PITCH PLAYS ITS PART IN STALE­MATE

The Football League Paper - - FA CUP QUARTER-FINALS -

WELL, we knew there would be one Foot­ball League team in the semi­fi­nal draw. Now we’ve got two. Which, to be hon­est, is about the most pos­i­tive thing you can say about a match that fea­tured just one shot on goal.

Aes­thet­i­cally, this 90 min­utes had about as much merit as a tod­dler’s fin­ger paint­ing, the biprod­uct of a scarred and rut­ted pitch that pre­cluded any at­tempt at pass­ing foot­ball.

But where fi­nesse was lack­ing, en­deav­our abounded. Only the hard­est heart could have failed to be be­witched by both sides’ raw de­sire, from bone-jar­ring chal­lenges and mid-air col­li­sions to lost causes chased like a grey­hound hunt­ing a hare. It made for a wretched but cu­ri­ously cap­ti­vat­ing spec­ta­cle, al­beit one that nei­ther side did enough to win.

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