This season marks the 50th anniversary of Cambridge United’s last season in the Southern League which concluded in being elected into the Football League. Week by week we will look back on events of that memorable season and also 30 years ago, a season which saw the U’s win the first ever play off final at Wembley.
The first Saturday of the new year saw non-league Darlington come to the Abbey for the FA Cup 3rd round tie. They totally outplayed United and were very unlucky not to win. The match ended 0-0 but both David Cork and Paul Emson came very close to scoring. The replay three days later saw Darlington take the lead mid way through the first half and they looked to be in control. Until the last 20 minutes when Darlington had a goal controversy ruled out and John Taylor went on to scored the equaliser which was followed up with goals from Lee Philpott and Dion Dublin. Next up in the cup would be Millwall.
The day after the replay Chris Turner resigned. He had been suffering with stomach problems brought on by stress and overwork. He was also recovering from a severe bout of flu. Feeling that he had taken the team as far as he could and he needed a rest he suggested that assistant manager John Beck should take over. Turner had hoped to become general manager but the board blocked the idea, saying that clubs our size don’t have general managers.
John Beck took over the reins for the trip to Hereford on 13th January and recored the U’s first win for five matches winning 2-0 with goals from Dion Dublin and Phil Chapple.
FOOTBALL IN DECEMBER 1989 Liverpool at the top of First Division were 4 points ahead of Aston Villa in second. Leeds United, Notts County and Exeter City were top of the other divisions. Today’s visitors Mansfield Town were 21st in the third division having lost at home to Northampton.