Manchester City v Bradford Park Avenue: A Record Breaking Day!

On this day (30 January) in 1946 the second leg of the fourth round FA Cup tie with Bradford Park Avenue occurred. The competition largely followed the style of the War Cup with rounds played on a two legged basis.  In the third round City had defeated Barrow 8-4 on aggregate, and had managed to defeat Bradford 3-1 at Park Avenue in the first leg.  The two goal margin was believed to be enough for the Blues and the match programme included the line:  unless something extraordinary happens this afternoon City should be in the hat for the fifth round draw.

Something extraordinary did happen as Bradford cancelled out the Blues’ lead with goals in the 21st and 23rd minutes. Cardwell had regained the aggregate lead in the 36th minute but the second half saw Bradford in blistering form.  They made it 4-4 on aggregate three minutes after the break and then netted three times in nine minutes to make it 6-1 on the night.  The Blues pulled a goal back after 78 minutes but Bradford came back again netting a penalty five minutes from time and their eighth in the 87th minute.

The Blues had endured their record home defeat in the FA Cup.  Logically there was no reason why it should happen on that day.  The weather wasn’t great and Cardwell was injured during the match, but City’s team should have been more than capable of at least holding back Bradford.

Future England boss Ron Greenwood had played in both games.

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