Football: That was the weekend that was - FA Cup's magic helps heal some old wounds

Click to follow
The Independent Online
PAUL RAYNOR'S winning goal for Ilkeston Town over Third Division Carlisle United carried a special bit of FA Cup magic - and not only because it provided the Dr Martens League side with the first victory over League opponents in their club's history.

His 58th-minute strike, curled in directly from a corner on a wet and wind-swept Nottinghamshire afternoon, also helped exorcise some unwelcome personal memories of the competition.

While hardly extending sympathy to beaten Carlisle, the 33-year-old Raynor knows exactly how it feels to be on the wrong end of a giant-killing, having been there twice himself.

During an eight-club professional career of more than 550 games, Raynor was a member of the Preston North End team beaten at Kidderminster in the fourth round of the Cup in 1994 and of the Cambridge United side that lost at home to Woking three seasons later.

"It is very nerve-wracking for League teams," Raynor said. "The under- dogs have everything to gain and can just go for it."

It was also a happier Cup day for Raynor's team-mate, Ian Helliwell, Ilkeston's 6ft 4in centre-forward.

Eight years ago Helliwell, nowadays an electrician during the week, played for Scunthorpe United in a first-round match against Rotherham that acquired historical distinction as the first FA Cup match settled on a penalty shoot-out.

Helliwell scored in a 1-1 draw at Glanford Park and again when the sides finished level at 3-3 in the replay at Millmoor The shoot-out finished all square at 3-3 after five kicks. But when it went to sudden death, it was Helliwell who missed.

Comments