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Bipe 09-10-2022 10:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wrightchipvcfc (Post 16684405)
Watching boulter play against qpr made me think there must be hundreds of men around the country who were pro footballers who played in big games then never realy made it just thinking of palace as well as
Boulter
Stephen leahy
Grant watts
Rory ginty
Kevin dare

Add Gary Goodchild to that list, if memory serves he featured in the ill-fated series of FA Cup games with Swansea but little else.

Anyway these nostalgia fests have continued to rack up on my planner, waiting for me to find the time to catch up. Last night presented the perfect opportunity with my wife and daughter out at the local am-dram production and our son happily ensconced in a FIFA XBox marathon sesh with his mates. Just what Saturday nights were made for when you hit middle age, I poured myself a large whisky and settled down.

The programme I picked at random from the recorded selection was FA Cup fourth round day in January 1981. Everton vs Liverpool was the feature game, the Toffees gaining a famous 2-1 win against their all-conquering neighbours. A match in which no quarter was asked or given, tackles flying in all over the place and Souness would have been sent off at least twice these days but instead received only a booking. This was during the period when for some reason the match officials had stopped using red and yellow cards, so there was an ongoing sense of confusion as to whether or not players had actually been booked - after Souness had flown into his latest horror tackle the commentator Gerald Sinstadt remarked 'and now we can find out whether or not he was booked earlier, because if he had he will surely now be sent off'. One of the Everton players took out Jimmy Case on the touchline with a karate kick well after the ball had gone, Case didn't even flinch, just picked himself up and gave the offender a friendly ruffle of the hair.

But the game which really caught my attention was Barnsley versus Enfield. Barnsley were apparently flying high in the old third division on the back of just one defeat in 23 games whereas Enfield of the 'Isthmian League' were the only surviving non-league club in the competition. Note that a massive crowd of 24,000 turned out for this one, another reminder that back then the FA Cup was king and would attract much bigger crowds than the league.

Enfield's goalkeeper was apparently just 5'6'' tall, again wouldn't happen these days but he had a really good game particularly on crosses, where he had no qualms whatsoever about coming out to athletically pluck the ball off the heads of the Barnsley players - always catching, never punching.

Enfield played really well, hitting the inside of the post and having two goals disallowed for offside/ The second was fair enough but the first one was a fine illustration as to how some rule changes since those days are definitely for the better. During a goalmouth scramble one of the Enfield players tried to poke the ball home from close range but was blocked by the goalie, the player falling over the onrushing goalie to end up in a crumpled heap on the line by the post. Another Enfield player got to the rebound and stroked it home into the opposite corner, whereupon the referee immediately gave offside against the first player - who was behind the goalie let's not forget, so in no way interfering with play. Looking at it now it seems an absolutely crazy decision but no-one batted an eyelid, it was just how the rules were back then.

Barnsley led 1-0 for much of the game but Enfield earned a well-deserved replay with a late equaliser, an exciting moment even watching 40-odd years later without knowing how the game would pan out.

Barnsley had a couple of important Palace connections covering the sublime and ridiculous. First off Ian Evans was partnering Mick McCarthy in the heart of their defence, he had gone there to rebuild his career after getting crocked by George Best. He didn't have the best of games if truth be told, getting the run around from a grizzled, bearded Enfield target man who eventually nabbed the equaliser.

And then on the ridiculous front - who was leading the line for Barnsley but dear old Trevor Aylott. In his younger days back then and a bit more mobile than I remembered. Inevitably the bastard scored, albeit a tap-in to an empty net after a lovely free-kick had come back off the inside of the post with the goalie stranded. I perked up later on when he made an absolute mess of a straightforward header six yards out, mistiming it badly and screwing the ball horribly wide. That was more like it.

Anyway all good fun again, it's always very evocative to watch the football of yesteryear and wonder where all the time went.

Dorking .Eagle 09-10-2022 11:08 PM

It will be interesting to think what we would find amusing in 30 years time from todays football highlights shows?!

We won't have rotten muddy cabbage patch pitches to look back at, but I suspect we will be nostalgic seeing our wooden Main Stand again, be agog at how much hard work the refs made of VAR, and maybe also laugh at all the shithousery tactics (long since outlawed in the 2050s!) to close out winning positions.


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