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Mar 6, 2004
Suffolk 'em all
A remark on the Barnsley cup thread said that it had been 32 years since our last home cup tie in Rd 4 ............. amazing.

I remember it well. T'was the 75/76 season when we truely were cack, ending up second from bottom in Div 3, the last season of the Rowley era before 'Smiffy the saviour' came along. I remember 'Rowley out' being a popular chant, I joined in, though I always thought it was sad to a chap who was basically a bit of an old school respected gent in the football world and who had that all time league goal scoring record (and still has I think).

We were scoring plenty then courtesy of Silvester, Parker S and goal-hanger Brace, but a defence with oddly our record appearance Mr Moody in his pomp and bagging in penalties for fun, leaked like the West Stand.

The FA Cup was a home-run jaunt until it was time to be knoocked out, Swansea and a weak non-league Dover being brushed aside first when we then we accounted for Brighton 2-1 in a tremendous game. Much like this year, having missed out on one chance in Rd 3 for a pop at the big-boys we all hoped it would be our turn next time, but instead up popped Cardiff from the FA bag of balls, in our league but miles better and with wiley old pro's Mike England and Doug Livermore in their line-up. But we had the inspirational Dave Worthington, and nearly 13,000 turned up at Roots for the match and in another pulsating game Parker S scoring both with the winner coming in the final minutes.

I've just pulled out my progs from that season - the time we had those crappy 5p two-tone 8 page affairs with mixed up typed font bashed out on low-grade bog paper. The prog for a home game just after shows a pic of Parker going ballistic and Brace running away in celebration for the winner.

After the Cardiff game they announced that the draw for Rd 5 would be relayed to us over the tannoy at 5pm. We all stayed behind, and promptly went mad when we finally drew out a decent team for the first time since the mid 50's (which, by the way, I do not remember), league champs Derby away. We all know what happened then as we were conned out of at least a draw by the ref and that rsole Bruce Rioch, but fourth round day on Saturday 24 January 1976 was really our day to saviour. A real blood and thunder cup tie on a dark January day, big crowd, big noise, big hearts, and ending in triumph.

The Barnsley game may not be the draw we were hoping for, but it rekindles great memories and there are many similarities with our present position. I'm really looking forward to it now and the Suffolk Shrimper household will be moving en masse to Roots Hall in expectation on 25 January. I just hope afterwards its the right result for us so I can call the old man, wake him up from his retirement slumbers on the Isle of Sh*te, and remember with him the day we last enjoyed Rd 4 at Roots.