Pot Of Gold
When Saturday Comes|December 2019
A rare meeting between two local rivals brought FA Cup fever – and a useful financial boost – to one corner of Hertfordshire
Will Magee 

While the later rounds of the FA Cup invariably throw up the same faux-angst among commentators and pundits over the competition’s faded grandeur, there are no such doubts about its importance at this level. First and foremost, there are finances involved which for clubs like Potters Bar can be the difference between success and subsistence.

“It’s so important for the prize money,” says Waller. “We take it very seriously because of the financial impact.” Potters Bar earned over £20,000 from the FA prize fund for progressing past the first, second and third qualifying rounds, while the buzz of a tie against a team like Barnet promises a surge in gate receipts.

Barnet and Potters Bar are two neighbouring towns with a gulf between them. It’s not just the winding lanes of the green belt or the scattered fields which mark the uncertain spot where the city ends and its satellites begin. The two places have different identities: the town swallowed up by the capital and the commuter hub clinging to the M25 like a limpet, the far edge of the city and the place beyond where red buses begin to dwindle. There is also a gulf between their two football clubs: 46 league places, to be precise, at the time of their meeting in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup on a bright and chilly October afternoon.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM WHEN SATURDAY COMESView All

Pirate Transmission

Broadcasters around the world are paying huge sums to screen football, but they will not be willing to invest if they cannot be protected.

3 mins read
When Saturday Comes
December 2019

Scandi Drama

Years before it was screened live in the UK, England’s Football League was building a cult following abroad thanks to a visionary broadcaster.

5 mins read
When Saturday Comes
December 2019

Pot Of Gold

A rare meeting between two local rivals brought FA Cup fever – and a useful financial boost – to one corner of Hertfordshire

3 mins read
When Saturday Comes
December 2019

Digital Divide

From earnest post-match punditry to being used in actual players’ matchday preparations, the virtual game is becoming increasingly blurred with reality.

4 mins read
When Saturday Comes
December 2019

Haringey Ladder

The decision to walk off in the face of abuse has shone a national spotlight on a community club with a progressive approach

3 mins read
When Saturday Comes
December 2019

Bournemouth 0 Norwich City 0

Dean Court may have received a Premier League facelift but against today’s visitors the home team fail to live up to their status, although the low-quality draw they play out is still somehow reassuring.

8 mins read
When Saturday Comes
December 2019

Room With A View

Hampden Park

3 mins read
When Saturday Comes
January 2018

Not In The Script

ARSENAL FILM

3 mins read
When Saturday Comes
January 2018

Out Of Place...

After another unsuccessful qualifying attempt Martin O’Neill is under pressure, while a poor Republic of Ireland squad is only getting weaker

3 mins read
When Saturday Comes
January 2018

Uncomfortable Truth

At the end of April Sheffield United surprised many people by re-signing Ched Evans, who, following a retrial, has now been found not guilty of the rape charge for which he spent two-and-a-half years in prison.

3 mins read
When Saturday Comes
June 2017