It wasn’t one Blues team’s day at Wembley on Saturday, but on this weekend in 1981 the well-known stadium did belong to yet another Blues facet – from Bishop’s Stortford.
Sunday (May well 16) marks the fortieth anniversary of arguably Bishop’s Stortford FC’s best achievement: winning the FA Trophy.
And although for both winners Leicester City and runners-up Chelsea Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup closing was their sixth tie in a competition that, for them, started with the third spherical in January, Stortford’s Wembley overall look was their thirteenth tie in a marathon FA Trophy contest that for them had received below way the earlier September.
The Blues’ marketing campaign started in the preliminary spherical and was adopted by a few qualifying spherical ties right before they joined the competition suitable, which consisted of 8 ties in 5 rounds, such as two replays and a two-legged semi-closing in opposition to Dartford.
Managed by Trevor Harvey, they scored 25 plans on the road to Wembley, with 6 every from Terry Sullivan and Joe Simmonds, and four from previous Arsenal legend John Radford, a member of the 1970-71 Double-winning Gunners facet.
The closing was a showdown involving two Isthmian League sides. Sutton United had finished fifth in the Leading League although the Blues had received the Division 1 title, one rung beneath the south London club. Coincidentally, Blues’ only other league title due to the fact then was in the 1993-ninety four period, when they once more received Division 1 of the Isthmian League and Sutton once more finished fifth in the Leading Division.
Accounts of the match suggest it was not one that wowed the 22,578 crowd – and the male who proved to be Stortford’s previous-minute match winner ought to not have even started the match.
Terry Sullivan, who had scored the purpose that earned the Blues a 1-1 draw in the semi-closing to start with leg at Southern League Dartford, also scored in the two-1 second-leg earn at Stortford’s old Rhodes Avenue floor – but was also sent off.
He was presented a two-week ban, but the FA leniently authorized his suspension to arrive into result at the start off of the pursuing period, enabling Sullivan to play.
The Blues had marginally the improved of the to start with fifty percent, with Mike Mitchell exhibiting off his capabilities on the still left wing. Way too usually assaults broke down in packed penalty parts, with only two endeavours from Radford and a diving header troubling the Sutton keeper.
The second fifty percent was not a great deal improved. Sutton skipped the most effective possibility of the match when Graham Dennis delayed on a golden possibility and Micky Stephens’ observe-up shot was saved by Blues keeper Terry Moore.
Referrring to the reality that the earlier Saturday Spurs and Manchester City had drawn 1-1 in the FA Cup closing – right before the north London facet received the thrilling Wembley replay 3-two many thanks to Ricky Villa’s ‘Wembley Objective of the Century’ – Tony Roche of the Sunday Mirror wrote at the time: “But it looked odds on that yet yet another Wembley closing this period would drag into extra time, till Sullivan made that previous-minute ‘Thank you’ to the FA.
“Sullivan mounted on to Tony Rains’s headed clearance, burst by means of on the appropriate and crashed an unstoppable shot high into the internet.”
The earn secured the amateur “double” for Bishop’s Stortford that period. Blues became the to start with club at any time to earn both the FA Trophy and the FA Beginner Cup, acquiring develop into the previous at any time club to earn the latter cup in the 1973-74 period, beating Ilford 4-1 in entrance of above thirty,000 spectators at Wembley.
By advantage of the history-breaking size of their road to Wembley in 1980-eighty one and their progress to the quarter-finals of the pursuing year’s competition, Blues nonetheless hold the history for the longest unbeaten operate in the FA Trophy, which stands at seventeen.
The Blues’ assistant supervisor for the Trophy closing was Martin Smith, who had scored their winner – and the previous at any time purpose – in the FA Beginner Cup. Keeper Moore was the only male to play in both finals.
Sutton United exacted their revenge 6 months later, knocking the Blues out of the 1981-eighty two FA Cup by winning a to start with-spherical replay two-1 right after a two-two draw at Rhodes Avenue.