Evening, all. Welcome to the other Manchester reds, let’s hope we fare better than the two encounters in their inaugural season last year which saw us doubled and, if I recall correctly, the 0-4 stuffing at home on 28 January this year saw off our head coach the following day. You know why we have short memories in football!
To be fair 3 November hasn’t exactly been a happy hunting ground for us over the years. Looking down CT Lane I see four fixtures of note over the seasons, two involving our part time rivals down in Bedfordshire.
The first was in our second season in division two in 1979/80 which saw us on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline in front of a decent crowd of 8,104. You know it took us 15 years to beat the Hatters? We didn’t manage it on this day in 1992 either however the 3-3 draw felt like a moral victory as we were 0-3 down come early in the second half. Goals from Lee Philpot and a brace from supersub John Francis(remember him?) sealed the draw. The Bulls from Hereford stole the points on a miserable day in 1987 in front of a measly 2,257. Their first ever League win at the Abbey.
Our concentration this evening (and the match day programme focus) is that competition we all forgot about, the Cambs Professional Cup. Is it still going? I’m not sure. As you can imagine it was usual for the two senior Cambridge teams to compete in the final back in the day(it started in 1958/9) although Utd’s elevation to League status in 1970 did rather diminish the competition, at least in our eyes, and the 1971 final was was not played out until the November of that year, over two legs, and 3 November saw the first leg at the Abbey and a 2-0 win to the U’s(Greenhalgh and Horrey). The return was the following May(!) and the U’s came out 2-1 winners. Looking at the stats it seems we persevered with said competition until the end of the 2008/9 season (lost to Histon, urgghh), a one off final by then. In the intervening years we played many non-Cambs sides as City effectively dropped out and these included Luton Town (winners in 1978), Norwich City (throughout the 1980s) and particularly oddly, a Canadian Olympic XI in 1992.
Enjoy the programme!
Finally, on this day in 1952 a certain Clarence Birdseye marketed frozen peas for the first time. He died less than four years later.