Date: 7th January 2006 at 8:25pm
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The F.A.Cup seems to bring out the word ‘Magic’ so very often, in fact the F.A Cup and the word ‘Magic’ go together like Beans and Toast or Fish and Chips. You don’t have to look too far back to see the magic after today’s action which saw Non-League Nuneaton hold Middlesbrough and Torquay hold Birmingham, to realise that tomorrow gives Orient a real opportunity to write their name into F.A Cup history.

I’ve not stopped looking forward to the game since the draw was made, and now it’s almost here I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. I’ve not slept in days, my feet are tingling with excitement, I’ve looked at the tickets, and I’ve tried to have that dream where it all goes so well where Orient win 2-1 in the last minute with a John Mackie diving header. Yet, when I think of my F.A. cup experiences with Orient, they are really anything but magic.

If I’m honest the F.A.Cup has provided some awful moments such as losing to Hendon, Stevenage and getting thrashed by Oldham last season. Then there was the last minute goal conceded against Spurs which virtually ripped my heart from my chest and led to Gary Doherty stabbing a large knife through it. Of course there have been great moments too, such as the 4-2 win over Oldham in the replay at Brisbane Road, the 4-1 win at Pompey and Dave McGhee’s thumping header into his own net at Everton. I’m at a disadvantage as I wasn’t born until 1984 and hence missed out on that famous cup run of 1978. Yet a win tommorow would be a fantastic feat and a story that would live long in the memory of all Orient supporters.

So will we see the magic tommorow? I think we’re seeing it already aren’t we? Nobody can stop talking about the ‘Fulham Game’. In fact, that’s why there will be around 6,000 O’s fans cheering on their heroes tomorrow afternoon chasing the dream that we all crave to live. Nobody in that Putney End Stand will walk through that turnstile not believing that the O’s stand a chance because even the most hard hearted cynic knows that this competition has proved the graveyard of many giants in the past.

Martin Ling will keep telling his side that they can achieve a victory and with the vociferous backing from East London in full song it might just inspire the O’s to victory and an illustration of the magic in the F.A. Cup. In fact, tommorow just look around at the O’s fans, listen to them sing, and then realise, yes indeed, the magic really is here. Just don’t look at me if Fulham score in the first five minutes!