How Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham transformed Marine AFC in the FA Cup third round draw

Marine’s 2021 FA Cup run was out of this world, and their manager, Neil Young, vividly remembers every moment. The last penalty that shocked League Two Colchester United, and Niall Cummins’ 120th-minute winner against Havant & Waterlooville sparked “bedlam,” even in an empty stadium during lockdown. This incredible story has put Marine AFC, a volunteer-led club, into the hat for the third round with some of the biggest teams in the world.

With the third-round draw, the possibilities seemed remote, but Marine was desperate to get lucky. When they drew Tottenham Hotspur, Neil Young remembers the surreal moment when the phone never stopped ringing and the intense media coverage forced him to take a week off work. The game itself was another crystal clear memory, as international stars like Dele Alli, Joe Hart, Toby Alderweireld, Lucas Moura, and Gareth Bale all graced Marine’s Rossett Park.

Spurs were too good, of course, winning 5-0. Yet Marine hit the woodwork at 0-0, leaving fans to ask what might have been. Through this experience, Marine’s facilities and average gate have greatly improved, and the magic of the FA Cup will live with Young forever. This underdog story has truly been an unbelievable experience for everyone involved.

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