Metropolitan Police FC withdraw from FA Cup as unbeaten streak ends

Metropolitan Police FC withdrew from the FA Cup last night as their 12-game unbeaten streak ended in a resumption of third round qualifying against St Albans City.

The club are in FA Cup form, having reached the first round on five occasions, most recently in 2018.

This year, the Blues’ race in this competition was fiercely contested, with the second and third round matches being replayed after the initial draws.

But as Metropolitan Police FC beat Farnborough on Tuesday 21 September to earn their place against St Albans City, the extra minutes played by the team came into the scoring as the game ended 3-1 against St Albans.

In a post-match interview, posted on the club’s Instagram, manager Gavin Macpherson was clear on the loss.

He said: “It was two games that were extremely close, but St Albans were worthy of their lead.

“I said well done to the boys. It’s the end of an unbeaten streak, but it’s against a Southern Conference team, and maybe easier to appreciate.

Macpherson has a history with the club because before joining as manager in 2018 he had played for the team.

The team’s unusual name comes from its founding: the club was established by the Metropolitan Police in 1919, although the team now play home games outside the jurisdiction of the force, in East Molesey.

Initially, its goal was to be made up only of officers and civilians, which was the case until free time to play was no longer sanctioned by the organization.

The reality of this fact surfaced in 2012, which was the last time a serving officer, PC Craig Brown, stood as a candidate.

That year the club reached the actual first round of the FA Cup, but by the time the club qualified for the game Brown had used up all of his allotted annual leave.

The Blues lost 2-1.

The ties remain, even rather loose, as the club is partially funded by the Metropolitan Police Department lottery established in 1964, and with a touch of irony, the team race to matches at Imber Court for “I Fought the Law. “from The Clash. .

But the song’s message rang hollow in the opening game against St Albans City on Saturday, September 2.

REPLAY REQUIRED: Metropolitan Police FC and St Albans City face off in their first third qualifying round at Imber Court. Credit: Lallie Doyle

The game saw an impressive turnout from fans in the pouring rain to watch the two teams fight to break through, but the score remained decidedly 0-0.

A gardener repositioning divots in the increasingly soggy pitch at half-time highlighted the chasm between clubs at either end of FA Cup competition, and the importance of the financial aspect of participation, to prestige side.

During this year’s race, the Met collected over £ 8,800 in prize money.

A draw heralded the resumption, which forced a move to Clarence Park on Tuesday, October 5, and the loss that followed.

Now the team and their manager have to contemplate a crowded upcoming fixture list that many FA Cup replays have forced.

But Macpherson remains optimistic and added: “It was a difficult start to the season, but the players found strengths and rose to the challenge.”

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