With the FA Cup approaching it seems apposite, whilst trundling back down Cut Throat Lane this week, to dig out an old fixture from 30 October 2007 and the FA Cup fourth qualifying round replay against the black and whites from the county town of Staffordshire. I have said on here many times that the Conference years were a blur period(no apologies to Oasis) so it was interesting looking at the attached programme and thinking I was only 33 at the time(sic - ed).
The U’s had drawn 1-1 at Marston Road the previous Saturday which had been our second visit there in a month. And of course another showing for the infamous “Newmarket Town” third strip of yellow/royal blue/yellow which was to appear later in the season again at Forest Green. In the day the concept of a third kit was pretty alien, even in the Premier League. How things have changed, eh. I see Coventry have just brought out a third kit, in the last week of OCTOBER! Anyway, back to the game, a Scott Rendell penalty ensured a replay three days later. And this time we made no mistake trouncing the Rangers 5-1 with a double for Olly Knights and one each for messrs Boylan, Rendell and Wolleaston. In the squad that evening for the visitors were none other than Tom Youngs and Fred Murray…. The prize? A home tie with either Crawley or Aldershot Town in the first round proper on 10 November. Turned out to be Aldershot whom we beat 2-1 in front of 2,641 but our journey ended in the next round. Just glancing at the roll call of United officials in the programme, anybody remember a director called Geoff Peck? I don’t.
On this day in 1960 Diego Armando Maradona was born in the suburbs of Buenos Aires. He made his senior debut in Argentina ten days short of his sixteenth birthday. Scored 34 times in 91 appearances for his country and participated in four World Cups. He played in Spain for Barcelona and famously won two Serie A titles(including their first) for Napoli in 1986/7 and 1989/90. He had tattoos of Che Guevara and Fidel Castrol on his arm and left leg. He died on 25 November 2020, fifteen years to the day after the passing of another footballing great, this time from the back streets of Belfast.