A look through the archives to see what was happening to Reds on the 5th May in years gone by…….
We have reported on many a sad chapter throughout Reds history but, on this particular day back in 1934, it was our opponents who were involved in a spot of bother.
Chopwell Institute, our opposition for the final home game of the season, got their administration all wrong and, instead of arriving for a 3.30pm start, did not arrive until 5.45pm with the revised kick-off fifteen minutes later. Apparently, they had experienced transport problems and had broken down at Haydon Bridge.
But that was only part of nightmare scenario for them as they turned up with just seven players some of whom, it transpired, were not even registered.
The match developed into a complete farce with Workington scoring all seventeen goals in a 16-1 win, not surprisingly a record North Eastern League victory for Reds.
Andy Lincoln led the way with five goals with the other eleven shared by Miller (3), Walker (3), Stanger (2), Parkin (2) and Lawson. At 16-0, Reds’ player Wilson deliberately scored an own-goal for Chopwell’s consolation.
Earlier in the season, we had won 7-4 in the north east so it was a league double of epic proportions.
That wasn’t the end of the matter, though, and at a League meeting just over three weeks later the Chopwell club was fined £10 and expelled from the competition.
Our only Football League outing on this day was a 1969 visit to North Wales and the final away game of the season at Wrexham, where we were reacquainted with our former Youth International player, Brian Tinnion.
We lost 1-0 and would finish three places below the Racecourse Ground outfit in 12th position.
Reds other league matches played on this day were all under the NPL banner resulting in a win, a draw and two defeats.
The solitary success was in 1984 when, a few days after the sterile 0-0 draw in the President’s Cup Final, we emerged 4-1 winners against Grantham who included the vastly experienced Phil Boyer in their side.
The goals were shared about with John Reach, Allan Carruthers, Martin Harris and John Smith all finding the target in a dominant performance.
Reach had also scored five years earlier in a dour 1-1 home draw against Runcorn.
We suffered final day losses in 1990 and 2001going down to Worksop Town (1-3) and Belper Town (0-2) respectively.
We found ourselves 3-0 down inside fifteen minutes on a scorching hot day against Worksop before Andy Walker (inset) netted a late consolation. Town were managed by former Reds favourite, Tommy Spencer, at the time with the match played at Gainsborough Trinity’s Northolme ground.
The Belper defeat was justified, as we were second best throughout, with minds probably focused more on the players’ ‘night-out’ in Blackpool than the match itself!
Our most recent escapade on 5th May was in 2007 when we hosted Hinckley United in the Nationwide North Play-off semi-final, second leg (pictured above and below). It was all to play for after a goalless first leg.
Sadly, though, we didn’t raise our game sufficiently and fell to a 2-1 defeat on the night. Hinckley scored either side of the interval and David Hewson’s response for Reds was too little, too late.
The financial benefits of such high profile games was illustrated once again with the gate of 1,519 generating gate receipts of £9,854 which, at that point, was a club record for a match played at Borough Park.