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On this day – 14 April

A look through the archives to see what was happening to Reds on 14 April in years gone by………..

Graham Gill (pictured) was the toast of all Reds fans on this day back in 1979 after his first hat-trick for the club contributed towards a 6-1 home win over South Liverpool which, at that point, was our best win in the NPL.

But a mediocre first half gave no hint of what was to come in the second as the teams came off for their half-time ‘cuppa’ locked at 1-1. Gill’s threesome, which included one from the penalty spot was supplemented by further goals by Stephen Crelling, Barry Donaghy and Stuart Mason – the latter netting his first for the club.

Included in the South’s line-up was John Aldridge who would enjoy an illustrious career after humble beginnings playing, and scoring, for Newport County, Oxford United, Liverpool, Real Sociedad and Tranmere Rovers, not to mention many caps for Republic of Ireland.

Football in the NPL during nineties saw Reds cross national boundaries with matches against Welsh and Scottish teams part of the league structure.

Mid-Wales side Newtown made their first visit to Borough Park in 1990 but lost by the odd goal in three with Graeme Nicholson (penalty) and Andy Walker on target for Reds.

Then, three years later, we played our first league game in Scotland with our fixture against Gretna at Raydale Park resulting in a goalless draw.

Steve Archibald (pictured) was named on the bench for a home game against Stocksbridge Park Steels in 2004 but was introduced as an early substitute following a concussion injury to Glenn Murray. And a goal in each half from the young striker secured a 2-0 win over the Sheffield outfit. Archibald (10) actually scored more league goals than Murray (8) in the ’03-04 season.

Steve Archibald

Reds shared six goals at Corby Town eight years ago but it took two spectacular goals to recover from being 3-1 behind. Phil McLuckie had equalised in the first half, Corby then appeared to be heading for victory but a wonderful Mark Boyd free-kick and a thunderous strike from Anthony Wright, on his birthday, salvaged a point in Northamptonshire.

It took a late Scott Allison penalty to see off a brave Trafford side at Borough Park five years ago as Gavin Skelton’s side chased FC United of Manchester in what had become a two horse race for the title. Trafford, meanwhile, were heading in the opposite direction towards relegation.

Much of the above has reported positively on Reds activities on this day but we experienced two heavy defeats whilst on North Eastern League duty.

Back in 1925, Workington crashed to a 7-0 reverse at Shildon then, in 1951, suffered a 5-1 defeat at Horden Colliery Welfare.

It wasn’t quite so bad two years ago but a 2-0 setback against Grantham Town was part of a hectic April which saw us complete ten games in the month, exactly ten more than we will have played during this April!

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