FA Cup Quarter Final, 10/3/84
Birmingham City 1(0)
Team: Sherwood, Bardsley, Rostron, Terry, Franklin, Jackett, Taylor, Barnes, Callaghan, Johnston, Reilly
Scorers: Barnes (2), Taylor
Skint and hungover
Report by Tim Brennen
Those were the days.... There I was, at 8 o'clock on a Saturday morning, having spent too much on beer the night before, which meant a) a cracking hangover and b) a desperate hunt around Exeter for a cash machine with some cash in it. Got to New Street and off to St. Andrews, using the old "mumbled request for directions" trick. Those were the days, after all...
I was refused entry to the Watford end (all-ticket) and so got into the home end. I'd done it before - kept quiet, clapped the save when all around were clapping the shot etc., but that day it was a bit difficult. As normal, I had been assuming that Watford would win (just a little quirk of mine), but it quickly became apparent how important that day was to the locals and that they (incredibly) thought they had a chance. There were 40 000 in St. Andrews that day (surely never to be repeated) and they were bloody noisy. I was wedged in with the Blues and neutrality would have been hard enough, let alone supporting the opposition.
Anyway, some time in the first half Barnes trapped a long kick from Shirley, beat two defenders on the edge of the box - dig this one out on video; it is FANTASTIC - and knocked it over Coton (who he?) in a sort of hard-hit lob. Glorious, brilliant, YEEESSSSSSSSSSSS: I leapt about on the terraces in a complete frenzy. Tell a lie, I didn't actually - I stood there watching the Watford fans go crazy and the effort it took to pretend to be miserable almost made me faint.
The match then got "lively" and some spectacular fouls were committed; this excited Steve Terry so much that he slid in Birmingham's equaliser on the hour. Suppressing ecstasy was nothing compared to having my eardrums burst by 35 000 (?) Brummies, being shoved around, hugged and otherwise abused, just as my world was collapsing.
Then the incredible happened: with 10 minutes to go, the ball broke to Les Taylor on the edge of the box. I remember the Watford Observer writing that previously his shooting skills had tended to draw attention to the Watford Observer clock, but this time he smacked it into the top corner.
A few minutes later Callaghan took a throw-in on the right, Reilly flicked on to Johnston who flicked on to the back post where Barnes sidefooted in from close range. That was that, the Brummies started streaming out, and I left as the Watford fans (those lucky enough to have the right tickets) sang their hearts out.
It was bloody draining but I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I can't quite remember what happened that night, but I did wake up the next morning skint and hungover.