Reflecting on a thrilling night at Borough Park on the 25th November, 1964 – perhaps the greatest cup tie under the old floodlights…………
Today marks the 56th anniversary of Chelsea’s one and only visit to Borough Park, an occasion that will go down as one of the most memorable matches in the club’s history.
Reds were well and truly enjoying life in the Football League Cup during the 1964-65 season as we emerged as the competition’s giant killers. Having disposed of Blackburn Rovers and Norwich City in rounds Three and Four, high-flying Chelsea were drawn out as our quarter final opponents at Borough Park.
The tie captured the imagination of the county and a crowd of 17,996 squeezed into Borough Park to see if Keith Burkinshaw’s Reds could topple Tommy Docherty’s Blues.
They didn’t quite manage to take the scalp of Chelsea but came very close to doing just that. A Geoff Martin goal was controversially disallowed otherwise humble Workington might have been celebrating a 3-2 win.
As it happened, it finished all square at 2-2 with Barry Bridges scoring twice for yellow shirted Chelsea prior to Dave Carr and Kit Napier responding for gallant Reds.
Chelsea, who eventually finished 3rd in the top flight, won the replay at Stamford Bridge and went on to lift the cup at Leicester City’s expense after disposing of Aston Villa in the semi.
Workington’s next home game was always going to be an anti climax and Hull City took advantage to win 3-1 in front of a sub. 4,000 crowd!
Victories have been in short supply ‘on this day’ but we were celebrating here in 1972. A Fourth Division fixture against Cambridge United saw former Reds’ boss, Bill Leivers, return to Borough Park as United’s manager but the outcome wasn’t the one he had been hoping for.
Reds inflicted a 5-1 defeat upon Leivers’ side, their heaviest reverse of the season.
Jimmy Goodfellow opened the scoring for Reds but then Tony Geidmintis (inset) took centre stage, scoring a hat-trick, before Johnny Martin completed the rout. Cambridge, and Leivers, had the last laugh, though, as they finished 3rd and won promotion after only three seasons in the League.