Football / FA Cup: Rovers famous for 87 minutes

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The Independent Online
Bromsgrove Rovers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1

Barnsley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

THE FIRST outing for Bromsgrove Rovers in the FA Cup third round had been a long time coming - 109 years, to be precise - but cometh the hour, cometh all the nightmares the Cup can bestow. Not only did victory become defeat in three final galling minutes, but Barnsley's supporters did all they could to give Bromsgrove's taste of the Cup a lasting bitterness.

Andy Rammell headed Barnsley's equaliser in the 88th minute, and when Owen Archdeacon struck the winner two minutes later, the pitch was invaded by away supporters dancing and teasing triumphantly in the face of the disbelieving home supporters.

The tannoy pleaded with the crowd to clear, appealing to the bad name they were giving their club. Yet, given that the advertising hoardings in front of them had been removed earlier to lighten the crush, what crowd would not have piled on to an inviting pitch?

Bromsgrove's inadequacy to stage the match had already been highlighted when the same tannoy, announcing the end-of-match departure plans, had asked away fans to kindly turn left out of the gates and home fans to kindly turn right. Given the tension produced by the dramatic finale, it was not surprising (albeit deplorable) that a series of scuffles broke out.

It was the worst you could wish on a non-League team, especially since everyone - Viv Anderson, the Barnsley manager, included - agreed that they had deserved to win. They opened Barnsley's defence regularly throughout the first half and they should have gone three ahead when Mark Crisp finally opened the scoring in the 31st minute.

The non-Leaguers, who had already twice hit the woodwork, went in earnest search of a second and, but for Lee Butler's excellent goalkeeping, they could have stomached Barnsley's late riposte. As it was, they enjoyed a marvellous 87 minutes, but will mainly remember the final three.

Goals: Crisp (31) 1-0; Rammell (88) 1-1; Archdeacon (90) 1-2.

Bromsgrove Rovers (1-4-3-2): Green; Richardson; Webb, Wardle, Skelding, Brighton (Hanks, h/t); Shivlock, Stott, Carter; Crisp, Radburn. Substitutes not used: O'Meara, Powell (gk).

Barnsley (3-5-2): Bishop, Fleming, Taggart; Eaden, O'Connell (Liddell, 78), Wilson, Redfearn, Archdeacon; Rammell, Payton. Substitutes not used: Snodin, Watson (gk).

Referee: J Lloyd (Wrexham).