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Blues and Boro – looking back

For older fans of the Blues, the newly announced link-up with Middlesbrough will rekindle memories of the FA Cup third round tie between the two clubs.
Blues had fought their past Harlow Town, Reading and Slough Town to reach the stage where second division Borough joined the competition, and few people gave them much hope when they were drawn against a side managed by the flamboyant Malcolm Allison. Those thoughts looked justified as the home side led 2-0 at Ayresome Park going into the half-time break. But two goals from defender Richie Bradford (a man not known for hitting the back of the net) in the space of as many minutes had the Stortford fans who’d travelled by chartered trains, coaches and cars for one of the biggest games I the club’s long history in raptures as they sealed a home replay.
With Allison, – complete with fedora and cigar – proclaiming Blues had missed their chance, the replay caught the imagination of the nation with BBC and ITV cameras and most of Fleet Street joining a capacity (officially 6,000 – it looked a lot more) crowd at Rhodes Avenue. A first half Lyndon Lynch goal put Stortford ahead, but the fairy tale ended as Boro struck twice after the break.