team to score, it would be Doncaster who would progress. This was made all the worse considering Donny's second was almost a carbon copy of the first albeit coming from the left wing.


The side trooped back despondently to the halls knowing full well that the place in the final had been there for the taking. Following a record breaking season there was a real belief that the team could go one better than the final defeat by Aberdeen in 2002. However, as always there is next year and the new season kicks off next weekend with a match away to Braes Bairns.

Before that the team are focusing on the annual quiz night taking place on Friday the 25th of August in Fir Park's Centenary Suite at 7.30pm. Teams of up to 4 will be welcomed on the night, with entry just £10 per team. Further information on the quiz night, Worldnet and the team is available online at www.firparkcornerfc.com.