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This own goal brought back some painful memories...
Think I must be losing it. Completely lost on this oldie. Relevance?!
@micra Graham Pearce? Gary Lester? Alty? 1985/86? just trying to give you a nudge.
I was certainly around then and vaguely remember a left back scoring a spectacular own goal. George Borg comes to mind.
Thanks for the nudge!
@micra . I thought it was Neil 'Fatty' Price.
Any advance on Neil Price?
That brings back horrific memories. When my mate phoned to tell me the score (no internet) and that we were down I actually cried.
I can still see that Pearce o.g, now, I dont think Alty got in our half in the second half due to their lack of interest as they had reached the Trophy final.
But without that calamity we may never had witnessed the signing of Ashford and Barrett and that never to be forgotten Isthmian lge winning season.
Got to feel for the defender. The PSNI have it hard enough in NI as it is.
The Borg one was earlier i think and from almost the half way line in to the hospital end
Think it was to the gasworks end!
It was a shocking few days at the end of the season, but basically a part time squad trying to cope with football every two days. 85/86 will be remembered for lots of things, not least our first venture into a national league, extremely exciting at the time. The FAC run to the 3rd round. The FAT run to the QF including 4 marathon games versus Leek Town and the bloody weather! At one point in February be did not play for about three weeks due to the snow. I stood in amazement when the goal went in at the Hospital end.
Here is Alan gane on 38 minutes briefly talking about that own goal.
These were that string of games that led to out relegation.
22-Apr-1986 Telford United GL A L 1-3 1066
24-Apr-1986 Kidderminster Harriers GL A L 2-8 704
26-Apr-1986 Cheltenham Town GL A L 2-4 894
28-Apr-1986 Dagenham GL H D 1-1 570
30-Apr-1986 Altrincham GL H L 0-1 544
3-May-1986 Kettering Town GL H D 0-0 715
Look at those attendances. Quite amazing how the town's passion for its football club was reignited over the next 5 years or so. Obviously a lot to do with a certain charismatic Northern Irishman but crowds were picking up before his arrival (although they skyrocketed afterwards)
Leaving the ground after the Kettering game I remember thinking we'd probably done enough to survive. I think (apologies if my memory is rubbish) there were 3 or 4 other clubs that if results had gone the right way could also have been relegated. But sadly they didn't, and even then didn't we have to wait until the next day(?) when someone, (Dagenham?) still had to win (maybe draw) at Runcorn (?) to go above us. It was all quite hard to work out as wasn't it 2 points for a home win, 3 for an away win, 1 for a draw (or something like that)?
I believe a handful of lunatics (real dedicated Wycombe fans) actually went up to Runcorn to watch the game on a Sunday. It was depressing enough reading the result buried somewhere in the Daily Telegraph (I think that was the only paper back then to actually have non-league results), so God knows what it must have been like for that lot driving/training back.
On the point about the passion returning. The Kidderminster home game 2 or 3 years later when we were playing some lovely football under Kelman and storming up the table is an all-time highlight. From around 1500/2000 supporters, suddenly the attendance doubled, everyone in town seemed to be up for it and we played some blistering football against a top of the table team to win 1-0. That for me was the dawning of my second great era of watching Wycombe (the Brian Lee years were the first) that culminated under Saint Martin and lasted until that toad Alan Smith ruined it all
the buzz around the ground that day was amazing, felt like the start of something special. There were a few games towards the end of that season that drew big crowds. Kidderminster, like you say, but also (I think) Macclesfield and Kettering.
Up until we lost against Kettering we were still harbouring hopes of promotion. We drew over 4,000 for the Kettering and Kidderminster games I think. Not sure about the Macclesfield game but I don't think it was far off.
Shame the way it turned out for Jim Kelman the following year, but given who replaced him it's hard to feel it was the wrong decision.
Kelman was the cornerstone of our later success, he left Saint Martin a really talented team, looking at the line-up for his first game in charge at Merthyr:
Granville, Abbley, Crossley, Creaser, Kerr, Durham, Carroll, Stapleton, West, Robinson, Guppy. Sub: Smith
Martin was brilliant. Though he did fall out with several of those in that team! Abbley, Kerr, Durham, West, and Guppy (although he did make up later).
@eric_plant Well they rose dramatically the following season. I think football in general reached it's lowest point in 85/86. The rebirth started in 86/87. Those attendances we're low but it wasn't as bad as the previous couple of season and indeed some of that seasons gates in 85/86 were over 1,000.
It was that the 86/87 team were far better than first thought, as mentioned by @ChasHarps Ashford and Barret were key signings. But who would have ever imagined in the years previous that on a Tuesday night at Home to St. Albans City we would record a gate of 1,089! unheard of midweek for many a year, infact they had to open the old turnstiles half way down the cowshed to get everyone in for kick off! Great times.
@Steve_Peart Absolutely agree. Kelman got a tremendous squad together. That 88/89 season was brilliant, the transition in club, gates and football was amazing.
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