Sheffield can end 113-year Cup wait

Click to follow

The last time Sheffield, the world's oldest football club, reached the first round of the FA Cup they were beaten 3-1 by Lockwood Brothers, a works team also from the "steel city". Other teams to fall by the wayside at the same stage that year were Oswaldtwistle Rovers, Druids and Hyde, beaten 26-0 at Preston North End.

The last time Sheffield, the world's oldest football club, reached the first round of the FA Cup they were beaten 3-1 by Lockwood Brothers, a works team also from the "steel city". Other teams to fall by the wayside at the same stage that year were Oswaldtwistle Rovers, Druids and Hyde, beaten 26-0 at Preston North End.

The year was 1887, and Sheffield already had 30 years of history to look back upon. Tomorrow the 143-year-old club will once again hope to feature in the draw for the first-round proper, which will be televised live on Sky Sports 1 at 5.35pm.

To do so Sheffield must avoid defeat at home to the bottom club in the Nationwide Conference, Northwich Victoria, in the fourth qualifying round.

That will not be an easy task. The Vics may have had a poor season so far, but they have recruited a new manager: Keith Alexander from Ilkeston Town. He steered them to an impressive 2-0 win at Doncaster Rovers in his first game in charge a week ago.

Sheffield, among the front-runners in the Northern Counties East League, are managed by John Pearson, who was on the losing side when Leeds United were beaten by Coventry City in the 1987 FA Cup semi-finals. Their home in recent years has been the luxurious Don Valley stadium, but they are soon to move to a new ground in Dronfield. Tomorrow's tie, though, will be played at Bramall Lane.

In the mid-1990s, two young Australian strikers were team-mates at Bristol City. Since then their career paths have diverged. Paul Agostino is with the German Bundesliga outfit TSV 1860 Munich, for whom he has appeared in European competition this season. David Seal is looking forward to leading the Mangotsfield United attack in their Cup tie at Gravesend & Northfleet.

The globe-trotting Seal has also played for PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands, Eendracht Aalst in Belgium, Northampton Town and Yeovil Town. This term he is the top scorer with 12 goals so far for Mangotsfield, based on the outskirts of Bristol, who have made an impressive debut in the Dr Martens League Western Division.

Comments