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Wouldn’t it be great to have third classic FA Cup clash?
10:00am Wednesday 19th September 2012 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
ASK any fan to recall their most memorable Worcester City match and most will respond with one of two answers.
Depending on their age, it’s invariably the FA Cup third round match against Liverpool in 1959 or second round meeting with Huddersfield Town live on the BBC in 2005.
Two games split by nearly half-a-century yet both synonymous with the City — the former heralded as the club’s greatest ever victory and the latter, despite defeat, bringing it to a national audience.
Of course there will be others — such as the Accrington Stanley replay triumph on the way to that Huddersfield date or one of the old Southern League derbies with Hereford United — but those two cup games stand out.
Wouldn’t it be great if this season, the last of 108 at St George’s Lane, could provide a third cup match for supporters to look back on in the years to come?
It is fair to say City are long overdue a run in the FA Cup. Seven years have passed since the Match of the Day cameras were in the town and Worcester have barely registered on the radar in that time.
They should have booked a first round proper tie at Chesterfield the season after but tripped up on penalties in a fourth qualifying round replay against Basingstoke.
Since then, there has been precious little to shout about in the competition with the team only twice progressing beyond the second qualifying round — in 2009 and 2010, when Danny Glover scored a last-gasp winner in a 3-2 win at Boston.
That dismal record was compounded last season by a 2-1 defeat at Godalming Town, which culminated in an ugly confrontation between supporters and manager Carl Heeley.
Fans’ frustrations at seeing the team falter against a side two divisions below them boiled over after the final whistle, further souring an already unsavoury moment in the club’s recent history.
So let’s draw a line above that and work up. Starting with this Saturday’s short second qualifying round trip to Gornal Athletic.
Although City will be all too aware of the pitfalls at the Garden Walk Stadium, I suspect last season was a lesson learned and one not to be repeated, especially with £4,500 in prize money on the line. City cannot afford another Godalming, literally.
While not underestimating a team three steps lower down the non-league ladder, and one that has only lost once in 11 games, Heeley’s men know they should get through in the Black Country.
Finding a way to beat relatively unknown opponents intent on upsetting the apple-cart is what cup runs are all about and what you need to do if you want to mix it with the bigger teams later in the competition.
With potential match-ups against Hereford and Harriers just two wins away, it’s not as if they need an incentive.
City certainly have the team to do it and, with a bit of luck along the way, will feel they can go far this season.
Here’s hoping they can make it one to remember.