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.

Remember When City Scored Ten?

Manchester City have scored ten goals or more on a few occasions since formation, most famously in 1987 against Huddersfield Town when the Blues won 10-1. Today (29 January) is the anniversary of another 10-1 victory. This came in 1930 when the fourth FAC tie played by City in 18 days ended in a 10-1 victory over Swindon Town. Subscribers can read reports of the game below.

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Expunged – Law’s 6!

On this day (28 January) in 1961 Denis Law’s six goals against Luton in the FAC were wiped from the records when the game was abandoned due to fog.  Manchester City were winning 6-2, and lost the replay 3-1 (Law scored City’s consolation).

Subscribers can read a report of the game and more on Law & this game below.

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A Strange FA Cup Defeat!

On 27 January 2008 Manchester City were knocked out of the FA Cup at Sheffield United in unusual circumstances. It was a difficult time for the Blues and you can read about the game here:

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Ipswich Town 1 Manchester City 4

On 27 January 2002 Manchester City’s fourth round FA Cup tie at Ipswich saw Kevin Keegan’s side thrill live on TV. City impressed the nation with their spectacular 4-1 fourth round cup demolition of Premier League side Ipswich Town. It is worth remembering that City were in the second tier at the time, hoping for promotion. Many of us felt that the Blues were not only good enough to find success in the League but also stood a genuine chance of FA Cup success (mind you, some of us felt that every season – nine years later it finally happened!).

The City scorers against Ipswich were Eyal Berkovic, Shaun Goater (2) and Darren Huckerby.

After the Ipswich match Keegan said: “Our fans know we can play but I think we showed the rest of the country that we are a good team. I believe the FA Cup needed a game like our tie with Ipswich where the atmosphere was tremendous and both sides picked their strongest available sides and really set out to win.” 

In the fifth round, Keegan’s Blues travelled to Newcastle for another thrilling performance against the manager’s old club. The media hype focused on Keegan, but the match ended with national recognition that the Blues were clearly a force. Although City lost the match 1-0 after Richard Dunne had been sent off, the general view was that ten-man City were more than a match for the Geordies. City impressed the nation once again.

The Newcastle tie, like the Ipswich game, came at a time when many were questioning the status of the FA Cup. City’s performance in both ties were seen as major boosts for the competition. According to Henry Winter of the Daily Telegraph: “Keegan returned with his magnificent Manchester City side whose spirited, defiant football sent the heart rate soaring among Newcastle’s nervy support. Making light of Richard Dunne’s dismissal and Nolberto Solano’s goal, City scared the black-and-white life out of those who still cherish Keegan’s name. Shaun Wright-Phillips was marvellous, Eyal Berkovic and Kevin Horlock not far behind with outstanding displays as City narrowly lost a Cup-tie but won countless admirers. If they build on this, they will surely keep the Blue Moon rising and head back to the Premiership, where their noisy supporters belong.” 

Here are highlights of the Ipswich tie:

Manchester City’s owner Sheikh Mansour has bought the oldest surviving FA Cup trophy at auction. The trophy, which was the first major trophy won by Bury, City and United, will be on display at the National Football Museum. To understand more of that trophy’s significance to Manchester check out my earlier posts:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/01/11/fa-cup-success-football-infrastructure-and-the-establishment-of-manchesters-footballing-identity-free-download-for-limited-period/

And:

https://gjfootballarchive.com/2021/01/08/manchesters-first-great-season/

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FA Cup: Manchester City v Arsenal

It’s Manchester City v Arsenal on Friday. The first FA Cup tie between these clubs came in 1904 and was part of Manchester’s first major trophy winning campaign. The two sides met at Arsenal in the second round of the competition. Back then City were a top flight team while Woolwich Arsenal were in the Second Division and some reports talked of the Gunners being envious of Manchester City and their status (how often do modern interpretations of a club’s status forget the game’s full history hey?). Arsenal had defeated Fulham 1-0 in the previous round. 

The Blues defeated the Gunners 2-0 with goals from Sandy Turnbull and Frank Booth, prompting the Manchester Evening News to print a cartoon of Billy Meredith leapfrogging over the Gunners while Tom Maley, dressed in kilt, watches. 

Outside-left Frank Booth, one of the scorers, had joined City in April 1902 making his first appearance for the Club in a friendly with Celtic on 1 September 1902.  That friendly appearance brought a little bad luck to the player as fairly early on in the match he accidentally collided with Celtic’s Right-back Hugh Watson causing him to leave the field for twenty minutes or so.  When he returned however he seemed more determined than ever to prove what he was capable of and, when a chance came his way, he scored what was described as a “very fine” goal to give City a 1-0 victory.

Throughout Booth’s career prior to the Arsenal game he had been rather unlucky with injuries and, at times, must have seriously considered concentrating on a life outside of the sport.  He was a hatter by trade, coming from the local hatting areas surrounding the towns of Hyde and Denton, and had only completed his apprenticeship in 1903.  Nevertheless a career in football had to be more appealing than life in one of the large hatting factories of east Manchester.

Here’s a brief cutting mentioning the game. Note also the difficulties being experienced by Second Division Manchester United (again, how often do modern day commentators on the game’s history forget the full history?).

After the tie with Arsenal at Plumstead, George Robey, a very famous Music Hall comedian with a love of football, took the City team to visit the capital’s top Music Halls.  Such light relief was needed in the City camp as the realisation was now dawning that the Blues might seriously be contenders for the League and Cup double that at this point in history had only been achieved by Preston (1889) and Aston Villa (1897). 

For a side (indeed a city) whose only national success so far had been to win the Second Division, this must have felt like an impossible dream but, as the season progressed it became increasingly possible.

You can read about what happened next here:

The next FA Cup meeting between the teams didn’t come until 1932 when they met in at the semi-final stage.

You can read all about that here:

Since 1932 the sides have met in the competition on 17/2/1971 at Maine Road (a 2-1 Arsenal win); the 2017 semi-final (2-1 aet for Arsenal); and again in the 2020 semi played on 18 July 2020 (a 2-0 Arsenal win).

A City FA Cup win over Arsenal is long overdue!

Manchester City v Bradford Park Avenue

On this day (26 January) in 1946 a comfortable 3-1 victory for Manchester City over Bradford Park Avenue in the fourth round of the FA Cup seemed certain to put the Blues through to the fifth round.  However, this first season of FA Cup football after the war saw games played on a home and away basis and the Blues had to face Bradford again a few days later.

I think you can guess how that went (!) but come back on 30 January for that history breaking moment.

The 1932 FA Cup Semi-Final

In 1932 Manchester City and Arsenal faced each other in the FA Cup semi-final. It was the Blues’ third semi appearance in eight years and they would go on to better this stage in each of the following two seasons. This semi was controversial and it had major repercussions for City. You can read the full story (and watch highlights) below:

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Managerial Merry-Go-Round

Due to the general downward trajectory of Manchester City during the late 1990s the 1996-97 season often gets overlooked but it is important to remember that, even in the darkest of seasons, there can be positive moments, experiences and wonderful performances by talented players. Even at the bleakest of times a young fan may be experiencing their club for the first time and, no doubt, in 1996-97 the magic of watching Manchester City for the first time was experienced by Blues who, as adults today have enjoyed some of the greatest football ever seen. Today (25 January) is the anniversary of one positive moment in the dreadful 1996-97 season: City’s FA Cup victory over Brentford. You can read about that game and the season’s FA Cup run below.

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City 6 Norwich 0

On this day (24 January) 1981 John Bond’s Manchester City defeated his former club Norwich 6-0 in the FA Cup fourth round tie. Subscribers can read a report and watch highlights here:

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