Blast from the past – one of our most famous moments

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By Andrew Cornell

Today marks 35th anniversary of one of the most famous days in Blues’ 143 year history.

Wins against local minnows Harlow Town, Third Division club Reading and fellow Isthmian League side Slough Town  set an FA Cup third round tie at second division Middlesbrough.

Former Manchester City manager and TV pundit Malcolm Allison was in charge at Ayrsome Park which helped the publicity somewhat and Stortford made the long trip to the North East for the first time since their Amateur Cup Days.

The first half went according to the script as the Second Division (Championship now) side seemed to find everything all too easy. Elley was the best Stortford player at this time but he was having his hands full coping with Ray Hankin. Advice he’d had from John Radford helped though and he gained confidence as the match went on. Early in the game there was a warning as Otto beat Simmonds and crossed for Hankin to head goalwards but on this occasion Wickenden deflected the ball over. Unfortunately Wickenden went from hero to villain as he underhit a back pass allowing Bell to seize the ball. Welsh blocked the shot but a cruel rebound off Bell gave Boro the lead. Bell scored again after a great run beating 3 defenders and Blues began to fall apart. Lynch was booed, Simonds wasted a corner and Boro had more chances from Otto, Sugrue and Shearer but then fight back began.

Having made it to half time still in the game Blues came out to take the game to Boro in the second half. In the 48th minute Worrell headed the ball to Bradford who on the ground scooped the ball over Platt. Within 2 minutes the ball came to Bradford again via Worrell and a cross from Sullivan and suddenly Stortford were level. Now it was Middlesbrough who seemed nervous although they were still able to threaten as Hankin failed to earn a penalty with a blatant dive. There followed a point blank save from Welsh and Elley stole the ball from Hankin practically under the Stortford bar and the non-leaguers had won a replay. The replay was lost but in the meantime Ayresome Park gave very generous applause to the Stortford team.


Other games on this date

2013 Stalybridge Celtic 3 BSFC 1 – Conference North

Carter, Burns, Melaugh, Prestedge, Bailey-Dennis, Francis, Johnson, Abdullahi, Sturrock, Cawley, Baker

Subs: Sappleton, Thalassitis Not Used: Livings, Waller-Lassen, Lettejallow Scorer: Francis


2011 BSFC 2 Boreham Wood 0 – Conference South

Kitteridge, Jones, Bakare, Bowditch, McNaughton, Essam, Hahn, Eberendu, White, Norville, Prestedge

Subs: Mason, Gaisie, Ming Not Used: Matata, Duncan Scorers: Hahn, Norville


2008 BSFC 4 Havant & Waterlooville 1 – Conference South

Welch, Jones, Taylor, Edwards, Gillman, Stanbrook, Fazackerley, Mason, Pearson, Midson, Dean

Subs: Williamson, Gaisie Not Used: Patten, Martin, Young Scorers: Stanbrook, Fazackerley, Pearson, Deen


2002 BSFC 2 London Colney 3 – Herts Senior Cup 2nd Round

Desborough, Hannigan, Riches, Bowen, Allison, Kyriacou, Beale, Hyatt, Hayes, Paul, Hercules Subs: John, Braham, Taylor Not Used: Risley, Double Scorers: Hayes, Paul


2000 Bedford Town 1 BSFC 0 – Isthmian League Division 1

Day, Foot, Risley, Paxton, Bowen, Pitcher, Comerford, Waldron, John, Paul, Braham

Subs: Hayes, Leary, Winger


1991 BSFC 1 Grays Athletic 1 – Isthmian League Premier Division

Taylor, Jackman, Bedford, Hopkins, Harrigan, Went, Ryan, Parker, Joseph, Gayle, Manderson Subs: Fortune-West, Parnwell Scorer: Gayle


1983 Middlesbrough 2 BSFC 2 – FA Cup 3rd Round

Welsh, Wickenden, Brown, Bradford, Elley, Hull, Avery, Lynch, Worrell, Simmonds, Sullivan Sub: ??? Scorer: Bradford (2)


1977 Slough Town 2 BSFC 1 – Isthmian League Division 1

Alcorn, Tucker, Gough, Flack, Clarke, Melvin, Smith, Dillsworth, MacKenzie, Twigg, Gaine Sub: Bailey Scorer: ???


1972 Ruislip Manor 2 BSFC 2 – FA Amateur Cup 1st Round

Moore, Sedgeley, King, Wilson, Still, Sharkey, Whyte, Lawrence, Devaux, Smith, Francis

Sub Not Used: Merrifield Scorers: Smith, Francis


1966 Tilbury 2 BSFC 3– Athenian League Division 1

Cherry, Rolph, Atkinson, Gough, Neeves, Duley, P Duggan, C Duggan, Haywood, Saggers, Francis Scorers: C Duggan, Haywood, Saggers


1955 BSFC ? Romford ? – Friendly


1949 BSFC 4 Ware 3 – Herts Senior Cup 1st Round

Richardson, Brooks, Bradford, Lambert, Cook, Hubbuck, O’Sullivan, Jones, Giles, Yates, Page Scorers: O’Sullivan, Yates (2), Page


1938 Hoddesdon Town 4 BSFC 0 – Spartan League Division 1

Turnbull, Lowe, Wooten, Polybank, Gardner, Ship, Myers, Pilbeam, Haylock, Elliott, Hanratty



1927 BSFC 3 Stansted 2 – Stansted & District League

Boxall, Wright, ???, ???, Thurley, Raybould, ???, ???, Patmore, Gillis, Hayward

Scorers: Raybould, Patmore, Hayward


1921 Allenburys 1 BSFC 1 – East Herts League Division 1

Boxall, Smith, Walker, Thurgood, Chapman, Newey, Golder, Clarke, Wright, Brazier, Sheldrake Scorer: Clarke

Author: Dave Ryan