January 26

paulh66

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Dec 7, 2019
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Tranmere, South Liverpool
I'd lost track of this date but no doubt about the match, my favourite ever Rovers home game.

2000 - Worthington Cup Semi Final, 2nd Leg:

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A major cup semi is big enough; that it was against a bitter rival made it even bigger; that it was a golden opportunity to bury the heartache of our 'once in a lifetime' previous semi against Aston Villa in 1994, which we lost in a sudden death penalty shootout, offered an unexpected shot at redemption too. No pressure then..

Both sides were in what's now the Championship with Rovers slight favourites after the first leg, a match in which we should've really put the tie to bed. But the two clubs had a bitter rivalry going back to our 1991 play-off final victory over them, and there was certainly no love lost between opposing managers Aldridge and Allardyce either, so it was all to play for.

Going into this match we knew this tie wasn't over, and that Bolton were well capable of scoring twice. They didn't though, as Rovers just blew them away. Prenton Park was bouncing even before Nick Henry's brilliant fifth minute volley opened the scoring, but we knew Bolton still only needed to score twice. Then the big moment - a foul on Scott Taylor (ex-Staines Town!) gave us a penalty, a spot kick which should nail it and so, apart from 1994, the most nerve-wracking penalty I've ever experienced! Young Alan Mahon buried it and catharsis for 1994 was finally in sight. By the time Dave Kelly rubbed their noses in it in the second half the tie was already as good as over.

A brilliant night. Fat Sam didn't appreciate Aldo's celebrations, or the ball boys handing towels to Dave Challinor for his trademark long throws (one of which led to the opening goal), or anything else really. He was still sulking when we next played them at Prenton the following season, so much so that they got straight on the bus after the game, not even staying for a shower!

Although living in Wirral at the time, Sod's Law meant I had to be away on a course for the week of this game....in Bournemouth! Negotiated a lunchtime departure, drove up, saw the match and drove straight back - a 540 mile round trip....270 of which were spent on cloud 9! Wouldn't have missed it for the world.

 

Bagman

Reserve Team Starter
Joined
Dec 8, 2019
Messages
757
Saturday 26th January 2013

RYMANS LEAGUE SOUTH DIV

Corinthian Casuals (0) 1v 1 (0) Sittingbourne

James Cottee 80 min Joe Taylor 82 min

Admission £8/4 OAP Programme £1.50 Att 111
 

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