STAGSNET`S STATISTICAL PREVIEW
In this season's FA Cup 1st round, the Stags were drawn at home to Bishop's Stortford, a team currently sitting in midtable in Ryman's Premier league and finished last season's fixture in a similar position. But it isn't the first time Bishop's Stortford have reached the 1st round. This season will be the tenth team the amateur side near the outskirts of Stansted Airport have reached so far.
And their previous results in the FA Cup haven't been that bad although the FA Cup baptism on November 21, 1970 at Elm Park proved to be too tough as the then Third Division side ran out 6-1 winners. But twelve seasons later, Bishop's Stortford should get their revenge at Reading. And did so in 1982-83 by winning 2-1. This season also saw the finest FA Cup hours of Bishop's Stortford so far – as they then disposed of Slough 4-1. The reward was a thrilling 3rd round away tie at then just from First Division relegated Middlesbrough. Up at Ayresome Park, Bishop's Stortford excelled themselves by gaining a very creditable 2-2 draw on January 8, 1983, before narrowly bowing out in the replay to an 1-2 scoreline. Two very famous FA Cup giant killers, Peterborough (twice) and Colchester (in 1985-86) both had their scary moments at Bishop's Stortford before winning the replays. Notable is when Bishop's Stortford managed their first replay at Peterborough, one of their opponents in the then Isthmian League were the 2000-01 semi-finalists Wycombe Wanderers, and the Chairboys' cup hero at Leicester with the late winner, is currently starring for Bishop's Stortford!
Cup stats: P 20, W 4, D 7, L 9, GF 26, GA 39
Below are all the details of the previous FA Cup outings concerning Bishop's Stortford (line-ups, scorers and attendance figures available courtesy of Rothman's Football Yearbook):
1970-71 1st round Reading (a) 1-6 (scorer Devaux, line-up Mollison, Lawrence, Mitchell, Pannell, Neaves, Sharkey, Whyte, Allaway, Devaux, Chappel, Clarey)
1972-73 1st round Enfield (a) 1-1
1st round replay Enfield (h) 1-0 (scorer Dear)
2nd round Peterborough (h) 2-2 (scorers Leakey pen, Lawrence, line-up Moore, Davenport, Coombes, Mitchell, Still, Lawrence, Leakey, Francis, Dear, Smith, Merrifield (Davidson), attendance 5500 on December 9, 1972)
2nd round replay Peterborough (a) 1-3 (scorer Frances on December 11, 1972)
1974-75 1st round Leatherhead (h) 0-0
1st round replay Leatherhead (a) 0-2
1975-76 1st round Dartford (a) 4-1
2nd round Aldershot (a) 0-2
1981-82 1st round Sutton (h) 2-2
1st round replay Sutton (a) 1-2
1982-83 1st round Reading (a) 2-1
2nd round Slough (a) 4-1
3rd round Middlesbrough (a) 2-2 on January 8, 1983
3rd round replay Middlesbrough (h) 1-2 on January 11, 1983
1984-85 1st round Brentford (a) 0-4
1985-86 1st round Peterborough (h) 2-2
1st round replay Peterborough (a) 1-3
1986-87 1st round Colchester (h) 1-1
1st round replay Colchester (a) 0-2
In 1973-74, when finishing third in Rothmans Isthmian League only three points behind Wycombe Wanderers, Bishop's Stortford won the last FA Amateur Cup by beating Ilford 4-1 (goals for Bishop's Stortford by Lawrence, Murphy, Leakey, Smith (pen), for Ilford Drabwell). Seven years later, Bishop's Stortford again appeared at Wembley, this time in the FA Challenge Trophy crossing swords with Sutton United. Sullivan netted the winning goal for the forthcoming Stags FA Cup opponents. These results mean that Bishop's Stortford is the only club that have won the FA Amateur Cup and the FA Challenge Trophy.
For the record, the Bishop's Stortford victorious line-ups: 1973-74: Moore, Gibson, Coombes, Lawrence, Still, Payne, Leakey, Dear, Bass, Smith, Murphy.
1980-81: Moore, Blackman, Brane, Smith (Worrell), Bradford, Avery, Sullivan, Knapman, Radford, Simmonds, Mitchell.
Details courtesy of Paul Taylor and also been checked in Rothmans Football Yearbook 1974-75 and 1981-82. Line-ups courtesy of Rothmans Football Yearbook.
Svante Bernhard aka Sweden Stag (pictured, above right)
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