The FA Sunday Cup is now down to four as Aigurth Arms and the Pineapple represent Liverpool against teams from the south of England.
St Josephs, beaten finalists by the Campfield in 2021, are looking to add another chapter in their rich history with another place in the Championship match. The Chunks stand in their way as they eye their own record to end L8’s wait for National Cup success.
Aigburth Arms have been one of the underdog stories in the competition as they have sailed under the radar stamping their place in the last four with a comprehensive win in the quarter-finals.
Their task is arguably one of the greatest as they face SE Dons, juggernauts in the London Sunday Football League. They boast over 85 million views on YouTube after documenting their success in Sunday league.
They’re looking to emulate reigning champions Baiteze, another Sunday league outfit with hundreds of thousands of followers sparked from their YouTube output.
The prospect of an all-Liverpool final in the FA Sunday Cup looms large as both Aigburth Arms and the Pineapple look to end the region’s 13-year wait since Oyster Martyrs beat Paddock at Prenton Park in the final.
PINEAPPLE (vs St Joseph’s Luton)
The Chunks overcame Merseyrail Business Houses rivals AFC Bull in the last eight as they needed spot-kicks to sink them at a packed Vesty Road.
On Sunday, they travel to National League North side Kidderminster Harriers as the away side against St Joseph’s.
Jesse from the Pineapple told Off The Park: “I’m made up, if someone said at the start of the season we’d be in the semi-final of the National Cup come March, I’d have bit their hand off. We’re well aware of the history of St Josephs, we’ll give them the respect that they deserve, from what I’ve seen they’re a solid team.
“It’s an away day, it’s at a decent ground and it makes the occasion that little bit more special. If we were at home a bit of complacency might’ve set in, being comfortable but I think it’ll bring out the good nerves and make the occasion that little bit more special.
“Because it was a Liverpool team against a Liverpool team, the whole of Liverpool come to watch,” he added on their quarter-final triumph.
“We played them three times leading up to the game, they beat us twice by big margins so we were well aware of the team, it was a nervous games it, no one wanted to make a mistake and they were solid favourites going into the game, this is a different challenge. We know what we know based on the history but there are no players or familiar faces, with it being at a neutral ground, big occasions, the lads should be well up for it.
“It’s huge, as a player I never got this far with the Pineapple. I’ve stressed how big the occasion is, not a lot of players from our league get to get that far. We’ve had teams who have had good success, it’s not something you can take granted, it’s a massive occasion.”
AIGBURTH ARMS (vs SE DONS)
The Arms raced into the last four when they overcame an unknown entity in Sunderland Southwick in the previous round.
There were four different goalscorers as they ran out 4-1 winners. After a venue change, they still have somewhat of a home advantage but the travelling Dons are set to bring a huge following after reaching the semi-final of the competition for the first time in their history.
Arran Moore understands the size of his task but has expressed his ‘quiet confidence’ ahead of their showdown.
He said: “It was a good win, we didn’t know what to expect, we were getting told that they are a very good team so I think it helped us in a way, we went into it knowing we had to be at our best and it worked out well. We started quick, got a few goals and their manager even said we didn’t give them a look so I was pleased. It was a good all round performance and a few goals to go with it.
“Anyone knows in Sunday league the National Cup is the one you want to be in, if you asked anyone in our league they’d rather win it than the league because of the history it’s got.
“Not many teams get this far and I’m proud of the lads but now we’re here, I want to get it over the line. Come Sunday, we’ve got to get the game done because SE Dons, they’ve got a big following and they’ve already sold out two sections so it’s going to be a hard game but we’re looking forward to it. The day itself is going to be good, we’re looking forward to it.
“You can’t ever go off the videos, they’ve got decent players, when you watch a game of footy if you turn up on your day you can beat anyone, that’s the mindset we’re bringing. They can bring as many fans as they want. There’s been the palaver about the goalkeeper but I’d rather they have him so we can say we beat them with their best team.
“We’ve got a big squad and everyone has had to fight for their place so if anything it’s boosted our confidence and morale because people know they’ve got to play well to keep their place. We’ve had a decent run, performances have been good, the lads are ready, they’ve got the fight and know what’s at stake if we go out there and perform at our best.
“I’m quietly confident, we know it’s going to be a big game, with the fans it’s something some of the players might not have experienced or will experience again so it’s up to them to go out and show what they’re about I’m looking forward to it.”