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The local derby is looming and as Staines fans prepare to invadeTW8, BillytheBee catches a vibe with Laurence ‘Wakes’ Wakefield – a teccie/webbie/club photographer/supporters club/club-shop-running Staines fan (I think they call those sort of people jack of all trades) talking AFC Wimbledon, punching Russell Grant and The Inbetweeners

What was your first match?

Yeovil Town at home 1989 FA cup 4th qualifying round. We lost 3-0 but i been hooked ever since

Staines are one step away from the Football Conference – currently nestling in 12th place in Conference South. You’re like Jekyll and Hyde when it comes to playing home and away – winning all six league matches at home this season while losing all you away matches bar one draw. Saying that, you did beat Aylesbury 3-0 at their place in the FA Cup 2nd qualifying round and saw off Poole 1-0 in the your FA Cup 4th round replay against with 9 men

We are very good at home. Maybe a little fortunate to have won all six. Away we have been unlucky and come up against some top sides so far so its just a matter of time before we win. Not that we’re particularly bad away or anything as we have won 2 FA cup games away

So striker Louie Theophanous seems to be the man. Scored 7 goals 10 games this season. Bit of a strange one that. Signed from Histon a few years back. He played one season before signing for Bromley. You then signed him back at the start of this season. What’s that all about?

I didnt know he played for Histon. That’s news to me. I know he started off in Wimbledon’s reserves and trialled in Cyprus before signing for Staines start of last seaon. Started off slowly and then it all clicked and he scored something like 10 in 10 before surprisingly taking a sideways step to Bromley. He soon came to his senses and re signed at start of this season and is on fire again. If he carries on scoring he wont be here long. But this time hopefully he will sign for a league club

Other then Louie, are there any other players we should be looking our for (don’t worry the Brentford scouting network will have done their homework so no secrets given away here)

Stephane Ngamvoulou is one to watch, French midfielder with a magic touch. Takes it around players like they dont exist

Your manager Marcus Gayle is a bit of a cult hero down at a Griffin Park. When he rwas a youth team player, he used to actually stand on the New Road terraces with our crew. Do you know about his massive chicken?

Yes I used to sing the song back in 92 when they got promoted. I went to a number of games that season when staines wernt playing. Will be funny to hear people singing about his massive cock (chicken that is of course) again when he walks out onto the pitch tomorrow

C’mon you must have some stories about the boss that you can’t leash on the world.

I do know he is not afraid to speak his mind and despite his laid back and friendly mannerisms, underneath he is a very tough character which is what you need to be a good manager. His interviews are very entertaining and one interview this season he made references to one of our players doing a silly dance before lunging in with his stupid pink boots and getting sent off. I believe he banned those boots from ever being worn again. That made me chuckle.

After spending a few years working under Terry Brown at AFC Wimbledon as reserve team manager, he got frustrated and left – eventually getting his first 1st team managers job at Staines Town. It’s only his second season so he’s still learning but how’s he doing down there?

He started off slowly but is now finding his feet after winning the Middlesex Senior Cup and keeping us up with the league’s smallest budget. This season has been flying winning all six home games and reaching first round proper of FA Cup.

What’s your style of playing?

We will be there to win no doubt about it. We will attack Brentford. Hit you on the break and get balls out to Louie. I believe we will be far more motivated than Brentford as it is our Cup Final (BillytheBee – fighting talk. don’t let Uwe Rosler hear you say that)

I see you biggest ever league crowd at Wheatsheaf Rd is 2285 when AFC Wimbledon came to visit. That was an Istmian League Premier Division match back in 2006. Was that quite a lively affair?

Not one that particularly sticks in my memory as i think we lost about 4-1. We had loads of big crowds round about that time with cup runs and play offs

You also lost to AFC Wimbledon in the 2008 playoff final going down 2-1 after going a goal up. Must’ve been a gutter.

Yes we were leading with 8 minutes left on the clock before they scored two late goals. Was disappointing but pleased for them as they deserved to go up. Was Marcus Gayle’s last ever competitive match also

Your and AFC Wimbledon’s paths barely crossed so I’m sure you don’t see them as rivals. Who are your biggest rivals? Ashford Town, Hampton and Richmond or Egham

All of them, Ashford is very friendly rivalry, Egham is just nasty as they are a tad jealous of us

What’s the maddest rivals game you have ever been to?

Wealdstone are prob the most abusive non-league crowd I have experienced with Staines. We have had run-ins with them before.

The infamous caravan park disco from The Inbetweeners where Neil dropped some dangerous moves on the dance floor was filmed just 5 minutes down the road from Wheatsheaf Rd at Laleham Camp Site. Time to unmask. Any of your players dropped an embarrassing shape after a goal celebration?

We did have a comedy sketch filmed at our ground where our team unknowingly came up against a team of actors. We were wining about 6-0 after 10 minutes when the ref awarded them a dodgy penalty, when they scored the whole team stripped naked and ran around celebrating. Was quite bizarre

You’re at the funfair playing the ‘I punched someone who lived in Staines’ arcade game. The game features the heads of Denny Laine (from Paul McCartney’s Wings), the whole of Hard Fi and Lord Lucan. It’s the final round and you have a chance to win £100. Up pops Rupert Murdoch and Bobby Davro’s head. You need to punch the right final Staines inhabitant to win the cash. Who will it be (tough call)?

Bobby Davro for not showing any interest in our club over the years lol!

Russell Grant surprisingly didn’t feature in the punching game as he flits between all Middlesex teams – so its hard to tie him down. I’ve been told that some folk would love to choose between him and Bobby Davro. Has Marcus asked him for a zodiac reading for the weekend do you think?

I very much doubt that haha. Grant has been to quite a few games actually and I’ve seen him there on many occasions. He awarded the Lord of Ashford (Middlesex) Bowl to Ashford Town when they beat us pre-season.

So looking at the FA Cup, you guys have been in the First Round five times now. In 2007 you drew up at Stockport before taking them back to Wheatsheaf Road to beat them in front of a record crowd of 2,860. Talk us through those Cup games.

It was amazing just to play a League team in FA Cup to be honest but when Marc Charles-Smith equalised late in the game, the whole Staines end surged to the front and mobbed the players – it was the most amazing goal celebration ever. Beating them in the replay on penalties was unbelievable – it was like everyone was on the pitch and hugging like we had won the World Cup or something.

Then, two years later, you beat Shrewsbury at their ground. There’s nothing like winning away in the Cup. That must’ve been great

It was strange because of the easiness of the win, the whole game was like playing a team from our own level as Shrewsbury were so poor on the day. A great solo effort from Ali C won the game for us

Ironically, in the Second Round, you were pitched against the winners of Millwall and your old foes, AFC Wimbledon, at The New Den. I was actually at that game in a packed away end when, quite hilariously, 3,500 AFC away fans sang; “your crowd’s too big for you” and basically took the p@ss out of Millwall fans for 90 minutes despite losing 4-1. You then drew 1-1 with them at your place, which must’ve been great. I bet they weren’t happy.

People were talking about boarding their windows up when they heard Millwall were coming to town… but the fans were fine and very well behaved.

So, you’re in the hat for the Third Round for the first time ever with Derby County anxiously waiting to type TW18 2PD into their sat-navs. You went to the New Den confident to conquer where AFC Wimbledon couldn’t. Did you take many? Was their ground too big for them?

Think we took about 800 or something. The ground seemed massive… like a Premier League ground, but the Millwall turn-out was poor. I believe there were some idiots in the Staines end who tried to fight the stewards and got thrown out, however.

The FA Cup is big booty. But, realistically, the chances of you winning it are next to zero. However, you have been much more successful in other cups: winning the Middlesex Senior cup 10 times. Your last victory being only a few months ago against Ashford. Do you think that this Middlesex Cup battling pedigree you have may set you up in good stead for this game – the ultimate Middlesex battle against the mighty Bees?

Nothing to do with winning that cup as its played in front of about 400 fans. Playing in the first round proper at Griffin Park is the motivator

It would be rude for me not to ask you for a score prediction. Surely, ideally, a draw and then take us back to your’s for a sell-out game is the best result for you?

The game will end up with a 1-1 with a replay Wheatsheaf Road live on the box.

Thanks to Wakes for taking time out to answer questions for Beesotted. You can follow wakes on twitter – @wakes1976

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