All 7 entries tagged Nostalgia
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January 25, 2007
January 25th 1997
Everton 2 O’Brien o.g. 54, Speed 90
Bradford City 3 Dreyer 49, Waddle 51, Steiner 59
Yes, time for more BCFC related nostalgia. Ten years ago this very day, a huge cup shock, with what should have been goal of the season (yet didn’t even make goal of the month). On paper, this was a mis-match. City were in the bottom 3 of the Championship, having struggled desperately post-Wembley promotion. Everton were only 19 months out from having won the FA Cup against Man Utd in 1995…
City persisted with the fashionable 3-5-2 system (almost until it was too late in the league), hoping to pack the midfield and frustrate. Cheered on by 6,000 travelling fans half-time came with only 1 real scare, a fine tip-over from Mark Schwarzer denying Duncan Ferguson’s header. Yet having drawn 0-0 at half time, manager Chris Kamara withdrew Hamilton and Kiwomya for Wembley scorer Stallard and the always entertaining Liburd.
And 4 minutes into the second half, complete disbelief. A scramble on the edge of the area led to John ‘Tumble’ Dreyer, normally a centreback but deployed in front of the back 3, rifling in a half volley from 20 yards. But that was nothing in comparison to what followed.
Everton piled forward and won a corner. The move broke down, and City counterattacked. The ball ended up with Andrei Kanchelskis on the half way line, with noone behind him. Not being used to playing in such a position, he dallied on the ball and was ambushed by Swedish striker Rob Steiner…the ball rolled to Chris Waddle (in his late thirties, but still our best player by a mile) in the centre circle...who saw Neville Southall in his own penalty arc…and hit it first time.
It sailed goalwards, over the stranded keeper, clearing the underneath of the bar by centimetres and hitting the back of the net 6 feet up. Stunned silence. Following by mad cheering from the visiting hordes from Yorkshire. The best goal in the world, ever.
Everton were now really mad. Again they threw everyone forward, and following a header down from Ferguson, 17-year-old Andy O’Brien misdirected the ball past his own keeper. If you listen hard enough, Keith Coates (legend) – the commentator on the club video – is heard to remark “oh, s—t”. Here we go, we’ll lose 3-2. Yet the next meaningful attack saw Waddle send Steiner through a hopelessly square back 4, outpacing the ancient legs of Dave Watson to coolly beat Southall again. Delirium in the stands. Steiner’s best performance for the club by some distance; a mobile, aggressive, strong centre-forward – oh for one now!
The next 30 minutes were spent in a furious rearguard action, with Ferguson mostly marked by 2 players. We looked like we had got away with it only for ex-dirty-Leeds man Gary Speed to fluke a deflected one in from the left touchline in injury time. But it was the last meaningful kick of the game.
To give the Everton fans credit, they gave the City players a good hand as they left the pitch. We’d lose in the 5th round to a very poor Sheffield Wednesday side, and it would be the last time we had any sort of a cup-run. 10 years since the last cup-run!
The epilogue; what should have been the BBC’s goal of the season ended up losing the goal of the month contest to Trevor Sinclair’s spectacular (but entirely speculative) overhead kick for QPR against Barnsley on the same afternoon. A travesty. Biased? Me?
Everton (4-4-2): Southall – Barrett, Watson, Short, Phelan (Grant) – Kanchelskis, Parkinson, Stuart, Speed – Barmby, Ferguson. Subs not used: Gerrard, Unsworth.
City (3-1-4-2): Schwarzer – Mohan, Sas, O’Brien – Dreyer – Hamilton (Liburd), Duxbury, Waddle, Jacobs – Kiwomya (Stallard), Steiner. Sub not used: Pinto
November 24, 2006
Writing about web page http://www.chem.leeds.ac.uk/People/CMR/footy/archive/2002/index.html
I’ve already written this once today, but the blogbuilder editor page ate it, so I must type it out all over again…
I’ve just played another match for the (today, anyway) pretty damn good Steaua ButylEster, and have come over all nostalgic for my previous life in Leeds.
In the department there, there used to be a mixed summer football tournament among postgraduates/postdocs/staff. It was always played (unless you were playing KFC) in a good spirit, and was generally fun, especially if you had a PhD supervisor who swore the place down as he spaffed another ‘shot’ into the basketball backboard.
The problem was numbers. Only having 5 players (the Inorganic section, from whom Real Complex were comprised) always meant that teams with bigger squads would steamroller us. I once remember conceding 15 in a 30 minute match. In the 2000 and 2001 campaigns, we had a combined record of P14 W1 D1 L12. Unsurprisingly, we didn’t make the playoffs.
In 2002, the Inorganic section had been swollen by the arrival of a new Prof from Australia, and many more PhDs signing for other groups in his wake. Suddenly there was a pool of players to choose from. Joining stalwart heroes Gott, Furtado, Camm and McGowan were striker Clark, midfield enforcers Dalgarno and Burdsall, and the French international stars Elhaik (combustible temper, deadly left foot) and Renard. Burdsall and Renard shared the ‘female on the pitch at all times’ duties.
What followed in the 2002 season would be dismissed by Hollywood producers as fanciful and far fetched, as zeroes went to heroes. Right from the outset, a stunning 4-0 demolition of well-fancied Queens Park Rayners, we shocked everyone with our performances, ending up unbeaten in the group stages. Following a semi-final win over 2001 winners The Enolizers (a game punctuated by that rarest of rare things, a Furtado1 goal), we faced hot favourites, the free-scoring River Hotplate.
If you’re thinking Hollywood sporting films, you’ll be thinking the denouement is along the lines of The Mighty Ducks, or Remember The Titans. True to form, we were in front 3 times in the final, and with the 3rd goal coming 2 minutes from time, everything was set for a fairytale finish. Then Oliver Stone took the directors chair, tore up the script, and went all Any Given Sunday. With literally seconds left, a stray pass let Hotplate in to make it 3-3, and with two of our best players off the pitch resting, the ensuing penalty shootout was lost 3-1.
It was great fun to play in (and very funny to watch your PhD bosses’ wildly erratic shooting), a personal highlight being the none-shall-pass performance against the KFC striker who could only score by cheating from a free kick with a moving ball (yes, 4 years later I am still bitter2). The look on his face when I contemptuously didn’t move for one of his long shots and it hit the post and flew into my hands was priceless…..
1 Whose shooting could almost be described as Haggart-esque
2 The referee’s response was “it’s the last minute, does it really matter?” Yes it does!
May 26, 2006
10 years ago today!
Sunday 26th May 1996
Notts County 0
Bradford City 2 Hamilton 8, Stallard 76
A fantastic end to a most curious season. City actually contrived to lose 17 games this season and manager Lennie Lawrence (sacked in November) yet dump Premiership Nottingham Forest out of the League Cup over 2 legs and scare the pants off Norwich, coming within seconds of beating them. In February, City still lay well in the bottom half of the table, despite having spent 1.1 million pounds on players in 2 close seasons under Geoffrey Richmond. 9 wins in 13 got City over the play–off line and some heroic deeds by the seaside meant a first ever trip to Wembley.
We had played Notts twice already in the season, a 2–0 away win (and PC Showler's wondergoal) and a home game in February when the 3,622 crowd would have fit comfortably into the new stand announced that day. Given the stunning turnaround in Blackpool 10 days before, the result seemed a foregone conclusion. But this is BCFC. They would surely stuff it up?
The travelling hordes from the North didn't seem to think so. Probably upwards of 100 coaches set off from Valley Parade and every car on the M1 had flags or scarves hanging out of the windows. The scene at Leicester Forest services was quite something, I don't think there was anyone there who wasn't a) going to the football or b) wearing the colours. The man selling the flags was making a killing.
And then, after the tortuous gridlock of the North Circular, it loomed into view. Wembley Stadium. Scene of so many sides' greatest hours, it had taken us 73 years to get there (our solitary FA Cup final being at the Crystal Palace). The fans were determined to enjoy the day. Would it be as long again before the next visit? As soon as you saw the team on the pitch for the pre–match walkabout looking rather dapper in the club suits it seemed we were taking it so much more seriously than Notts were.
Come kick off time, our fans were outnumbering theirs something like 4:1. As the match kicked off, only 1 change from Blackpool was made, fit again skipper Eddie Youds was recalled at the heart of the defence in place of David Brightwell. City made their intentions clear from the off, not overawed by the occasion at all, and only 8 minutes in the breakthrough came. Bradford born teenager Des Hamilton barreled his way through three challenges on the edge of the penalty area and stumbling, crashed a shot against the bar and in. The perfect start.
And from then on, City were in near total control. Notts were the more direct team, as opposed to City's measured, neat approach, and the wide–open spaces of the Wembley pitch suited possession football.
Only once did Notts threaten, when on 70 minutes in an almost carbon–copy of Blackpool's first goal in the semifinal, Tony Battersby received a quick throw with back to goal. He turned inside and fired in a strike from 25 yards which looked a goal the moment he hit it, but for the outstretched palm of Jonathan Gould to fingertip the ball over the bar.
Undoubtedly the turning point, City made the game safe in the next meaningful attack. Not for the first time, Notts' robust midfield approach gave way a free kick. Lee Duxbury's quick free kick found Richard Huxford free midway through the Notts half. His cross found the walking lamppost that was Ian Ormondroyd. A perfect near post flick on found Mark Stallard on the run. He didn't break stride and a crashing volley into the roof of the net made it 2–0. Game over. Cue lots of mexican waves, the mighty Quo, and a lap of honour that lasted forever. Or seemed to anyway.
City (4–4–2): Gould – Huxford, Mohan, Youds, Jacobs – Hamlton, Duxbury, Mitchell, Kiwomya (Wright) – Shutt (Ormondroyd), Stallard. Sub not used: Tolson
Notts County (4–4–2): Ward – Derry, Strodder, Hogg, Baraclough – Wilder, Rogers, Richardson, Finnan – Agana, Battersby. Sub not used: Pollitt, A N Other, Jones
May 15, 2006
…a.k.a. The Miracle Of Bloomfield Road
Let's wander down memory lane once again.
But as Frankie Howerd might have said:
"and now, the Prologue"
Having crept into the playoffs, City faced 3rd–placed Blackpool in the two–legged semi–final. We'd played each other 4 times already in the season, City winning 3 to Blackpool's sole 1, that very cold afternoon back in December. Blackpool had finished 12 points distant in 3rd place, having spectacularly imploded over the final month of the season to be overhauled by Oxford United. Momentum certainly wasn't with them. it certainly was with us. A capacity crowd awaited episode 5….
Sunday, May 12th 1996
Bradford City 0
Blackpool 2 Ellis 72, Bonner 76
What a huge anticlimax to the week before. City never got started, content to hoof long balls to Ian Ormondroyd. This would be fine if he wasn't bullied out of the game by meathead (and implausibly fat for a professional footballer) centre–back Andy Morrison. Blackpool were content to sit back, but a counter attack down the left saw old foe Tony Ellis (who always scores against us)receive the ball with back to goal on the left touchline. Inexplicably shown inside by the defence, he curled a 25–yarder past Gould. Worse was to follow when a high cross from the right found Mark Bonner unmarked at the far post. His header would have gone straight to Gould, but for hitting the back of Richard Huxford and deflecting above his despairing dive. Blackpool celebrated like they'd won promotion there and then. Certainly the chain smoking Mr. Allardyce in the visitor's dug–out did. The second leg was a formality. Or was it...?
Wednesday, May 15th, 1996
Bradford City 3 Shutt 39, Hamilton 69, Stallard 78
Yes, the "Bradford City Way" is not the easy way. Only one change was made from Sunday's game, Carl Shutt replacing Ormondroyd. The plan was to play the ball on the floor, beating Blackpool's 'solid' (but highly immobile) backline with movement off the ball. It paid off in spades.
The attendance was far from capacity. Certainly many from Bradford had decided not to bother. The 800 who did would certainly suggest they should have. Chris Kamara didn't need to give a team talk this time– Sam Allardyce had done it for him with his pre–match programme notes talking of "players playing for Wembley places". The 'away travel' section had information regarding ticket prices and coach details for a day in London. It was pinned to the dressing room wall. Cheers Big Sam!
Now I wasn't at the game. All I can tell you is what i remember from listening to the radio and the highlights as seen on the club video and TV. A reasonably tight first half display was turned into an excellent one on 39 minutes– Lee Duxbury's long throw was headed on by Graham Mitchell for Shutt to volley home at the near post.
Blackpool were now in quandary– do they push forward to try and kill off the tie (risking being open to the counter attack) or do they sit back and protect the lead, thus encouraging Bradford forwards in greater numbers. It seemed they opted for the latter. On 69 minutes, Andy Kiwomya (electric pace, terrible control) ghosted past right back Marvin Bryan as if he wasn't there and his flat cross was side footed home by Disco Des from 10 yards. 2–2…the video is hilarious, heads in hands galore at the Blackpool end.
And then the denouement to the evening. 78 minutes. City piling forwards. Wayne Jacobs' ball from the left dropped in no man's land on the edge of the area. One time City loan-keeper Eric Nixon collided with centre back Linighan, the ball ran loose. Mark Stallard pounced in the melee....cue Chris Cooper (now of TalkNonsense) of the Pulse:"IT'S UP FOR GRABS NOW....!!!!!! BLACKPOOL TOWER IS A MILE DOWN THE ROAD BUT IT'S THE TWIN TOWERS OF WEMBLEY STADIUM BECKONING!!!!
Wild cheering from a man up the street mowing his lawn, and from someone upstairs on the exercise bike (having got on at 0–0 and Shutt's goal following instantly, he daren't get off). The looks of horror on the faces of the Blackpool fans are a study in gut–wrenching disbelief
From the kick–off, near calamity– the usual BCFC vulnerability when just having scored struck– the centre halves left the ball to the keeper and vice versa. Andy Preece nipped in and lifted it over the oncoming Gould. Gould hadn't kept a clean sheet for the club since his arrival from Coventry in March…the ball sailed goalwards…and bounced off the top of the bar.
The rest of the game was played in total comfort, and Stallard missed a sitter in the 90th minute in a breakway. The final whistle went, cue all the City dugout on the pitch. Richard Liburd, and other non–playing squad members ran on the pitch to be accosted by the Police and nearly arrested!
And Big Sam? Sacked within 30 minutes of the final whistle.
This was the night where the next few years of progress was cemented. The outcome of the next game was never in doubt. Tune in on the 26th for more nostalgia….
May 04, 2006
Yep, its May 4th today. As everyone knows, May 4th 1996 was quite a crazy afternoon in the life of any BCFC fan.
So straight to it
May 4th 1996
Hull City 2 Darby 2, Gordon 12
Bradford City 3 Stallard 3, Duxbury 13, Shutt 56
What an afternoon. City lay in 6th place (the final play off place) going into the match, having only drawn with champions Swindon in the previous game. This meant Wrexham, Chesterfield, Stockport and Bristol Rovers could all overtake City should they lose, courtesy of City's very thin goal difference. Hull on the other hand had endured a nightmare season, and went into the final game 21 points adrift of safety. An easy 3 points? That is not the BCFC way!
Such was the interest in the match in Bradford that up to 6000 away fans were expected to make the short hop along the M62. Humberside police decided to make Hull give the 'home' end to the away support. Hull's fans would have to make do with the supermarket end. Such was the tension before the game as a result of this, there was a pitch invasion to demonstrate against the very unpopular Hull board. The idiots in our end took it upon themselves to run on the pitch and start fighting, which they did for what seemed an age because there was not a single police officer to be seen. Eventually the riot police + horses got in the ground , cleared the pitch, and the match started late.
City had already had a warning shot across the bows after 30 seconds when teenage striker Gavin Gordon had missed from close range. From the resulting goal kick, the ball was played back through the squarest–of–square back lines for Duane Darby to round Jonathan Gould and give Hull a shock lead. Cue their fans on the pitch again. Once the pitch was cleared, City equalised almost immediately (in terms of playing time anyway) when Ian Ormondroyd waltzed down the left to roll a ball into the path of Mark Stallard who crashed the ball in the top corner from the edge of the area. 1–1. Cue our fans on the pitch, for a much longer stoppage. Half past three and the match is about 3 minutes old.
Hull scored again on the counterattack, once more the back four carved apart for Gordon to atone for his early miss by firing through Gould, but once more City hit straight back as Carl Shutt broke down the left. His low cross into the six yard box span up into the air (allegedly off a pile of police horse no.2's), into the path of the oncoming (but now horribly wrong footed) Lee Duxbury. A complete miskick off his shin fooled the 17 year old Roy Carroll in goal and the ball trickled in. 2–2. Cue minor pitch invasion.
At this point ref Uriah Rennie (when he was on the way up and was actually good) declared to the police match commander that one more incursion by either set of supporters would result in the abandonment of the match. City manager Chris Kamara came over to urge the travelling support to stay in the stand. Half time came at about 4.15.
City kicked off the second half, and it was less than 5 minutes old when news came through 7th placed Chesterfield were beating 4th place Notts County– they led 1–0 after about 70 minutes of their game (by a penalty from future City boss Nicky Law of all people). City now had to win as they themselves were edged out of 7th place on goal difference. Stockport were drawing away from home at champions Swindon, meaning if they scored they went 6th. Wrexham were winning at Rotherham! And Bristol Rovers were winning…!
Immediately, a quick free kick found right–back Richard Huxford, whose ball behind the back four found Shutt who fired home from an acute angle. 3–2. Cue wild scenes. City sat back, and suffered several scares along the way but held on to book their place in the playoffs. Out of the ground we came at 5.30 for the away support to be greeted by a brick and bottle wielding mob. Nice!
Coming soon…...playoff related nostalgia, including "The Miracle Of Bloomfield Road" where a certain Mr. Allardyce made a bit of a chump of himself, much to many people's amusement.
April 28, 2006
In light of Middlesbrough's heroic comeback last evening, where they were playing pretty much the last 35 minutes in what could only be described as a 2–4–4 formation, what better thing on a Friday afternoon than to have another wander down memory lane?
Bradford are playing Barnsley tomorrow, and the scenes last night reminded me of a rather famous game against the Tykes in years gone past….
Saturday, September 26th 1998
Bradford City 2 Watson 87, 89
Barnsley 1 Ward 56
Why this game? Because, in my opinion, this was the game that turned this particular season on its head. After spending some 4.5 million pounds on players in pre–season, the season had started, frankly, dismally. Up to this match, City had lost 4 of the first 8 games, and disquiet over Paul Jewell's permanent appointment had been growing as the season struggled into life.
True, they had won 2–0 at promotion favourites West Brom the week before, but that game was sandwiched between two very scratchy, unconvincing performances against Halifax in the League Cup. Barnsley were just relegated from the Premiership, were also tipped to do well, and had former City hero John Hendrie as their manager.
And I'm going to skip straight to the second half. After 56 minutes of City domination a neat free kick saw the perma–tanned (and future City striker) Ashley Ward all on his lonesome at the far post to head home with what was their first effort on target in the match. Hands on heads all round, this was a ridiculous scoreline. Jewell could probably hear Richmond's managerial axe being sharpened. City continued to dominate but their German keeper Lars Leese was having the game of his life as City battered away at the Barnsley rearguard.
They were so stretched that winger Martin Bullock was sent off after 76 minutes. By this time, City were playing what could be described as a 3–2–5 formation with Mills, Blake, Rankin, Beagrie and Lawrence strung across the pitch. But still no breakthrough, even after throwing the kitchen and bathroom sinks at the goal. In a final, go–for–broke move, Screeeeeeeeeeech was sacrificed for Gordon Watson…6 forward players!
Watson had signed for City in February 1997 for a (then) record fee of £550,000 pounds from Southampton. He scored a corking goal on his home debut against Port Vale but then suffered a horrific leg break in the next game against Huddersfield. The ins and outs of that saga are far too lengthy to go into, a bitter courtroom battle ensued and no–ne came out with much credit with relations between the clubs falling to an all time low. Watson spent pretty much 18 months out of the game. He'd made a couple of sub appearances in the preceding games, but to be honest it looked like a move borne out of desperation
He came on in the 84th minute. His first touch was to trap a deflected shot from the Ginger Prince with his second he rolled it into the back of the net in the 87th minute. It took an age to restart the game, and almost immediately Robbie Blake received the ball on the right wing. He cut inside and unleashed a left footed strike which the keeper fumbled (his only mistake in a performance that would otherwise got him 10 out of 10)....Watson was following in and with his third touch of the afternoon buried the ball in the back of the net.
Cue riotous, joyous bedlam
I've seen us score far more important goals than that in the years following, but I have never witnessed scenes like that either before or since. One man was reported to have jumped up and down so much behind the goal he actually broke his foot.
The game wasn't over though. Barnsley had to commit men forward in the lengthy (due to the two goals) stoppage time. Ward met a left wing cross with a header that seemed destined for the top corner only for Gary Walsh to somehow stick out a hand at full stretch at point–blank range and tip it over. From the resulting corner, Arjan De Zeeuw crashed a header against the bar and over.
One of those to be filed under "I was there"
The postscript? City won 4–0 the following Tuesday, and the record from the Barnsley game onwards was P38, W 24, D7, L7. But that's where it began.
City: Walsh, Wright (Dreyer 59), Jacobs, McCall, Moore, O'Brien (Watson 84), Pepper (Rankin 63), Blake, Mills, Whalley, Beagrie.
Barnsley: Leese, McClare, De Zeeuw, Richardson, Moses, Appleby, Bullock, Sheridan (Liddell 88), Ward, Fjortoft (Eaden 80), Barnard. Sub not used: Hendrie
April 14, 2006
Here I am in the North for a weekend away from the lab. Having heard match previews for todays games on the radio it made me remember pretty much the last time the mighty BCFC played on Good Friday.
Back indeed to the days of 1999–2000 (when we were some good), we were mired in the relegation zone of the Premiership, and welcomed a Derby side who had finished in the top half of the table 2 years in a row but were finding this season in particular a real struggle.
So here's the necessary details:
Bradford City 4 Windass 11, 18, 44, Beagrie (pen) 27
Derby County 4 Delap 1, Strupar 6, Burley (pen) 36, (pen) 52, Delap sent off 26 mins
Yep, 7 goals, 2 penalties and a red card in the first 45 minutes. Delap scored after about 30 seconds with their first possession. Strupar's second was a free kick in off the post after the first act in a terrible, terrible afternoon for Ashley Westwood. There we were, 2–0 down at home after 6 minutes, lashing down with rain, with no sign of what was to follow.
Windass pulled one back after 11 minutes, a long range half volley that flew past Poom off the wet surface, and 6 minutes later a close range finish made it 2–2. Then controversy: A City free kick on the edge of the area. Several times in the promotion season the year before, a training ground routine saw the Ginger Prince flick the ball up in the air over the wall, where Robbie Blake (standing on the edge of the wall) would wait for the ball to come down and volley goalwards. The same thing was tried. This time, however, Delap wrestled Blake to the ground. Somehow, Blake scored.
Referee Wilkie awarded a penalty, disallowed the goal, and sent Delap off. Beagrie scored from the spot. 20 minutes after trailing 2–0 we led 3–2 against 10 men! A rush of blood to the head ensued, and Westwood went clattering into someone in the area and Burley scored from the spot. 3–3. There was still time for Windass to put City back in front in first half stoppage time, his first hattrick for the club.
We couldn't fail to win could we?
Westwood had other ideas. A second penalty conceded by him resulted in Burley making it 4–4. Soon after Georgi Kinkladze was brought on, and he ran rings round the 11 men for 25 minutes. 10 minutes from time, a third penalty was given away as he was chopped down. This time Burley was denied from the spot by keeper Matt Clarke.
And then the moment Dean Saunders was christened "Scoreless Saunders" everafter…in the last minute, Windass poked a ball through the back 4 for Saunders, looking offside, with the freedom of the penalty area to pick his spot. He must score. We must bag a famous victory. Shoooooooooooot!!! He rolled the tamest of tame pea-rollers straight at Poom to widespread disbelief.
Quite a crazy afternoon
Bradford: Clarke, Westwood (Saunders), O'Brien, Wetherall, Jacobs (Rankin), Halle, Dreyer, McCall, Beagrie, Windass, Blake. Subs not used: Todd, Sharpe, Davison.
Derby: Poom, Elliott, Carbonari, Laursen, Dorigo, Delap, Powell, Johnson, Burley, Christie, Strupar (Kinkladze). Subs not used: Oakes, Schnoor, Jackson, Riggott.