On this day – 24 November
A look back to Reds’ encounters in League, FA Cup and Trophy matches on the 24th November in previous years……
Workington came up against two legendary figures of the game when they met Third Division Chester in the First Round of the FA Cup on this day in 1979.
Actually, it was one ‘established’ legend and one ‘future’ star as the younger of the two was just starting out on what became an illustrious career.
Our opponents were managed by Alan Oakes who had spent seventeen seasons in Manchester City’s first team before serving Chester as player manager for a further six years.
Included in his team for the match against Reds at Chester’s old Sealand Road ground was an eighteen year old centre forward called Ian Rush.
Rush scored his first FA Cup goal against Reds that afternoon as Oakes’ side emerged emphatic 5-1 winners. By the end of that season, Rush had become the most expensive teenager in British football following a £300,000 transfer to Liverpool.
Yet, although Mr Rush achieved so much for club and country throughout a distinguished career, his goal that afternoon at Chester was upstaged by Barry Diamond’s cracker for Reds.
His superb effort from the edge of the box was considered the goal of the match and drew warm applause from the near 3,000 crowd.
Chester went on to reach the 5th Round that season with Rush also scoring in a shock 2-0 win at Newcastle United.
Reds other FA Cup exploits ‘on this day’ saw them knock out Blackhall Colliery Welfare (5-2) in 1951, lose to Hull City (0-2) and Bradford City (0-2) in 1962 and 1973 respectively and suffer a 5-0 hammering in a replay at Huddersfield Town in 1981.
We have also played in a few FA Trophy matches on the 24th, featuring in goalless draws at Radcliffe Borough back in 1984 and Nuneaton Borough in 2007.
And there was a hard earned 2-1 victory at Stalybridge Celtic two years ago with a couple of Scott Allison goals providing some welcome relief to a poor run of form in the league.
Our only Football League win on this corresponding day was in 1956 when a Norman Mitchell (inset) hat-trick helped us overcome Stockport County (4-1) at Borough Park. Reds completed the double over County that season – we finished 4th, they finished 5th in Division Three (North) with Barrow and Carlisle United languishing in 10th and 15th respectively. There was no disgrace when we shipped five goals in those FA Cup ties at Huddersfield and Chester, but there was a feeling of acute embarrassment eight years ago when Bradford Park Avenue inflicted a 6-1 Conference North reverse upon us on home soil.
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